Fight Traffic Ticket in New Mexico

SUMMARY: How to Fight a New Mexico Traffic Ticket

If you are going to plead “not guilty" and fight your NM traffic ticket, you must appear in court on your scheduled arraignment date.

For detailed instructions, check your NM traffic ticket or contact the appropriate traffic court.

Continue reading this page to learn how to fight your New Mexico traffic ticket.

Fight a New Mexico Traffic Ticket

In New Mexico, you have several plea options:

  • Guilty.
  • No contest (nolo contendere).
  • Not guilty.

Regardless of plea, you must enter it by the appearance date listed on your citation. If you cannot find your citation, visit our Lost Traffic Ticket section.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

Learn more about
paying your traffic ticket »

Fight 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.

What It Means to Fight Your NM Traffic Ticket

In New Mexico, contesting your traffic ticket means:

  • You are exercising your right to challenge your traffic violation in court.
  • You may be able to negotiate a plea bargain agreement for reduced charges or outright dismissal.
  • You may represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket lawyer.
  • The court may find you "not guilty" and dismiss the traffic ticket, requiring you to pay court fees and, if applicable, legal fees.
  • The court may find you "guilty," requiring you to pay fines, court fees and, if applicable legal fees. The court will also assign points to your driving record, possibly leading to the suspension of your New Mexico driver's license.

Pleading Guilty or No Contest

Pleading "guilty" or "no contest" to your violation forfeits your right to a trial. It's an admission of guilt, requiring nothing more than paying the fine listed on your NM traffic ticket. Learn more on our page titled Paying Your Traffic Ticket.

Avoid Being Issued a Bench Warrant

Failing to make a court appearance or entering a plea could result in the suspension of your New Mexico driver's license and a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.

Notify the New Mexico Traffic Court

You must appear at the court listed on your citation to plead "not guilty." Your traffic ticket will contain specific instructions, including the exact time and date. If you have any questions about the process, contact the court.

Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney

Consider hiring a New Mexico traffic ticket lawyer if your budget allows. You may be able to consult with one for free to see if your case warrants an attorney. A traffic ticket lawyer's expertise in New Mexico traffic law might improve your chances for reduced charges or outright dismissal. A favorable decision could possibly spare you from a suspended driver's license, having points added to your driving record, and increased car insurance rates.

Prepare Your Court Case

If you opt against hiring a traffic ticket attorney, you'll need to organize your own defense. This may include ordering a copy of your driving record and/or subpoenaing witnesses.

Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury

After hearing both sides, the judge will issue a verdict. If found "guilty," the court will fully explain how to proceed paying fines and fees. If you disagree with the judge's verdict, you do have the right to appeal. Inquire with the court clerk regarding the appeal process.

Check Your NM Driving Record

Regardless of the verdict after fighting your traffic ticket, check your New Mexico driving record for accuracy. Make sure there are no incorrect points or violations. A simple clerical error that adds to an accumulation of points could cause the loss of driving privileges and a jump in your car insurance rates.

Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates

The appearance of a traffic violation on your driving record may cause a spike in your car insurance rates. You can counter a rate increase by shopping for a new auto insurance provider. Comparing car insurance online is a convenient way for finding a coverage plan that best meets your needs and budget.

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