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  • Fight Traffic Ticket in Tennessee

    Know Your Options

    You must enter one of the following pleas: guilty, no contest (nolo contendere), or not guilty. Regardless of plea, it must be entered before the ticket's compliance date expires.

    If you cannot find your citation, learn what steps to follow in our Lost Traffic Ticket page.

    Pay Ticket
    (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 defensive driving class.

    Learn more about
    Pay 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 not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.

    Learn more by reading below.

    What it Means to Fight Your TN Traffic Ticket

    Pleading not guilty means:

    • You are challenging the charge before a judge with the intent of having the charges reduced or the ticket dismissed.
    • You can represent yourself or hire legal counsel to prepare and present your case.
    • If the court rules in your favor, you still must pay court costs and, if applicable, legal fees.
    • If you are found guilty, you must pay the traffic ticket fine, court costs, and, if applicable, legal fees. The Department of Safety (DOS) will assign points to your driving record, possibly causing the suspension or revocation of your TN driver's license.
    • A guilty charge may cause a spike in your car insurance rates.

    Pleading Guilty or No Contest

    Pleading guilty or no contest forfeits your right to challenge the citation in court. Our Pay Traffic Ticket page has all the skinny on this topic.

    Notify the Court

    Read your citation. Some courts allow not guilty pleas to be entered by mail; others require a court appearance.

    If you enter your plea by mail, the court will send a court date to the address listed on the citation.

    Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney

    If your budget allows, strongly consider hiring legal counsel.

    A traffic ticket lawyer's experience and expertise will improve your chances for reduced charges or dismissal. This in turn could possibly save you from loss of driving privileges and increased car insurance premiums.

    Prepare Your Case

    If you opt to represent yourself, the onus is on you to gather evidence and build a strong defense. This may mean interviewing and subpoenaing witnesses and getting hold of your driving record.

    Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury

    After listening to both sides, the presiding judge will issue a verdict. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal. Check with the court clerk for appeal information.

    Check Your Driving Record

    Regardless of verdict, check your driving record for accuracy. Verify points and violations. Immediately alert the DOS of any errors.

    Instant Tennessee Driving Record

    Check for tickets, violations, and confirm your drivers license status with a instant self-check driving record. Each record may include suspensions, points, classifications, vital data, endorsements, expiration and driving status.

    License Number: TN

    Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates

    A guilty verdict could cause a jump in your car insurance premiums. If rates begin to stretch the budget, search online for a new provider.

    Registering a car?

    It's a good time to check car insurance rates

    Find the lowest rate among top providers.