Fight Traffic Ticket in OhioPage Overview
You have three traffic ticket plea options: guilty, no contest and not guilty. Regardless of plea, you must enter before the court date listed on your Ohio traffic citation. If you've lost your ticket, learn what steps to take 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
- Possibly have points reduced by attending a remedial driving school
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 not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
Learn more by reading below
Challenging your ticket in court means:
- You may represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket attorney.
- No penalties or fines if the court rules in your favor. You still, however, must pay court fees and, if applicable, legal fees.
- The court possibly issues a guilty verdict, requiring paying the traffic ticket fine, as well as court fees and, if applicable, legal fees. Points will be assigned to your driving record, causing a possible increase in car insurance premiums and loss of driving privileges.
Pleading Guilty or Not Contest
Pleading guilty or no contest waives your right to a trial by court. No further action is required after paying the traffic ticket fine. Read more in our Paying Your Traffic Ticket section.
Avoid Being Issued a Warrant
Failing to enter a plea before the ticket's court date expires could lead to the suspension of your Ohio driver's license and a bench warrant for your arrest.
To challenge your ticket in court you must enter a not guilty plea. You can do this either by appearing in court on the date and time listed on your citation, or by visiting the court with your traffic ticket and entering a not guilty plea in writing and completing the required paperwork. The court will then issue you a future trial date. If you opt to enter a not guilty plea in writing, be sure that you present it before the citation's court appearance date expires.
If your budget allows, strongly consider hiring legal counsel. A traffic ticket lawyer's advice might improve your chances for a favorable decision. This could mean reduced charges or even outright dismissal, sparing you of points and increased car insurance rates.
If you opt against hiring a traffic ticket lawyer, you'll need to prepare your own case. You'll be pitted against a seasoned prosecutor, requiring presenting a strong defense. In addition to gathering evidence this may also include subpoenaing witnesses and ordering a copy of your driving record.
After hearing both sides, the judge will issue a verdict. If found not guilty, you'll be spared of fines and penalties but still be required to pay court and, if applicable, legal fees. If, however, the judge finds you guilty, you'll be instructed of all repercussions.
Check your driving record after the trial. Verify for accuracy. Make sure the point total is correct. Any errors could go against you, causing the possible loss of driving privileges and increased car insurance rates.
You always have the option to counter increased car insurance rates by shopping for a new provider. Comparing car insurance rates online is a fast and convenient way for finding an affordable coverage package.Other Topics in This Section