Fight Traffic Ticket in Missouri
To contest a Fine Collection Center (FCC) traffic ticket, you must submit a "not guilty" plea by mail or by fax. You'll receive notice of your court date by mail.
NOTE: If you don't have a FCC traffic ticket, refer to your ticket or contact the MO court for specific details on fighting your charge.
In Missouri, you have a couple of plea options:
- Not guilty.
You cannot plea "no contest" in a Missouri court. Regardless of plea, you must enter it within 30 days of receiving your traffic ticket. If you're unable to find your citation, find out what to do in our Lost Traffic Ticket section.
- Pay the fine.
- Option to plea bargain penalties.
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.
- Possible option to take Driver Improvement Program (DIP) to reduce points.
Learn more about
paying your traffic ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket via trial.
- Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney.
- Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties.
- No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.
Learn more below.
If you decide to challenge your Missouri traffic ticket, you must enter a "not guilty" plea. This means:
- You are exercising your right to challenge the ticket in court.
- You have the option of representing yourself, or hiring a traffic ticket lawyer.
- The court may rule in your favor by either reducing the charges or dismissing the traffic ticket. You still must pay court and, if applicable, legal fees.
- The court may find you "guilty." Points will be assessed to your driving record and, depending on the circumstances, your Missouri driver's license may get suspended. You must also pay fines, court fees and, if applicable, legal fees. Depending on your car insurance provider you may see an increase in your auto insurance premiums.
Pleading Guilty in Missouri
Entering a guilty plea forfeits your right to a trial by judge. This means you accept the charges and understand the resulting penalties (points, possible loss of driving privileges, increased auto insurance rates).
Avoid Late Penalties
However you decide to proceed, you must submit your plea to the Fine Collection Center (FCC) within 30 days. If you allow the date to pass without responding, the presiding court may suspend your Missouri driver's license and/or issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
You must complete the FCC's Not Guilty Plea form and mail it along with your traffic ticket (or a copy) to:
Fine Collection Center
P.O. Box 104540
Jefferson City, MO 65110
You can also fax both the Not Guilty Plea form and your ticket to the FCC at (573) 522-8504.
The FCC will then forward your "not guilty" plea to the MO county court from where you were cited. The presiding court will then notify you by mail of a court date.
When you consider the possible ramifications of a "guilty" charge in Missouri (i.e., points on driving record, a possible suspended driver's license, higher car insurance rates, etc.), it's in your best interest to consult with a traffic ticket attorney. Although there are no guarantees, a traffic ticket lawyer could increase your chances of getting your charges reduced or the ticket dismissed.
If you can't afford legal counsel, you'll need to prepare your own defense. Depending on the circumstances behind the violation, this may include interviewing witnesses and obtaining a copy of your Missouri driving record.
After hearing your case, the judge will issue a verdict. If found "guilty," you will be informed on how to proceed with paying fines and court fees.
Regardless of the verdict, check your driving record in Missouri to review for errors with points and/or listed violations. Additional points and/or violations could prompt the state to suspend your Missouri driver's license, or cause your car insurance provider to raise your premiums.
Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates
If you find your current auto insurance rates are exceeding your budget, take the time to look for a new provider. You'll be able to compare rates from different auto insurance companies to make an educated decision on your coverage needs.