Fight Traffic Ticket in Indiana

SUMMARY: How to Fight an Indiana Traffic Ticket

If you decide to fight your ticket, you must submit a "not guilty" plea in court. Refer to your traffic ticket for specific details. Depending on where you received your ticket, you may need to contact the court directly to schedule a court hearing.

Fight Your IN Traffic Ticket

If you believe you're not guilty of the violation (or can prove you were ticketed in error), you may plead guilty and fight the ticket in court. Otherwise, you can plead "guilty" or "no contest" to your ticket and pay the fine online, by mail, or by phone. Check your ticket to find out if a court appearance is mandatory.

NOTE: Contact your Indiana traffic court to find out if you have the option to dismiss your traffic ticket by completing a defensive driving program.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Accumulate driving record points.
  • Get higher auto insurance rates.
  • Possibly attend Driver Safety Program to keep violation off driving record.
  • Voluntarily attend DSP to offset points and get possible auto insurance discount.
  • Use a deferral program (if eligible and county offers it).

Learn more about
paying your traffic ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest ticket in court.
  • Seek legal counsel for representation.
  • Face no penalties if found not guilty.
  • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).

What It Means to Fight Your Indiana Traffic Ticket

Fighting your IN traffic ticket means denying guilt and going before a judge to prove your innocence.

Due to the legal aspects, you may choose to hire a traffic ticket attorney to help you prepare your case and present in the courtroom.

If you win your case, you can go home and put it behind you. If you lose, however, you'll have to pay your IN traffic ticket fine, court costs, and any other related surcharges, as well as deal with violation-related penalties.

Plead Guilty or No Contest in Indiana

Unless you committed an offense that requires a court appearance (your traffic ticket will state as much), you can plead "guilty" or "no contest" and pay your fine.

For many, this is the most convenient option; especially if your Indiana court has an online payment option.

Read our page about Paying Your Traffic Ticket to learn more.

Avoid Additional Charges

You must notify the IN traffic court if you're submitting a "not guilty" plea (and schedule a hearing). Alternatively, you can appear in court on the date on your ticket, and notify the judge to receive a hearing date.

The court will notify the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to suspend your driver's license if you fail to:

  • Respond to the citation.
  • Show up on your hearing date.
  • Pay your fines and other costs (if you're found guilty) within the allotted amount of time.

Notify the IN Traffic Court

Find Your Court

Indiana traffic tickets begin on a county level. Check your traffic ticket to find which Indiana county court is handling your case.

Inform the IN County Court

To inform the traffic court of your "not guilty" plea, you can:

  • Choose the “not guilty" option and mail the traffic ticket using the address provided on the citation.
  • Visit the IN county court and tell the clerk you want to plead "not guilty."
  • Show up to court on the date printed on your traffic ticket and tell the judge you want to plead "not guilty." You'll then receive a hearing date.

NOTE: Refer to your Indiana traffic ticket for specific details on how to notify the court of your "not guilty" plea and schedule a hearing. If you cannot find any information, call your court directly.

Rescheduling or Postponing Your Hearing in Indiana

Let your IN traffic court know before your scheduled hearing if you need to postpone or reschedule.

Hire an IN Traffic Ticket Attorney

Consider hiring a traffic ticket lawyer whenever you feel uncomfortable facing a judge by yourself—especially if you're facing serious criminal charges.

An attorney skilled in Indiana traffic laws can help you:

  • Prepare for your case, including practicing your testimony, gathering evidence, and subpoenaing witnesses.
  • Negotiate a plea agreement, or talk to the judge about attending a Driver Safety Program.
  • Appeal a guilty verdict.

Prepare Your Case

Some ideas to keep in mind as you prepare for your IN traffic case:

  • Go over your testimony and determining whether you or your attorney will speak for you.
  • Collect any evidence that proves your citation isn't justified.
  • Remember if there were any witnesses and determine whether to call or subpoena them.
  • Talk with your attorney about plea agreement options.
  • Look into the possibility of a defensive driving course (just in case the hearing isn't going your way).

Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury

During your hearing, the prosecutor will present testimony, evidence, and witnesses that prove you committed the offense, and then you—or your attorney—will provide the same to prove your innocence. Next:

  • If the judge finds you "not guilty," great―you can go home!
  • If he finds you "guilty," you'll have to hang around a little while to find out about all your ticket fines, court costs, and related surcharges, as well as the traffic violation penalties.

You can learn more about all that in our Ticket Fines and Penalties in Indiana section.

Filing an Appeal in Indiana

An attorney can help you file an appeal. If you didn't hire legal help, talk to the court's clerk about how to file an appeal.

NOTE: You'll most likely have to pay extra fees for an appeal.

Check Your IN Driving Record

Monitoring your Indiana driving record can help you track increasing points and violations on your record. Check your IN driving record if:

  • You're found "guilty." Make sure only the applicable number of points show up.
  • The judge allows you to complete a Driver Safety Program to keep the violation off your record.

View our page about IN Driving Records to learn how to get a copy of your record.

Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates

Don't be surprised if your auto insurance provider increases your coverage rates over a guilty verdict. Actually, you might want to discuss the possibility with your agent before you step foot into an IN traffic court.

If you find out you're facing a rate increase, consider comparing auto insurance rates online to find more affordable coverage.

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