How To Adult: Dealing With A Ticket
You’ve been pulled over for a routine speeding traffic stop. After attempting to respectfully explain the circumstances to the officer that authorized the traffic stop, you leave with a traffic citation.
Getting Pulled Over
First and foremost, don’t cry. Most police officers will automatically write a ticket because people try to cry their way out of tickets every day. Pull into a parking lot if possible, and use the hazard lights to tell the officer you plan to pull over when traffic allows. Remain calm, don’t reach around the vehicle or move suddenly, tell the officer what’s happening before moving and above all else, treat them with respect.
Leaving the traffic stop
Make sure to leave respectfully. The ticket has already been written, you can’t do anything at the moment. Don’t antagonize the officer and certainly don’t speed off to the destination, no matter how long the traffic stop took.
Handling the ticket
After receiving a traffic violation, there are two ways to handle it. A signed ticket becomes a contract saying the fine is going to get paid or that you plan to set a court date. Unless you plan to fight the ticket, don’t worry about setting a court date. If the violation was 30 miles over the speed limit you are required to appear in court as this falls under reckless driving, rather than a simple speeding citation. Otherwise, tickets are most often paid via the mail.
Handling a court appearance
At the hearing, a group of people is all present for various traffic violations. This experience will resemble a trip to the DPS. Everyone will wait in line for their turn to debate with a judge. The judge will determine if the ticket has substance and charge the defense as guilty or not guilty, and explain the options to either pay the fine, attend a defensive driving course or dismiss the case. If the ticket never gets paid or there’s no appearance in court, your license could get revoked, they may charge additional fines or even issue a warrant for your arrest.