Everything You Need to Know About Traffic Court
Part One: Arraignment
The first step in the traffic court process is the arraignment. Arraignment is the process of bringing someone in front of a judge to determine whether he or she is guilty or not guilty. With traffic court, your speeding ticket should detail which court to go to and on what date and the time your arraignment will be.
When you go to an arraignment, always aim to be early. This gives you time to figure out which room in the courthouse you need to be in.
After you arrive, the courthouse clerk may let you know what to expect and how the court proceedings typically play out. Then, the judge will take his place and begin reading out cases from a list which is typically arranged in alphabetical order. When the judge calls your name you’ll need to approach a podium and state your plea.
Part Two: The Plea
When you go to traffic court you have two options of how you’d like to plead: guilty or not guilty. Your plea will influence the court proceedings, so it’s important to know ahead of time how you’re going to plead.
If you choose to plead guilty, you may be able to reduce your fine simply by going to court. Many states allow judges to reduce the fine because a driver chose to come to traffic court. Take note of how other cases ahead of yours seem to be turning out; is the judge reducing fines? Is he assigning community service? The way the judge treats other cases may influence the outcome of your own case.
Pleading Not Guilty
If you choose to plead not guilty, your arraignment is really more like an opportunity for you to go to a traffic court trial. After you have stated your plea, the judge will assign you a trial date and subpoena the ticketing officer to come to your second trial on that date.
In some cases, the officer may not show up for the second trial, which means you win your case. Choosing to plead not guilty can be a way to get out of your speeding fines.
However, not all officers choose not to show up! If the policeman who gave you the ticket comes to your trial you may want to plead guilty during the second trial and simply pay the fine. Keep in mind that the judge is less likely to reduce your fine at a second trial!
Funding Traffic Court Fees
However you choose to plead at your traffic court appeal, there are fees that are associated with going to court. For some people, this can be a huge problem financially. According to the team at Baker Street Funding, Consider working with a reputable litigation funding company to help you tackle hefty court fees and get your case resolved! Have questions? Let’s chat.