Fight Traffic Ticket in MinnesotaPage Overview
In Minnesota you have the option to plead either guilty or not guilty. If you cannot find your citation, learn what to do in our Lost Traffic Ticket page.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine
- Option to plea bargain penalties
- Possibly have license suspended
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
Learn more about
Paying Your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket via trial
- Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney
- Negotiate a settlement before appearing in court
- No penalties or fines if found not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
- Court finds you guilt, must pay fines, court/attorney fees and incur penalties
Learn more by reading below
Contesting your traffic ticket means:
- Possibly negotiating a settlement during your hearing, eliminating the need for a trial.
- Building a defense to present to the court. You may represent yourself, or hire a traffic ticket attorney to deliver your case.
- Court dismisses your ticket, absolving you of paying any fines. You still must pay court fees and, if applicable, attorney fees.
- Court finds you guilty
Pleading guilty forfeits your right to a trial. Paying your MV traffic ticket is an admission of guilt. Learn more in our Paying Your Traffic Ticket section.
How you notify the court depends on your district or county. District 10, for example, requires that you notify a hearing officer in person at the District's Violations Bureau. While the more rural districts require that you notify the presiding court listed on your citation either in person or by mail. Your ticket will provide detailed information on how to respond.
Should you have questions, call the court listed on your citation.
Be sure to act within your district's timeframe (this will be posted on your citation).
Districts With Hearing Officers
Appearing before a hearing officer is your opportunity to reach a settlement. Generally this may include a reduced fine, keeping the violation off your driver's record, or ticket dismissal. If an agreement cannot be reached, the hearing officer will schedule you a court date.
You have the right to defend yourself, but hiring a traffic ticket lawyer will increase your chances for a reduced charge or a dismissed ticket.
You will be notified by mail of your court date. If you've moved since the citation was issued, be sure the court has your new mailing address.
If you decide to defend yourself you will need to bolster your case by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and maybe ordering a copy of your driving record.
After hearing your defense, the court will issue a verdict. If found guilty, you will be informed of your fine and possible penalties (suspended or revoked license).
NOTE: Do not miss your court appearance. Depending on the court, a bench warrant for your arrest may be issued.
After the verdict, check your driving record for accuracy. If your ticket was dismissed, make sure it does not appear on your record. Or, if you were found guilty, confirm no other violations have been erroneously added. Any errors on your driving record could cause your MN driver's license to be suspended or revoked, and cause a considerable jump in your car insurance rates.
Counter any raise in your car insurance rates by shopping around for a new provider. You can do this from home by comparing auto insurance rates online from a variety of car insurance providers.Other Topics in This Section