Written by attorney Jeffery Michael Haupt

What are your options when you receive a speeding ticket?

Let’s face it, traffic tickets are the one area of the law that almost everyone will have some experience with at some time or another. So you got caught speeding and you want to know what to expect or what options you have?

You can pay the speeding ticket

With most tickets this is sometimes the easiest option. It can also be the most costly. A speeding ticket can have a negative impact on your insurance rates so you may end up paying more than just the ticket. However, if this is the option that you are going to take, simply call the phone number listed on the ticket and the Clerk of the Court (in St. Joseph County, Indiana) will be able to tell you the total fine and court costs that you owe. You can then pay the ticket over the phone with a credit card, in person, or mail in payment.

You can set the traffic ticket for a court date

In some instances, this may be something that is required. For instance if you are ticketed for any driving while suspended offense you will need to appear for a court date. For most speeding or moving violations a court date is not necessary if you pay the fine.

If you desire to challenge your ticket, then you will need to set the matter for an initial court hearing by calling the Clerk of the Court listed on the ticket that you received. This has to be done no later than forty (40) days from the time that you received the ticket.

You can always have an attorney appear for you as well. He or she may be able to work with the prosecutor’s office to come up with some alternative infraction or program for which you may be eligible that can help you from getting points on your license or face increased insurance premiums.

You can try to qualify for an infraction deferral program

St. Joseph County, Indiana, like many places throughout the State (and the country for that matter) offer a program where you can have the ticket dismissed if you complete certain requirements. For starters, pay a fee (that can be more than the ticket). After that you have to agree to have no traffic violations for a certain period of time (about six (6) months) and possibly complete a driver’s safety course (depending on how fast your were driving). Once you complete all of the requirements, the prosecutor’s office will motion to the court to have the ticket dismissed.

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