Getting traffic tickets in Mississippi means you must respond immediately in order to protect your driving record and conserve your insurance rates. Other than that, the rules around Mississippi traffic citations are clear: Pay on time and/or communicate with the courts and you’ll stay out of hot water.

Mississippi does not utilize a point system for traffic infractions. There are no shades of gray or hoops to jump in Mississippi, but there is a lot of paper.

What to do If You Get a Traffic Ticket in Mississippi

Mississippi traffic tickets are handled autonomously, by the city or county where you received your citation. The state’s process requires you to call the clerk of the courts within ten business days. Your citation will provide the number to call. At this time, you will receive verbal instructions on how to pay your traffic ticket.

Is A Court Appearance Required?

Some drivers who receive Mississippi traffic tickets may have to appear in court. Your officer will not be shy about reminding you of this. Depending on your offense or your driving record, you might want to hire lawyer to represent your best interest. If you know you were at fault, play it safe and contact an attorney.

If you do choose to hire an attorney, he or she will explain the different pleas available and the one best suited for you. Court appearances are usually prolonged in the state of Mississippi.

Your Options

You do have options when it comes to handling traffic tickets in Mississippi. Below are some considerations:

Option 1 - Pay Your Ticket

Payment options differ per jurisdiction. Some allow 30 days to make restitution for your citation, but most counties demand prompt payment. Unlike other states though, should you overlook paying your ticket by the due date, you will receive a ten-day warning by mail. However, if you still do not respond, you can no longer drive legally on the streets of Mississippi. You can then get ready to part with over three hundred dollars to crank-start the slow and painful reinstatement process. After all, you had a second chance to pay, but that’s where the buck stops in the Big River State.

If paying your citation in person, pay cash. If paying by mail, do not send a personal check. Submit a cashier’s check made payable to the clerk of the courts and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you desire a receipt. You should always do this in case a situation arises later where you need to provide proof that you paid your Mississippi traffic ticket.

Option 2 - Plead Not Guilty and Request Trial

Fighting a ticket in Mississippi is relatively easy if you have the patience. Be polite when you receive the ticket. (Don’t give the officer any reason to want to come to court to make sure you lose.)

For minor infractions, since Mississippi runs on a paper process, the key is to delay the case as long as possible. Chances are the officer will not appear, as he may be bogged down with paperwork or even retired.

For major infractions, let an attorney handle your case. Sit back and wait, as his or her tactic will likely also be to delay.

Option 3 - Appeal Your Case

When you receive a ticket in Mississippi, you may submit a Notice of Appeal to the local court requesting a hearing. It is best to hire an attorney to assist you with this, and it is again likely to be a lengthy process. Your attorney will advise you whether or not it’s worth the hassle, and may advise you to just pay the ticket and move on. Learn more in the Mississippi Driver’s Handbook online.

You can purchase collision reports online.

Option 4 - Take an Online Defensive Driving Course

Mississippi allows a one-time opportunity to attend an online driving course, and in exchange they will clear all citations from your driving record (excluding major infractions such as DUIs). Driving school is really a no brainer in Mississippi.

If an online defensive driving course interests you, it can easily be accomplished. If a few hours of your time can result in a clean driving record, you want to take advantage of that. This is not time wasted either, since it is always good to take a refresher on the rules of the road where you drive. An online driving course can also help you avoid tickets in the future.