Do I have to go to Traffic Court for DUI?
Getting a traffic ticket is par for the course if you’re on the road long enough. Maybe you got caught cruising over the speed limit, rolled through a stop sign or simply failed to yield. Whatever the offense, the resulting ticket usually involves paying a fine and nothing more. But there are some circumstances in which you are required to appear in traffic court. What are they and how will you know? Keep reading to find out.
It’s estimated that police hand out between 25 and 50 million traffic citations a year. The violations are as diverse as the municipalities and districts across the nation. There are countless potential offenses, with fines ranging from a few bucks to over $1,000. Of course, there are also circumstances in which you can’t pay your way out and are stuck going to traffic court. When is that most likely?
When It’s a Serious Offense
Each jurisdiction has traffic offenses for which a motorist is required to appear in court. These can vary greatly depending on where you are. But in general, tickets tend to require a court appearance if issued for a violation carrying a mandatory minimum penalty such as fines or jail. Such offenses can range from reckless driving to driving under the influence. In the case of the latter, not only must you come to court, but you should do so with a DUI lawyer by your side. A DUI lawyer in Rapid City, SD can assist you with your case from a law firm like The Law Offices of Clayborne, Loos & Sabers LLP.
The ticket will usually say that an appearance is required. Another clue is when you don’t see an option to call a phone number and pay up. Other times, the officer may tell you that you have to appear. If an officer says this, don’t assume they’re pulling your leg. You will want to look at the ticket closely to learn the details about when you are expected to appear. Failure to appear on the scheduled date can result in a bench warrant, arrest and jail time.
What If I Can’t Make It?
Courts recognize that motorists have other obligations that may conflict with their scheduled appearance date. Call the court house or visit in person well before your court date to get your case rescheduled. Courts will typically offer consideration for someone who lets them know in advance.
Getting a traffic ticket is an inconvenience that is inevitable for most motorists. Know when a traffic court appearance is mandatory and you’ll be more than ready to take care of your tickets with ease.