What to do if you get a Traffic Ticket in Vermont
Every traffic moving violation comes with short and long term penalties. It can affect your wallet and also put your ability to get from one place to another in jeopardy, especially if you already have points assessed your license.
Is a Court Appearance Required?
If you’ve received any minor Vermont traffic tickets, a court appearance is not required. However, if you have been stopped for DUI, or other major infractions, you will be mandated to appear in court.
Let’s take a look at some of the options you have after receiving traffic tickets in Vermont.
Option 1 – Pay Your Ticket
If you choose to pay your minor Vermont traffic tickets, you will be stating that you are guilty of the violation that you were accused of and you will need to enter your admission of guilt by checking the very first (1) box on the ticket and pay the fine before the Vermont mandated deadline of twenty (20) days.
The other thing that happens in this option is you will surrender your option to appear before a judge and plead your case. You will automatically have points added to your driver’s license and more than likely, your vehicle premiums rise.
Vermont does give you the choice of paying your ticket online or you may mail the money in within the twenty (20) day deadline. After they receive your payment, points will be added to your driver’s license and the amount of points will depend on how severe your infraction is.
You may pay your fine online or you can send in the money by mail. Reading the back of the ticket will enlighten you to your options. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to pay, make sure that your license can hold the amount of points that you will receive, so that you will still be able to drive. If you ignore the deadline, your license will be suspended and you will receive a letter from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicle letting you know of the suspension date. If this happens, you will be looking forward to taking the bus or taxi.
Option 2 – Plead Not Guilty and Request a Trial
If you feel that the citation you received was unwarranted, you can plead not guilty and request that you have a judge hear your case. This option must be presented to the Vermont Traffic Bureau in the twenty (20) day grace period as stated on the citation.
In order to request a court date, you will need to check the second (2) box on the citation, date and add your signature. It will need to be mailed to the Vermont Traffic Bureau at PO Box 607, White River Junction, Vermont, 05001.
When the Vermont Judicial Bureau gets your paperwork along with the officer’s paperwork, they will send you the date of your hearing in a letter and let you know where and what time to arrive.
Option 3 – Appeal Your Case
You have two options in the way you appeal your case. If you feel confident in your abilities, you may represent yourself. On the other hand, you may hire an attorney.
When you represent yourself, you’ll need to gather the evidence to support your case and that could include interviewing potential witnesses and subpoenaing them and you need to have your driving record available. Make sure that you check the points on your license before you go forward.
When you hire an attorney, the attorney will take care of gathering the evidence and may improve your chances in getting your ticket dismissed.
Under this option, the judge could find you not guilty. He could dismiss all of the charges and fees associated with the ticket. You would still be responsible for court costs and if you hired an attorney, attorney fees.
If the judge decides that you guilty, you’ll need to pay the original ticket cost, fees associated with that ticket, court costs, and attorney fees if applicable.
If this happens, your driver’s license will be assessed points according to the violation and your insurance premiums will rise.
Option 4 – Take an Online Defensive Driving Course
Vermont doesn’t offer any formal way to have a traffic citation dismissed. Taking a defensive driving course on your own may have benefits.
- Brush up on the laws of the road.
- Improve on your driving abilities.
- Lessen your insurance premiums.
In Vermont, the points will stay on your driver’s license for a time of two (2) years, but the infraction will always remain with you. While in Vermont, remember to make the best choice for you and try to obey the laws before you are in the situation of having to make other choices.
If you have questions for the Vermont Traffic Bureau, you may call them at 1-802-295-8869.