Fight Traffic Ticket in Montana
To fight your MT traffic ticket, you'll need to submit a "not guilty" plea before the deadline date your traffic ticket and appear in court.
Check your traffic ticket for specific details or contact the appropriate traffic court.
You have a couple plea options in Montana:
- Not guilty.
You may plead "no contest," but only after you've first pleaded "not guilty" and met with the county or city attorney. In either case, you must enter it with the Montana court by the appearance date shown on your citation.
NOTE: 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.
In Montana, challenging your traffic ticket means:
- You accept your right to stand before a judge and contest the charge.
- You may represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket lawyer.
- The court may find you "not guilty" and reduce your charge or dismiss the traffic ticket. You would still pay court and, if applicable, legal fees.
- The court may find you "guilty." You would pay fines, court fees and, if applicable, legal fees. Points would be assigned to your MT driving record.
Pleading "guilty" forfeits your right to a court trial. No court appearance is required; submitting your payment is all the court requires. Read more on our Paying Your Montana Traffic Ticket section.
Avoid Being Issued a Warrant
Be sure to enter your plea before the appearance date listed on your traffic citation. Failing to respond comes with consequences. The court will suspend your Montana driver's license and, depending on the circumstances, issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
You will need to enter a "not guilty" plea with the MT court listed on your traffic citation. In most instances, you will be required to enter your plea in person. Call the court directly if you have any questions.
If your budget allows, hire legal counsel. You can use a traffic ticket attorney's expertise to increase your chances for reduced charges or a dismissed traffic ticket, which could spare you from a loss of driving privileges and increased car insurance premiums.
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 Montana 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.
Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates
If a guilty charge causes points to be added to your MT 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.