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  • Fight Traffic Ticket in Colorado

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    SUMMARY: How to Fight a Colorado Traffic Ticket

    If you decide to fight your traffic ticket in Colorado, you must plead not guilty by the deadline date shown on your traffic ticket. Depending on where you received your ticket, you may be able to submit your plea by mail or in person. For specific details on how to fight your ticket, check your traffic ticket or contact the appropriate court.

    Fight Your CO Traffic Ticket

    With Colorado traffic tickets, you have three plea options; guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo contendre). Regardless of plea, you must enter it prior to the date listed on your traffic ticket. If you can't find your ticket, find help on our Lost Traffic Ticket page.

    Pay Ticket
    (Plead Guilty or No Contest)

    • Pay the fine.
    • Option to plea bargain penalties.
    • Receive points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
    • Incur possible jump in auto insurance rates.

    Learn more about
    Paying your Traffic Ticket »

    Fight Ticket
    (Plead Not Guilty)

    • Challenge traffic ticket in court.
    • Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties.
    • Have charges dismissed if found not guilty, but still pay court and attorney fees.
    • Or be charged guilty and pay ticket fine, court and lawyer fees.

    What It Means to Fight Your Colorado Traffic Ticket

    Pleading not guilty indicates you are challenging your Colorado citation. This means:

    • You might be able to plea bargain for a reduced charge before your hearing. If no agreement is reached and you appear before the judge, you will likely forfeit all chances to a plea bargain agreement.
    • A judge might hear your case and dismiss all charges, requiring you to only pay court and, if applicable, legal fees.
    • A judge might hear your case and find you guilty. You would then be required to pay all fines, court fees and, if applicable, legal fees. A guilty charge could result in points on your Colorado driving record, a possible loss of driving privileges, and even increased car insurance rates.

    Pleading Guilty

    Entering a guilty plea waives your right to a trial by judge or jury. Paying your traffic ticket fine is an admission of guilt, thus requiring no more action on your behalf. For more information, check out our page on Paying Your Traffic Ticket in Colorado.

    Avoid Being Issued a Bench Warrant

    Failing to respond to the court before the appearance date on your CO citation could lead to fines, loss of driving privileges and even a warrant for your arrest. No matter how you plead, just do so BEFORE or on the date printed on your ticket.

    Hire a CO Traffic Ticket Attorney

    If you're set on challenging your Colorado traffic ticket, a traffic ticket attorney could increase your chances for a plea bargain agreement for a lesser charge or for having your ticket dismissed. This could spare you points on your driving record, saving you from a possible suspended Colorado driver's license and increased auto insurance rates.

    Notify Your CO County Court

    Notify the relevant Colorado traffic court of your decision before or on the appearance date posted on your traffic citation.

    Inform the Court In Person or By Mail

    Most Colorado courts require submitting your plea in person before a judge. Before the hearing you may have the chance to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney, if you so choose.

    In some instances, you may be allowed to enter your not guilty plea by mail. For more information on this option, contact the presiding CO traffic court or check your traffic ticket for instructions.

    Prepare Your Case

    After alerting the court of your decision to challenge, you will be issued a trial date. Again, this is where the counsel of a traffic attorney can be of great help. Otherwise, you'll need to prepare on your own by gathering evidence, contacting witnesses, and reviewing your CO driving record.

    If you require more time to prepare your case, call the relevant Colorado court. There is no guarantee, however, that your request will be accepted.

    Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury

    At your hearing, you'll present your case before the judge in what, for traffic infractions, is called a Final Hearing. After all evidence is heard, the judge will render a decision. You will then be advised on how to proceed according to the final verdict.

    Check Your Colorado Driving Record

    Be sure, regardless of verdict, to check your CO driving record for accuracy. Any erroneously added points on your record could adversely affect your driving status and cause a jump in your auto insurance rates.

    Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates

    If points are added to your driving record, you could see an increase in your car insurance rates. If you find yourself in need of more affordable auto insurance, shop around and compare auto insurance rates online.