How Can I Get a Speeding Ticket Off My Record?
Receiving a traffic ticket for speeding or another traffic violation is never a welcome event. You don’t want those black marks on your driving record serving to drive your insurance premiums sky high. However, those infractions aren’t necessarily set in stone. You have options and can take steps to clean up your situation before the violation hits your driving record.
Contest the Ticket in Court
Only a small percentage of drivers contest a ticket. However, fighting a speeding ticket may be well worth the effort it takes, even if your driving record isn’t so good. If you know that you are guilty of the infraction, there can be mitigating factors that might win leniency from a judge. Maybe you were rushing in an effort to get to the hospital. Or perhaps there was a speedometer calibration malfunction. If you think you were wrongfully ticketed, you would be well-advised to fight it, as that can be your best option to have penalties reduced or dismissed.
Contesting a ticket means that you will plead not guilty and go to a court to argue about the ticket. Although you can do this by yourself, you will likely have more success with the counsel of an experienced lawyer. In a large number of cases, it’s a technicality that makes the difference in the court case. Scrutinize your citation carefully, looking for any errors. If the time, location, or your personal information is wrong, it can lead to a dismissal.
If there isn’t a mistake, then you will need to sway the judge with your argument. The judge issues a verdict after you have made your case. A dismissal or reduced fine is possible. However, if you are on the losing end, the unfavorable judgment could mean you’ll pay the full fine plus court costs.
Take a Driver Safety Course
Depending on the violation, you might be able to prevent penalty points or get tickets dismissed by attending and completing a state-approved defensive driving course. This usually only helps with minor violations, such as low-to-moderate speeding.
Rather than waiting for penalty points to fall off your record over several years, some states permit you to request that the violation be expunged from your record. Expungement of records is the legal term that refers to the removal of all police and court records from public access. When records are expunged, they are sealed, and no one will have access to them. They will be treated as strictly confidential. Expungement simply means sealing or destroying any conviction records.
If your application for expungement is given the green light, the court will order that all records be sealed or erased. Once your record is expunged, it will appear as if you were never arrested or convicted for the offense. Having your record expunged could be especially valuable when you’re looking for car insurance, as some companies that look back five years or more into your driving history.
Remember, it’s not necessarily the traffic violations that impact your driving record, it’s the ones that stick. Having an attorney on your side who can help you keep your driving record clean may be a wise choice. Set up a consult with a lawyer to discuss your unique circumstances and needs.