As you will see, how you handle traffic tickets in Nebraska is pretty straight forward. Knowing your options and taking the correct path can help facilitate a smooth transaction.
Options for Moving Violations in Nebraska
You will have to take action before the court date noted on your Nebraska traffic tickets. Failure to do so will lead to more severe penalties, including license suspension, and perhaps arrest. Read your citation carefully, but most important is taking action before that court date! Ignoring your ticket or procrastination is not your friend. The court will likely not forget or misplace your citation, even if you do.
Is A Court Appearance Required?
Citations for minor infractions in will not result in a mandatory court appearance, however more severe violations will. Citations for DUI, reckless operation or using your vehicle in the commission of a felony will result in a mandatory appearance. Be sure to check your traffic ticket for the date and time of your scheduled appearance.
This court date serves as the deadline for paying your fine if that is an option. Otherwise, it is the date you need to appear.
You basically have two options in dealing with a Nebraska traffic citation. You plead guilty or plead innocent. Nebraska does not offer a “no contest” option like other states.
Option 1 - Pay Your Ticket
This is the easiest, quickest, and sometimes least painful way of taking care of a traffic citation in Nebraska. By paying your ticket you are in essence pleading guilty.
Be sure to submit your traffic fine to the court prior to any court date listed on your ticket.
By paying your ticket you give up your right to a court trial. You should be aware that Nebraska uses a point system and depending on your violation, points may accrue. The accumulation of more than 12 points within a two year period will lead to a license suspension. You can check your point status of your Nebraska driver's license here.
Your citation will also appear on your driving record. This could lead to higher auto insurance premiums as well.
A waiverable citation may be paid online buy using a MasterCard or Visa debit or credit card. You may also pay in person, but it is advisable to call ahead for acceptable forms of payment for that particular court. You may also pay by mail. If you decide this option, make sure you sign the citation, check the guilty box on the citation, include the traffic ticket with your payment, and note the citation number on your payment.
Option 2 - Plead Not Guilty and Request Trial
In Nebraska, you can decide to contest your traffic ticket in court. If you feel you have been given your ticket unjustly, feel the officer made an error in issuing the citation, or feel that you are innocent of the charges on the citation, this may be an option. If you decide to plead not guilty, it is usually a good idea to seek representation from an attorney experience in traffic court. Once you make the court aware of your intentions to file a not guilty plea, a court date for your trial will be set. It is in this period of time you will need to prepare your case by lining up witnesses, acquiring a copy of your driving record, and otherwise gathering evidence to help your case.
The best outcome of a not guilty plea is that after hearing your case, the court will dismiss all charges against you. This will mean that no points will be added to your driving record, however you will still be liable for court costs and of course your attorney fees. If in fact the court finds you guilty, you will have to pay all associated penalties, have points added to your license, pay court costs and likely have attorney fees and higher auto insurance premiums.
Option 3 - Appeal Your Case
Even if you have been found guilty in traffic court of the charges on your citation, you will still have the opportunity to appeal you case. You and your attorney may wish to file an appeal particularly if you feel mistakes in your original case have been made. This of course, will result in further attorney and court fees.
Option 4 - Take a Defensive Driving Course
Nebraska uses a point system that will penalize any driver who accumulates 12 points or more within a two year period with a license suspension. This suspension or revocation will be for a period of six months.
Before you reach twelve points you will want to take advantage of Nebraska’s point reduction option. This allows for a violator to successfully complete a minimum 8 hour defensive driving course from a state approved school to be eligible to have two points removed from your driving record.
You may view the entire Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle website at www.dmv.state.ne.us/