Fight Traffic Ticket in Connecticut
To contest a CT traffic ticket, you'll need to first submit your "not guilty" plea online, by phone, or by mail. Once received, the presiding court will provide a trial date. If you need further details on how to fight your ticket, refer to your Connecticut traffic ticket or contact the appropriate court directly.
Fighting a CT Traffic Ticket
Unless it's a major traffic violation (which usually requires a court appearance), you can usually plead " guilty" to your traffic infraction and pay the fine online or by mail; however, you also have the choice to plead "not guilty" and fight your case in court.
(Plead Nolo Contendere or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Avoid driving record points.
- Experience increased auto insurance rates.
- Possibly attend court-ordered Operator Retraining Program.
Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Fight the ticket during a hearing.
- Possibly hire a traffic ticket lawyer to help prepare your case and represent you.
- Have no penalties, if found not guilty.
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
What It Means to Fight Your CT Traffic Ticket
Fighting your Connecticut traffic ticket means going before a judge and pleading your case for innocence, perhaps with the help of a traffic ticket lawyer.
If you're found "not guilty," you can avoid fines and penalties, but there are a few risks to contesting a Connecticut traffic ticket.
For example, if you plead "no contest" and pay your fines, you will avoid driving record points; if you plead "not guilty" and go to court, you give up that option and, if found guilty, you will accumulate points. These points and convictions may put you closer to additional penalties like a driver's license suspension and mandatory completion of a Operator Retraining Program.
Given these possible consequences, it's best to prepare as much as possible for your hearing.
Plead No Contest or Nolo Contendere
If you receive a CT traffic ticket and aren't required to appear in court, you may prefer to plead "no contest" and pay your fine, rather than going through a legal process.
Check your traffic ticket to make sure you aren't required to appear in court (some traffic violations do require court appearances); then, head over to our Paying Your Traffic Ticket section to learn more.
Dismiss Your Traffic Ticket
Ticket dismissal is also an option if you don't want to pay your traffic ticket fine.
You can ask your Connecticut court whether you're eligible to nolle your traffic ticket; if the prosecutors agree, this means your ticket is dismissed.
Learn more in our section about Defensive Driving.
Avoid Additional Charges
Your CT traffic ticket includes an “Answer Date." Whether you choose to plead "not guilty" and fight your ticket in court or plead "no contest" and pay your fine, you must do it by this date; otherwise, you face a driver's license suspension, surcharges, and reinstatement fees.
Notify the CT Traffic Court
Although your hearing will take place in one of Connecticut's Superior Courts, you'll plead and schedule with the Centralized Infractions Bureau (CIB). You can notify the CIB that you want to plead "not guilty" online, by mail, or by phone; your Superior Court will then provide a hearing date.
In Connecticut, you may be able to use the Infraction Ticket Processing system to plead "not guilty." Be ready with your traffic ticket number.
Note that it can take up to 30 days for your ticket to appear in the system; if your ticket doesn't show up, try again in 3 days.
Use the self-addressed envelope provided with your CT traffic ticket to enter your plea by mail.
No envelope? Mail your not guilty plea to:
Centralized Infractions Bureau
P.O. Box 5044
Hartford, CT 06102
Call the Connecticut CIB at (860) 263-2750. Make sure you have your traffic ticket information as the agent will ask for your citation number.
Reschedule or Postpone Your CT Court Hearing
Sometimes, traffic ticket hearings are months in the future, so it's not uncommon for other events to pop up.
Contact the CIB as soon as you realize you can't make your court date.
Hire a CT Traffic Ticket Attorney
Lots of drivers feel more comfortable going before a judge if they have legal counsel with them. If you hire a traffic ticket lawyer, he or she can help you:
- Prepare your case.
- Provide your testimony and evidence (you don't even have to speak if you don't want to).
- Call on witnesses.
- Negotiate a plea agreement.
- File an appeal if you're found guilty.
Prepare Your Case
Your traffic ticket attorney will help you prepare for your case; if you didn't hire one, you should:
- Practice your testimony.
- Call or subpoena any witnesses who can testify to your innocence.
- Gather up any evidence that proves you are innocent or were wrongly cited.
- Consider possible plea agreements.
- Locate your court before your hearing date to avoid being late.
Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury
In Connecticut, most traffic ticket hearings aren't too complicated. The judge will call your name, then you (and possibly your attorney) will walk to the front of the courtroom, and the hearing will begin.
Typically, the judge will listen to testimony and witnesses from both sides, view all evidence, and make a judgment or offer a plea agreement.
If you're found guilty, the judge will make you aware of the fines and surcharges you owe, as well as any other penalties (such as point accumulation, driver's license suspension, or Operator Retraining Program Enrollment).
NOTE: You must pay your fines and other costs to the clerk's or cashier's office by the deadline you receive after being found guilty. You can contact your CT court to find out about acceptable payment methods.
Filing an Appeal
If you're found guilty, you can visit your relevant Connecticut court's clerk's office to ask about filing an appeal. Alternatively, lawyers can handle this process for you.
Check Your CT Driving Record
Per the CT Point System, accumulating too many points leads to a driver's license suspension.
After your hearing, check your driving record to make sure:
- You received no points, if you were found not guilty.
- You received only the applicable number of points, if you were found guilty.
Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates
A guilty verdict doesn't just mean paying CT traffic ticket fines and court costs; chances are good your auto insurance provider will increase your rates the next time you renew your policy, too. You can compare auto insurance rates online to ensure you get a good deal.