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Fight Traffic Ticket in Alabama

SUMMARY: Fight a Traffic Ticket in Alabama

To fight a traffic ticket in Alabama, you'll need to submit a "not guilty" plea in court. You may be able to make a request in person at the appropriate traffic court. Refer to your traffic ticket for full instructions on how to request a court hearing and fight your violation.

Getting a traffic ticket isn't anybody's idea of fun, but your citation doesn't have to be the final word in the matter.

If you feel you were wrongly written up—especially if you have evidence proving it—you can plead not guilty and fight the citation in court.

Read more to find out how to fight your Alabama traffic ticket and what you can expect from the process.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Accumulate points on your driving record (which could lead to license suspension or revocation).
  • Pay higher auto insurance rates after your next renewal.
  • Potentially enroll in driving school to have the ticket dismissed.

Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Schedule a hearing to plead your case.
  • Represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket lawyer.
  • Give up any possibilities of pleading to lesser charges/penalties.
  • Experience no fines/penalties if found not guilty, except for related court costs and attorney fees.
  • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).

Pleading Not Guilty in Alabama

Pleading not guilty to your Alabama traffic ticket is simple. All you need to do is:

  • Appear in the proper AL county court on the appointed court date listed on your citation.
    • Your citation should include:
      • Your court location.
      • Your court date.
      • The expected time of your appearance.
  • Plead not guilty.
  • Request a trial.
    • This may or may not be held on the same day.

Most Alabama counties will allow you to request a new court date if you contact them ahead of time. However, you'll typically need to wait at least a few days for the state to process your traffic ticket after receiving it to call the proper county court to reschedule.

NOTE: Before going to court, remember: Pleading not guilty means you feel you did NOT violate the law, and, most likely, you have some evidence to prove it. Expect court officials to question you on your innocence.

DMV.ORG TIP: Send Yourself to Traffic School

In some cases, the court may dismiss your violation if you attend traffic school. Learn more about the benefits of traffic school on our guide to AL Defensive Driving.

Fighting Your AL Traffic Ticket

At your trial, you will hear from the officer who wrote the ticket. He or she will testify why they believe you were guilty.

You will then get the chance to:

  • Argue the law.
  • Call witnesses.
  • Present other evidence.
  • Question the officer who issued the citation.

Consider hiring an Alabama traffic ticket attorney to help you understand both the law and all of your legal options.

If you choose not to hire a lawyer, you will have to represent yourself in court. It's best to prepare for this situation by:

  • Gathering the proper evidence.
  • Ensuring you bring in your traffic ticket and other helpful documents.
  • Speaking with witnesses and gathering testimony.
  • Preparing your own testimony.

Once all sides are heard from, your case will be considered and decided on by a judicial officer.

Potential Costs

There's more than just court fees at stake when you fight a traffic ticket.

You should consider these potential additional costs before making your decision:

  • Your traffic ticket fine.
  • Additional fees charged by the court.
  • Hiring an AL traffic ticket attorney.
  • Time off work to attend court.
  • An increased auto insurance rate if you lose.

Think of the big picture when weighing out the costs and benefits of contesting your citation.

Consequences of Fighting Your AL Ticket

After considering your case, the court will either rule in your favor or declare you guilty.

If you win your case, you will NOT:

  • Need to pay your traffic ticket fine.
  • Have the infraction included on your driving record.

You may need to sign additional paperwork at this time. Ask the court official about how to wrap up the process.

However, if you're found guilty, you will:

  • Be expected to pay the fine on your citation.
  • Possibly pay additional court fees.
  • Have the citation added to your driving record.

Depending on the severity of the violation, you may also face:

Make sure to ask the court or your traffic attorney about all possible outcomes of losing your trial.

DMV.ORG TIP: Protect Your Driving Record

Your driver record contains vital information! After fighting your ticket, make sure it's accurate by ordering a copy of your driving record for review.

Missing Your Court Date

If your court date comes and you have not either paid your fine or pleaded not guilty, your case will be forwarded to the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS), and you may:

  • Have a warrant issued for your arrest.
  • Have your driver's license suspended.
  • See your fine increase.
  • Lose out on any bond you may have posted.

It's strongly recommended to reschedule your court date if you wish to fight your ticket and can't make it for the date scheduled on your citation.

You can request a new court date by calling the appropriate AL county court. You'll need to wait at least 7 days after receiving your traffic ticket to do so.

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