Fight Traffic Ticket in MontanaPage Overview
You have two initial plea options in Montana: guilty or not guilty. You may plead "no contest," but only after you've first pleaded "not guilty" and met with the county or city attorney.
Regardless of how you plead, you must enter it with the court before the appearance date posted on your citation. If you cannot find your traffic ticket, read what to do in our Lost Traffic Ticket section.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
- 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
- Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties
- No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
Learn more by reading below
Challenging your traffic ticket means:
- You have accepted your right to stand before a judge and contest the charge.
- You may represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket attorney.
- The court may rule you not guilty and reduce your charge or dismiss the ticket. You would still pay court and, if applicable, legal fees.
- The court may rule you guilty. You would pay fines, court fees and, if applicable, legal fees. Points would be assigned to your driving record.
Pleading guilty forfeits your right to a court trial. No court appearance is required. Submitting your payment is all that's needed to satisfy the court. Read more in our Paying Your Traffic Ticket section.
Avoid Being Issued a Warrant
Be sure to enter your plea before the appearance date on your citation. Failing to respond comes with consequences. The court will suspend your Montana driver's license and, depending on the circumstances, possibly issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
You will enter a "not guilty" plea with the court listed on your citation. In most instances, you will be required to enter your plea in person. Call the court if you have any questions.
If your budget allows, hire legal counsel. traffic ticket attorney's expertise will heighten your chances for reduced charges or a dismissed ticket. This in turn could spare you from loss of driving privileges and increased car insurance premiums.
If you can't afford a traffic ticket lawyer, you'll need to prepare your own defense. This may require interviewing witnesses, gathering photos, and ordering a copy of your driving record.
After hearing your defense, the court will issue a verdict. If found guilty, you will be instructed on how to pay all fines and fees.
After a verdict has been issued, check your driving record for accuracy. Verify that the appropriate traffic violations are listed, and nothing more. An accumulation of offenses could lead to license suspension and higher car insurance rates.
If a guilty charge causes points to be added to your driving record, check with your car insurance company on how this will affect your rates. If your premiums exceed your budget, search for more affordable coverage by comparing car insurance rates online.Other Topics in This Section