I have a suspended license and have to go to traffic court. What can I expect of the traffic court process?


I have a suspended license and have to go to traffic court. What can I expect of the traffic court process?


Going to traffic court in the hope of reinstating a suspended license is a pretty straightforward process, although it can vary depending on the state in which you've been charged and where the court is being held. Most traffic courts are quickly-moving, fairly casual environments, but something like a suspended driver's license is a more serious infraction, and you might be dealing with some more complex situations.

The Traffic Court Process for A Suspended License

The traffic court process can vary depending on what you are in court for:

  • If you're in court to face charges, pleading guilty will result in a fairly quick, formulaic hearing in which the sentence is formally read to you and you are dismissed. 
  • If you plead not guilty, or if you wish to make a plea bargain – or in a situation where you may be attempting to pay a fine or otherwise plead for your license to be reinstated – you should expect to sit down with the prosecuting attorney and discuss options.
  • If you have already had your license suspended and you are now going to court in hopes of getting it back, you should expect to be required to prove you have fulfilled the conditions of reinstatement. This can include bringing proof that you have completed traffic school or other evidence that you have done what was required of you by the judge. You'll also generally need to pay a fee for reinstatement. 

Getting Help

Of course, you shouldn't do this alone. A suspended license can be serious, and if you're pleading not guilty and attempting to fight the system, or if you're plea bargaining with the prosecutor, you might be in over your head. You have the right to be provided a public defender, and you also may get an attorney on your own if you wish. The more complex your violation situation was, the more help the lawyer will be both in preparation for court and during the actual hearing.

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