The Top of a Speeding Ticket
If you've never had a speeding ticket or haven't had one in a while, you may be wondering, "What does a speeding ticket look like?" You've come to the right place. This slideshow will walk you through each section of a typical speeding ticket and describe in detail what each section means.
The top of the speeding ticket usually contains the ticket number, which is unique for your specific case, as well as your name and address. It's important that the officer wrote your name correctly on the summons, or you could have a case for dismissal (speak with your lawyer for your state laws.)
Section on Your Description
Another section of your ticket should cover your description. This includes your description as well as your car's description. The police officer will copy all of this information directly off of your driver's license and your car registration.
Description of the Violation
The next section of your speeding ticket should include the exact title and section of the law that you allegedly violated. This section will show the exact details, including what speed you were traveling, whether or not you were in a special zone, and more. In the case of speeding, the officer will mark down your alleged speed compared to the legal speed where you were clocked, and he'll also record the device that was used to check your speed. Make sure that this section is accurate. If it isn't, you might have grounds for dismissal (seek the advice of a lawyer.)
Police Officer Information
There should also be a section on the front of your speeding ticket that includes the officer's information, including name (sometimes only the last name is used), department, and troop number. This will help your lawyer in talking with the police department, so make sure it's legible before the officer walks away from the car. If not, ask her politely to clearly print her name.
How to Respond to Summons
Finally, there should also be a section that walks you through the process of responding to the summons. Most states offer convenient ways to immediately file a guilty plea and pay your fine. This is usually on the web or over the phone. However, if you plan to contest the charge in traffic court, you will want to turn the ticket over and carefully read the back.
The Fine Print on the Back
On the reverse side of your ticket, you'll find all of the fine print related to the laws governing your response to the ticket. There will always be a time limit to respond. If you exceed this time limit, a judge could issue not only a fine, but possibly suspend your license as well. So, always make sure to respond immediately when you receive a speeding ticket.
How to Contest the Charge
In addition to time constraints, the reverse of the ticket will also provide information on how you can contest the violation if you don't agree that you are guilty. You cannot receive a worse fine for the violation if you contest it, so if you do not feel that you are guilty, don't hesitate to follow the instructions to receive a trial date. You can either hire a lawyer to make your case for you, or state your case for yourself in traffic court, as many people do.
Pleading Guilty or Not Guilty
There may even be a formal response section on the reverse of the ticket, so even if you don't plan on contesting the charge, make sure to turn the ticket around to see if there is a section like this for your state. Also make sure to answer for each individual alleged violation. While you might be guilty of one violation, you can still plead "not guilty" to others.
Current Mailing Address
If your address has changed since you received your driver's license, make sure that if there's a section on the speeding ticket for "current mailing address," that you fill it out. This way, either the DMV or the court can send you all documentation related to your case and any important court dates.
Always Ask Questions
Finally, the reverse of your ticket may have additional contact information for the Violations Bureau in your state. If you have any questions about your speeding ticket, don't hesitate to call the Bureau and ask.
If you would like more driving tips and resources, make sure to check out the following LoveToKnow slideshows: