Fight Traffic Ticket in ConnecticutPage Overview
Unless it’s a traffic violation (which usually requires a court appearance), CT allows drivers to plead no contest to their traffic infractions and pay online or by mail; however, drivers can choose to plead no guilty and fight their cases 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).
Fighting your CT traffic ticket means going before a judge and pleading your case for innocence, perhaps with the help of a traffic ticket lawyer.
Drivers found not guilty can avoid fines and penalties, but there are a few risks to contesting a traffic ticket.
For example, drivers who plead no contest and pay their fines avoid driving record points; those who plead not guilty and go to court give up that option and, if they’re found guilty, will accumulate points. For some drivers, these points and convictions put them closer to additional penalties like license suspension and Operator Retraining Program enrollment.
Given these possible consequences, it’s best to prepare as much as possible for your hearing.
Plead No Contest or Nolo Contendere
Drivers who receive traffic infractions (as opposed to violations) and aren’t required to appear in court often find pleading no contest and paying their fines preferable to going through a legal process.
Check your 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.
Nolle the Ticket
Ticket dismissal is an option for some drivers who want to contest their tickets.
Drivers who can go through the Regional Motor Vehicle courts can ask their prosecutors to nolle their tickets; if the prosecutors agree, this means the tickets are dismissed.
Learn more in our Ticket Dismissal section.
Avoid Additional Charges
Your ticket includes an “Answer Date” near the middle on the right side. 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 license suspension, surcharges, and reinstatement fees.
Although your hearing will take place in one of the state’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 over the phone; your Superior Court will then provide a hearing date.
Use the Infraction Ticket Processing system (the same system drivers can use to pay their tickets online). 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, CT recommends trying again in 3 days.
Use the self-addressed envelope provided with your ticket.
No envelope? Mail your not guilty plea to:
- Centralized Infractions Bureau
- PO Box 5044
- Hartford, CT 06102-5044
Call the CIB at (860) 263-2750, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make sure you have your ticket; the agent will ask for your number.
Rescheduling or Postponing Your 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 date.
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.
Your traffic ticket attorney will help you prepare for your case; if you didn’t hire one, keep these points in mind.
- 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.
Most traffic ticket hearings aren’t too complicated. The judge will call your name, you (and possibly your attorney) will walk to the front of the courtroom, and the hearing will begin.
Typically, the judge will listen to both sides’ testimony and witnesses, view both sides’ 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, 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 court to find out about acceptable payment methods.
Visit Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information.
Filing an Appeal
Drivers found guilty can visit their court’s clerk’s office to ask about filing an appeal. Alternatively, lawyers can handle this process.
Per the CT Point System, accumulating too many points leads to 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.
A guilty verdict doesn’t just mean paying 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.Other Topics in This Section