What does amending a traffic ticket mean?

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Question:

What does amending a traffic ticket mean?

Answer:

At some point in everyone’s life, they will end up getting pulled over for a traffic violation. It’s no secret that monies obtained by citizens paying for traffic citations are huge revenue producers for cities and counties throughout the nation. Nearly 90% of Americans don’t bother to fight traffic violations because they find it easier to just send the money in and be done with it. But, the downside of this decision can have repercussions that will stay on your record for many years to come. Not only do you get points on your driver’s license, but the insurance company now has a good reason to jack up your premiums.

Why Should You Fight a Traffic Citation?

Most people hate going to traffic court because they have to take a day off from work. The dockets are often full and they end up spending hours waiting for their case to be called before the judge. While it may seem like you are saving time and money not to fight the ticket, it’s going to end up costing you more in the long run by just paying it. Many tickets are the result of speed traps and quotas that officers are forced to make each day. You may be surprised to learn that nearly every person that fights their ticket gets their violation and fine reduced or dismissed altogether.

How to Get Your Ticket Amended

In most jurisdictions, the prosecutor is given the power to amend the ticket. They will examine the circumstances surrounding your case and look at your prior driving record. If you were polite and respectful to the officer when you were pulled over without several prior tickets, your case could get dismissed. If the prosecutor still wants to pursue the case, there are several options that you may find available:

  • Traffic School—Most counties offer the defendant to attend traffic school at least once in a specified period of time. You may receive a courtesy notice in the mail that will actually tell you if you are eligible for this.
  • Reducing the Charge—When you arrive at traffic court, you will see the prosecuting attorney up front with hundreds of files in front of him or her. Go ahead and ask to speak with them before court begins. Be nice and request that a moving violation be reduced to a non-moving offense. This will result in a lesser fine with no points assessed to your driver’s license.
  • Entering a Plea—When your name is called, go up before the judge and enter a plea of not guilty. Do some homework in advance and explain why you should not have been cited. If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that you were actually in violation of the law, the judge may throw out the case.

The Benefits of Hiring a Traffic Attorney

Traffic citations have continued to increase throughout every state. Most tickets cost a few hundred dollars and lots more when your insurance rates go up. When you are represented by legal counsel in traffic court, your case goes to the head of the line and is dispensed with first. Hiring an experienced traffic attorney may actually save you both time and money. 

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