Getting traffic tickets in Kentucky have consequences. The state likes to emphasize that it is not your automatic “right” to drive. Driving is a privilege that is earned. Penalties can be harsh and immediate.

Kentucky traffic tickets are managed by an aggressive point system.

Accruing points on your license can make your insurance rates skyrocket, incite court and attorney fees – even cause the suspension of your license. In Kentucky, once you accrue enough points on your license, the state will not hesitate to suspend your license immediately. Certain infractions can also cause immediate suspension on the spot. If you are driving 26 miles per hour over the limit, trying to run from a Kentucky law officer, or participating in street racing, you can be mandated to appear in an immediate hearing and have your driving license suspended for 90 days.

Is A Court Appearance Required?

Some drivers may have to appear in court. If so, this will be indicated clearly on the backside of the citation. In this case, your best solution is probably to hire an attorney. You can attempt to do the research yourself, but there is an immense amount of specific information pertaining to Kentucky traffic tickets and not all of it is available online.

Six points in a two-year timeframe will trigger a warning notice by the Transportation Cabinet informing you of a hearing. The notice will tell you where you stand with regard to your total driver license points and what you are facing legally. At the hearing, you'll get to discuss your continuing privilege to drive in Kentucky.

Ignoring the notice to appear will buy you an immediate license suspension for six months, and that is just for a first-timer. If you do choose to fight your Kentucky traffic ticket, contact your court to verify the hearing date. The information is on your ticket. Make sure you have your traffic ticket number when calling the clerk of the court.

If you do choose to hire an attorney, he or she will explain the various pleas. If you have a good record, you could escape the points entirely by having an attorney.

Your Options

You do have choices when it comes to managing traffic tickets in Kentucky. Below are some options for you to consider:

Option 1 - Pay Your Ticket

In some situations you may desire to pay the ticket and get it out of the way.

As long not as your ticket does not say you must appear in court, you may pay your Kentucky traffic ticket before to the due date. The backside of the ticket provides deadlines and information. Pay within 15 business days or fines will be imposed. Mark the “guilty” checkbox and mail to the clerk of the court in the jurisdiction where you received the citation.

You may also pay in person with cash. Bring your citation.

Be sure to request a receipt.

Option 2 - Plead Not Guilty and Request Trial

If you do not think that you are guilty, you can plead "not guilty" to the traffic charge. Review the process printed on the backside of the citation. Await your hearing date. Should you decide to fight the charges outright, you will need to carefully consider hiring an attorney who specializes in traffic law to help you, especially for a major infraction.

If you are found guilty of the charge, you must pay the fine as well as any surcharges. You can also still accrue the points on your license, depending on the judge's decision.

Option 3 - Appeal Your Case

Traffic citations in Kentucky are usually issues for "strict-liability" infractions. This means the only fact needed to convict a driver of the offense is proof that he or she committed the infraction, regardless of intent. This makes appealing a case rather sticky, especially without an attorney.

Learn more in the Kentucky Driver’s Handbook online.

Option 4 - Take an Online Defensive Driving Course

A moving violation traffic ticket in Kentucky will cost you points on your license, but there are ways points can be forgiven. One of the most popular is by taking an online defensive driving course.

Points could be reduced by three by attending an online traffic school or classroom defensive driving course and your driving record may even be wiped clean if you stay clear of any additional citations! Kentucky traffic school is a great way to a fresh start and is taken advantage of by many smart Kentucky drivers.