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Pleading Guilty

If you:

  • Honestly believe that you did what the officer alleges on the ticket.
  • Can afford the ticket and the possible increase in insurance (for three years).
  • "Don't want to bother" with fighting the ticket.
  • Don't qualify for traffic school, or "don't want to bother with it."

Then plead guilty. (Although, I don't know why you are looking at this site if you intend to plead guilty.)

You can usually do this by mailing in the "courtesy notice" with a check.

Alternatively, you can go before the judge and plead "guilty with an explanation". While the ticket still goes on your record, the judge may reduce your fine. Some judges do not allow this.

If you were in an accident which resulted in a ticket, you need to know:

  • If you plead guilty, the other party in the accident can use your plea as evidence against you in a civil suit.
  • If you fight the ticket and lose, the other party can use the conviction against you in a civil suit.
  • You may plead, "No contest," (or, "Nolo contendere," if you want to sound pompous and use the Latin). This has the same effect as a guilty plea (i.e., the point(s) on the record and the fine), but it cannot be used against you in a civil trial.

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