What to do If You Get a Traffic Ticket in Utah
There is never a good time to be the recipient of any traffic tickets in Utah. Traffic tickets can be very stressful and a costly venture. Sometimes it can add points to your driver’s license and if you already have points, your driver’s license can be suspended.
Is a Court Appearance Required?
In Utah, if you received a minor traffic ticket, you do not have to appear in court. Court is reserved for the major infractions such as excessive speeding, DUI’s, driving while your license is suspended etc.
Once you have received traffic tickets in Utah, you do have some options that you may want to consider. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Option 1 – Pay Your Ticket
In opting to pay your Utah traffic tickets, you are admitting that you did what you are being accused of. The ticket should tell you of any deadlines that you need to be aware of.
There are three ways for you to pay your fine.
1) You may pay your ticket online. You can go to the county or city website to enter the information that is required. You will need to check the ticket for all of the details. Make sure that you pay the ticket before any imposed deadline. You will also need a major credit card to use this option.
2) Mail your payment. You can mail your payment in to the address that is on the back of your citation. Make sure that you include the citation number on the check or money order.
3) Pay In Person. If you can, you may also pay your fine in person by going to the county court in which the citation was issued.
If you choose to ignore the deadline, you could be assessed with stiffer penalties and a possible increase in the fines.
Option 2 – Plead Not Guilty and Request a Trial
If you feel that you were unjustly cited, you have the option of disputing the ticket and request a trial.
Now, you can choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney. Make sure that the court knows of your choice before the deadline on the traffic ticket. The ticket should also have the contact information for the court. If you are able to, you may also notify the court in person.
Keep in mind that the date on your ticket will also be your actual court date. If you decided to ignore the date, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest and that would not help. There may be an option to reschedule the date if you contact the court in a timely manner.
Option 3 – Appeal Your Case
If you want to appeal your case, you have the option of self-representation or hiring an attorney.
With self-representation, you are responsible for gathering evidence than would further your cause. You might want to interview witnesses and ask them to appear in court to testify. Make a copy of your driving record so the court can see the kind of driver you are.
In choosing to hire an attorney, the attorney will do the gathering of evidence in hopes of making a strong case. He even might be able to have the charges and fines dropped or lowered which, in turn, would save your insurance rated from rising.
The judge will hear both sides of the case and then render his decision.
If the judge finds you innocent or not guilty, it could be possible that all charges would be dropped and all fines removed. You still may have to pay for court costs and attorney fees if any.
If the judge states that you are guilty, he will let you know how to pay the court costs, and violation fees. The judge will then let you know of any penalties that will be bestowed on your license.
Option 4 – Take an Online Defensive Driving Course
If you are looking to have a reduction in the fine of your traffic tickets in Utah by taking an online defensive driving course, you will need to contact the county or city in which you received your citation. Each city and county has their own rules as to whether or not to allow this option. Some offer an online class. Be sure to ask.
Some of the guidelines that the local authorities go by are:
- Not being a habitual offender.
- No major infractions like accidents or the offense taking place in a school zone.
- A driver’s license that is valid.
Utah traffic tickets can be pricy. To make sure that you don’t encounter unwanted expenses, you can check into taking a defensive driving course on your own. This could refresh your memory as to the rules of the road and maybe even lower your auto insurance premiums.