Fight Traffic Ticket in UtahPage Overview
After getting a Utah traffic ticket, you have two ways to plead by the date listed on your citation: guilty or not guilty. Failing to either pay or contest the ticket could result in a warrant for your arrest and a suspended driver’s license. If you’ve misplaced it altogether, visit our page on lost UT traffic tickets.
- Pay the fine online or in court
- Option to plea bargain penalties
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
- Option to take defensive driving course to reduce points on driving record
Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket in court
- Choose to represent yourself during trial 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 below
If you decide not to pay the traffic ticket and fight the charges instead, you can dispute the traffic citation by appearing in court and entering a plea of not guilty. Check on your ticket for the payment deadline; this date also serves as your actual court appearance date for disputing the citation. Keep in mind that when you contest a traffic ticket, you aren’t guaranteed lesser charges or dismissal. But if you lose the battle and are convicted, you still have a few options to reduce the points on your driving record. You might also consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney to help you navigate the UT traffic court system.
The other alternative, pleading guilty, means paying the traffic ticket. The court will add points to your driving record for the violation(s), and you could see an increase in your auto insurance rate. For full details on the steps you need to take, visit our page on UT traffic ticket payment.
Avoid Being Issued a Warrant
Don’t ignore the ticket; that will cost you more in the long run. Determine how you will plead and then look into the course of action you must take before the deadline on your citation. If you don’t act in time, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest and suspend your driver’s license. Not being able to make the court date is not a valid excuse.
Reschedule Your Court Date
Rather than missing your court appearance and facing even more penalties, contact the court to reschedule. If you plan on paying and can’t meet the payment deadline, inquire about pushing that date back. It might be worth a shot.
Locate the State Court
Your Utah traffic ticket should include court contact info and address. If not, look online at the state’s court directory. If you were cited by the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), use its online local office finder.
Inform the Court in Person
To dispute your traffic ticket, you must appear in court and enter your plea not guilty. After that, try negotiating with the prosecuting attorney; you might be able to come to an agreement. If not, a trial will be scheduled so you can recount your side of the story to a judge or jury.
When going before a judge you might feel more comfortable with a legal professional on your side. Talk to a traffic ticket attorney about your case and see if that’s a sensible route for you and your budget. When finding a traffic ticket lawyer that suits you, be sure this person knows the ins and outs of UT traffic court and has a great handle on Utah traffic laws.
Keep in mind that when you go before the judge or jury to plead your case, the law enforcement officer who cited you will be doing the same. Therefore, you want to be well prepared. This is your chance to also call any witnesses to testify. The prosecutor might also be subpoenaing witnesses.
Whether you hire a Utah traffic ticket attorney and choose to represent yourself, be sure you have ironed out the facts of your case and any uncertainty about the whole process. Traffic court can sometimes seem intimidating or complicated, but it is still your right to go before a judge or jury and state your case.
The judge or jury will then render a verdict. If you’re found not guilty and the charges are dropped, you won’t have to pay the ticket but instead will likely still have to pay court fees of some sort (and of course, your attorney fees if applicable). If you are found guilty, the judge will inform you of how to pay the traffic ticket fines and the penalties of your sentence. Typically, this means added points on your driving record.
Whether you are found guilty or not, be sure the state record of your points is accurate. Following a traffic citation, it’s wise to check your driving record. Give the court time to process the verdict, and then double check that the points you see on file correspond. Additional points could mean increased auto insurance rates and getting one step closer to driver’s license suspension. To clean up your driving record, check out our page on point reduction.
If you’re found guilty and you’ve paid your ticket and court fines and fees, inquire with your auto insurance company on how the violation will affect your rates. Because points stay on your record for up to three years, you could see an increase in your insurance premium the next time you renew your policy. Get ahead of the added expense by shopping online to compare auto insurance rates.Other Topics in This Section