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Do you need to go to court for your traffic ticket?
Did you get a traffic ticket? A traffic ticket or traffic summons issued for a traffic violation or traffic infraction is also known as a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT), which allows you to go on your way without being taken into custody and requires you to appear in court at a later date.
Your traffic ticket will indicate a date for you to appear in court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Usually, this date is only for preliminary matters such as entering your plea. Often, you can enter a plea by mail without the need to appear in court on this date. If you appear in court on this date, you may find yourself wondering why you came only to find out that you have to come back again on another day.
Instead of wasting your time in court only to enter a plea of not guilty, you may be able to mail your ticket to the court and enter a plea of not guilty. The court will then send you a letter giving you the date when you must appear.
Before going to court on the date which is on your traffic ticket, call the court and ask if the date on the traffic ticket is an arraignment date or a date where you will only enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If the court tells you that there will be a second date either for a trial or a conference where you can enter into a plea bargain, ask if you can mail your ticket to the court with a plea of not guilty instead of appearing on that date.
If you hire a traffic ticket lawyer for your ticket, it is best to do so immediately. A traffic lawyer may be able to be in a much better position to defend you if hired immediately. For instance, you may be able to request a supporting deposition from the police officer only within 30 days of your traffic ticket. A supporting deposition can be extremely useful to have your traffic summons dismissed. Without hiring a traffic lawyer, you will not know what should be done to best defend your traffic violation.
If you hire a traffic ticket attorney, the traffic court will usually allow your lawyer to appear for you and defend you against the prosecution of your alleged traffic violation, without you having to appear in court at all.
Don't ignore your traffic ticket, because if you do, it will get much worse! Your driver's license may be suspended or revoked; you may be subjected to additional penalties and fines; and a warrant for your arrest may be issued by a judge and one day while you're on your way to having a good time somewhere, you may find yourself arrested and spending the weekend in jail while your friends are having a good time.
More Traffic Violations articles:
Don't Ignore Your Traffic Ticket