Fight Traffic Ticket in MissouriPage Overview
In Missouri you have two plea options: guilty and not guilty (you cannot plea "no contest" in a Missouri court). Regardless of plea, you must enter it within 30 days of receiving your ticket. If you cannot find your citation, read what to do in our Lost Traffic Ticket section.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- 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 by reading below
If you decide to challenge your 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 attorney.
- The court may rule in your favor by either reducing the charges or dismissing the 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 MO 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 or No Contest
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
Regardless of plea, you must submit it to the Fine Collection Center tickets (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.
Complete the FCC's Not Guilty Plea form. Mail the form along with the ticket, or a copy of the ticket to:
- Fine Collection Center
- P.O. Box 104540
- Jefferson City, MO 65110
Or, fax both the Not Guilty Plea form and your ticket to the FCC by dialing (573) 522-8504.
The FCC will then forward your not guilty plea to the county court from where you were cited. The presiding county court will then notify you by mail of a court date.
Considering the possible ramifications of a guilty charge,―points on driving record, possible suspended driver's license, higher car insurance rates―it's in your best interest to consult with a traffic ticket attorney. Though there are no guarantees, a traffic ticket lawyer will increase your chances for 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 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 verdict, check your driving record. Review it closely, looking 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.
Traffic ticket violations usually result in higher car insurance rates. If you find your current auto insurance rates are exceeding your budget, take the time to look for a new provider. Shop online at our Car Insurance Center. You'll be able to compare rates from a host of different auto insurance companies, allowing you to make a confident decision based on your coverage needs.Other Topics in This Section