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How To Get A Speeding Ticket Dismissed In Arizona?
In Arizona, traffic tickets are often given as a result of drivers violating traffic laws, such as driving excessively over the speed limit on the highway. While tickets can be paid for either online or through the mail, there are different ways to get the ticket dismissed. These methods, put simply, include:
- Pay the fines listed on the ticket. This also equates to pleading “guilty” for the charge. You may be able to participate in the Defensive Driving Program to have tickets dismissed while avoid paying for the ticket as well as reduce the amount of points that may accumulate on your record.
- Fight the ticket in court. This commonly leads to the drivers hiring the assistance of traffic ticket lawyers in order to be found not guilty.
What is the Defensive Driving Program?
The Defensive Driving Program offered in the state of Arizona is a driving course that can either be taken online or in a classroom setting. The class teaches defensive driving and is available to drivers who have violated traffic laws in the state. The course offers many benefits outside of teaching safe driving protocols, as it also allows participants in the class to:
- Dismiss traffic tickets
- Avoid accruing additional points on their driving record
- Avoid the rates for car insurance from increasing
There are fees associated with taking the course, although these vary by county as well as notary fees. While driving record points cannot be removed by taking this course, it can reduce the number of points accrued. In addition, while the first benefit listed above of taking the class is particularly good, there are qualifications that you need to have in order for the ticket to be dismissed. These qualifications include:
- Only 1 violation is being dismissed
- You were not involved in an accident that resulted in serious injury or fatality
- At least 12 months have passed beyond the date of a previous traffic citation date on your record
- You don’t have a commercial driver’s license
- The driving course is completed at least 7 days before your scheduled date in court
What Does it Take to Fight the Ticket in Court?
If you wish to fight a speeding ticket, this essentially means you are pleading “not guilty” to the charge and will likely require the assistance of lawyer. First you will need to contact the court and convey your intent to fight the charges on the ticket and request a hearing. If your request is accepted by the court, they will schedule your hearing.
Prior to the hearing, it is encouraged to gather information for your case as well as hire a lawyer to represent you in court, otherwise you will be representing yourself as Arizona does not appoint lawyers to represent defendants in these types of cases. The ticket hearing itself will go along the same lines as typical trials do, as your attorney and you will have the opportunity to plead your case in front of the court. The steps of the hearing include:
- Arguing the law
- Calling witnesses to the stand
- Presenting evidence for your case
- Question representatives of the police department
After the hearing has finished, the court will rule either guilty or not guilty. If you are cited as not guilty, the trial ends and the ticket is dismissed, no added charges needed. However, if you are found guilty, there are other costs and consequences that need to be considered, including paying for the original fine as well as additional court fees and facing penalties. This can also result in a suspension of your license depending on the severity of the charges.
As a final step following the dismissal of your speeding ticket, it’s important to check your driving record and see how many points were added. If you took the Defensive Driving Program, you can check to see if the points have been reduced and avoid your insurance rates from going up.