What to do if you get a Traffic Ticket in West Virginia
Traffic tickets in West Virginia should be completely read by the person receiving them. If you have any questions regarding your citation call the number on the ticket for the particular court your violation has been assigned to.
In West Virginia traffic tickets allow you to take 3 basic routes. You can admit your guilt, choose not to contest it or plead not guilty. Pleading guilty or no contest will result in you paying the fine. Should you decide to plead not guilty, it will result in a court appearance.
No matter what your decision it must be made prior to the court date listed on your citation.
West Virginia allows several options for the payment of fines, including mail, in person, online and on the telephone.
You should not ignore your West Virginia traffic ticket as it can result in the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles suspending your license. It may also result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.
Citations can result in the accumulation of points on your license. Points can range from 2 to 8 points dependent on the significance of the violation. While your license will be suspended upon reaching 12 total points, points can be reduced by attending a state approved defensive driving course. Up to 3 points
Is a Court Appearance Required?
Generally speaking minor infractions can be handled without going to court while more severe infractions will mandate an appearance. Of course if you contest your ticket by pleading not guilty, a court date will be schedule and your appearance will be necessary. It is best to thoroughly read your citation to determine whether a court appearance is or is not mandated in your particular case. Getting a traffic ticket in West Virginia should also serve as a reminder to get a copy of your current driving record to insure its accuracy. An inaccurate driving record can lead to unnecessary expense that can be avoided with a simple records check.
You do have specific options to resolve your traffic ticket in West Virginia. Some are more pleasant than others, but they offer routes to conclusion. They include:
Pay Your Ticket
Courts in West Virginia allow for the payment of fines in a variety of ways, including in person, online, by mail and by telephone. Paying your fine is an admission of guilt, and could result in points on your driver’s license. Fines will vary by jurisdiction and whether your ticket is a moving or non-moving violation, and according to the severity of the infraction.
If you cannot pay your full fine by the date listed on the citation, you should call the court listed on the traffic ticket and explain your situation. In some cases a payment plan may be implemented. This may require a court appearance.
Remember, the accumulation of points on your driving record could lead to increased auto insurance premiums. It is best to take advantage of point reduction concepts like taking a Defensive Driving Course to minimize the damage your traffic ticket may cause to your driving record and your finances..
Plead Not Guilty and Request a Trial
Do you believe you are not guilty of the violation you’ve been cited for? You may contest your traffic ticket in court. Notify the court of you intention to plead not guilty by the date listed on the ticket. The court will then schedule a trial date.
You may increase your success in court by hiring legal representation. To prepare for your court appearance you may want to interview witnesses and get a copy of your driving record.
Be aware that even if the judge should find you not guilty and all penalties will be released, you will still be liable for court costs. If the court finds that you are guilty, the court will notify you as to your penalties. A guilty verdict will also make you liable for court costs.
Appeal your Case
In West Virginia if you are found guilty, you may appeal if you disagree with the verdict. An appeal will result in a judge reviewing your case. An appeal will result in additional costs, but could lead to a guilty verdict being over-turned..
Take an Online Defensive Driving Course
You can get up to 3 points deducted from your driving record in West Virginia by successfully completing a state approved Defensive Driving Course. These courses may be taken once every two years. taking a defensive driving course in West Virginia will not only result in less points, but they can increase the participant’s driving skills, and depending on your insurance company, may result in lower insurance premiums. You should contact your specific insurance carrier for details.
You should consider the benefits of an online defensive driving school especially if you begin to get close to the 12 point suspension level. Detailed information on driving laws in West Virginia may be found on the WV DMV website.