Fight Traffic Ticket in ColoradoPage Overview
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.
(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 »
(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
Pleading not guilty means you are challenging your Colorado citation. This means:
- You might be able to plea bargain for a reduced charge before your hearing. Otherwise, if no agreement is reached and you appear before the judge, you, in most instances, will 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 driving record, a possible loss of driving privileges and maybe even increased car insurance rates.
Entering a guilty plea waives your right to a trial by judge or jury. Paying your 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.
Avoid Being Issued a Bench Warrant
Failing to respond to the court before the appearance date on your 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.
If you're firm 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 the court of your decision before or on the appearance date posted on your citation. You must notify the court listed on your ticket.
Inform the Court in Person or in Writing
You must notify the court of your decision to challenge the ticket on or before the appearance listed on your ticket. 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, of course, 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 court.
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, gathering evidence, contacting witnesses, reviewing driving records.
If you require more time to prepare your case call the court. There is no guarantee, however, that your request will be accepted.
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.
Be sure, regardless of verdict, to check your driving record for accuracy. Any erroneously added points on your record could adversely affect your CO driving status and cause a jump in your auto insurance rates.
If the state adds points to your driving record, you could see increased car insurance rates. If you find yourself in need of more affordable auto insurance, shop around and compare auto insurance rates online.Other Topics in This Section