Use the following information as a simple guide to help you as you navigate the Kansas traffic courts.
What to do if you get a Traffic Ticket in Kansas
If you receive a traffic ticket in Kansas, do not ignore the citation. Be proactive and handle the ticket as quickly as possible. Ignoring the ticket can lead to additional fines, restrictions on your driving privileges and even an arrest warrant and jail time for seriously delinquent tickets. Use the date on the ticket as a guideline, but don't wait until the last minute to pay the fine or appear in court. Computer glitches and misfiled paperwork can also cause issues with your driving privileges, so it's best to handle everything before the last minute.
Is a Court Appearance Required?
A court appearance is not required for most traffic tickets. You can opt to go to court if you would like to have the charges dropped or reduced, which will also eliminate points from your license. However, if your ticket was for driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, reckless driving or other serious traffic indiscretion, you will be required to make a court appearance. This information will be on the copy of the ticket that the law enforcement officer gives you at the time of your traffic stop.
Option 1 – Pay Your Ticket
This is the easiest option for most individuals who have been faced with traffic tickets in Kansas. Kansas makes it easy to pay Kansas traffic tickets online - you can pay within hours of receiving your ticket. If you prefer, you can pay in person at the location listed on the reverse of your ticket. The State of Kansas does not accept personal checks for the payment of traffic fines. Some courts in Kansas do accept debit or credit cards, but most prefer cash, money order or certified checks. Check with the individual jurisdiction as to their accepted methods of payment.
Option 2 – Plead Not Guilty and Request Trial
You can choose to plead not guilty to the charges and go in front of a judge to fight the citation. You'll need to notify the court and get a court date to appear. You can represent yourself in court, or you can hire a local attorney that deals with traffic court and related issues. Many times, it is more beneficial to hire an attorney and have the ticket dropped - the benefits far outweigh the attorney's fees. Check your local yellow pages, or contact the Kansas State Bar Association online for a list of traffic attorneys in your area.
You can send an appeal via mail or online via the Kansas court system. Information on this option and where to send your written appeal is on the reverse of your traffic ticket. You can also find more information on the Kansas court system's website. While most individuals opt to write the appeal themselves, it's often best to hire an attorney to handle this to make sure you have a concise, well-written appeal that will be taken seriously by the judge. You will be notified by mail of the results of your appeal within six to eight weeks.
Option 4 - Take an Online Defensive Driving Course
Kansas offers traffic ticket recipients the option to complete an online defensive driving course to reduce the fines and points they receive from a traffic ticket. There are several defensive driving courses that are approved by the State of Kansas. You must complete this within the time specified by the court, to have it reduce the impact of your traffic ticket. Contact the agency that issued your traffic ticket for more information on this option, or visit the State of Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles online for information on this option.
For more information on Kansas traffic tickets, you can visit the Kansas Judicial Branch homepage, or you can visit the State of Kansas online website for information about Kansas traffic tickets and more.