Fight Traffic Ticket in Utah
To fight your traffic ticket in Utah, you must appear in court and enter a “ not guilty" plea on your scheduled appearance date. Your UT traffic ticket provides instructions, or you can contact the appropriate traffic court directly.
Continue reading this page to learn how to fight your traffic ticket in Utah.
Fighting Your UT Traffic Ticket
After receiving a Utah traffic ticket, you have a couple options to plead by the date listed on your citation:
- Not guilty.
Failing to either pay or fight the traffic ticket could result in a warrant for your arrest and a suspended UT driver's license. If you've misplaced your traffic ticket 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 driving record points.
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.
What It Means to Fight Your Traffic Ticket
If you decide not to pay your UT traffic ticket and fight the charges instead, you can dispute the violation by appearing in court and entering a plea of " not guilty." Check on your traffic ticket for the payment deadline. This date also serves as your actual court appearance date for disputing the citation.
Keep in mind, when you contest a traffic ticket, you are not guaranteed lesser charges or dismissal. However, if you receive a " guilty" conviction, you still have a few options to reduce the points added to your driving record. You may want to consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney to help you navigate the Utah traffic court system.
Pleading Guilty in Utah
The other alternative to fighting your charge is pleading "guilty," which means paying the traffic ticket. The court will add points to your Utah 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 payments.
Avoid Being Issued a Warrant
Don't ignore your traffic ticket as doing so 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 fail to respond in time, the court can issue an arrest warrant and suspend your UT driver's license. Simply not being able to make the court date is not a valid excuse.
Reschedule Your UT Court Date
Rather than missing your court appearance and facing even more penalties, be sure to contact the court to reschedule. If you plan on paying and can't meet the payment deadline, inquire about changing the date to give you more time to pay.
Notify the Utah Court
Locate the State Court
Your Utah traffic ticket should include the relevant court contact information 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 fight your traffic ticket in Utah, you must appear in court and enter your " not guilty" plea. Afterwards, try negotiating with the prosecuting attorney as you may 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.
Hire a UT Traffic Ticket Attorney
When going before a judge, you might feel more comfortable with a legal professional on your side. Talk to a traffic ticket lawyer about your case and see if that's a sensible route for you and your budget.
When seeking a traffic ticket lawyer, be sure this person knows the ins and outs of UT traffic court and has a great handle on Utah traffic laws.
Prepare Your Case
When you go before the judge or jury to fight your charge, 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.
Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury
Whether you hire a Utah traffic ticket attorney or 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 traffic ticket but will likely still have to pay court fees of some sort (and 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 points added to your UT driving record.
Check Your Utah Driving Record
Whether you are found " guilty" or "not guilty," be sure the state's record of your points is accurate. After a conviction of a traffic violation, it's wise to check your driving record. Give the court time to process the verdict and then verify the points on file correspond. Additional points could mean increased auto insurance rates and getting one step closer to a driver's license suspension. To clean up your driving record, check out our page on defensive driving courses.
Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates
If you were found " guilty," and paid your ticket fees and court fines, inquire with your auto insurance company on how the violation will affect your rates. Since points stay on your record for up to 3 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.