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Fairfield traffic ticket defense attorneyMost adults have received at least one or two traffic citations in their lifetime. They may have driven above the speed limit, run a red light, or failed to stop fully at a stop sign. While traffic violations are typically considered minor offenses, the consequences can be significant. Penalties for traffic infractions may include stiff fines, and, if you have accumulated too many demerit points, suspension of your driver’s license. If you have recently been issued a traffic ticket, you may wonder what your options are for challenging the ticket, or if it is in your best interests to contest the ticket by pleading not guilty.

Is My Ticket Worth Fighting?

Many people do not realize that they have the option to contest a traffic ticket. Others understand that this option is available but assume that the time and energy needed to challenge the traffic violation is simply not worth it. If you are questioning whether or not to plead not guilty to your traffic violation, consider the following:

  • Did you actually commit the offense that you have been accused of?
  • Do you have any evidence you can use to prove your innocence?
  • Will paying the fine cause you considerable financial stress?
  • Will the ticket lead to a significant increase in your car insurance payment?
  • Are you facing suspension of your driver’s license?

If you did not commit the traffic infraction, the ticket will create a significant financial burden, or you are facing license suspension or other significant consequences, it may be a good idea to contest the ticket.

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IL traffic attorneyThe overwhelming majority of drivers have been ticketed during their lifetimes, most often for relatively minor offenses. However, minor tickets can add up, or some Connecticut traffic offenses are considered major enough that you could actually be facing jail time. If you have been ticketed for a traffic offense, it can be tempting to simply plead guilty and pay the fine, or comply with other requirements, but this can open you up to potentially serious legal trouble.

Do Not Ignore Traffic Tickets

People who are ticketed for moving violations or other traffic offenses do not often treat them with the seriousness they should. Because the consequences are often seen as inconsequential - for example, a well-off driver cited for speeding may face a small fine, especially if it is a first offense - many people simply choose to pay the ticket, unaware that they are basically admitting guilt when they do so. In Connecticut, paying a traffic ticket without contesting it is considered a plea of nolo contendere (“no contest”), meaning you do not dispute what you are being charged with.

Any kind of guilty plea carries consequences - it may place one or more points on your driver’s license, as well as requiring driver re-education courses and rarely, may even result in a license suspension. That said, some traffic offenses are, of course, more serious than others, resulting in property damage, injury, or even death. Offenses like evading responsibility (also known as leaving the scene of an accident), driving a vehicle without permission (which can be charged as grand theft auto), or vehicular homicide will usually result in not only in the driving consequences articulated, but also, potentially, in a long prison term.

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