Fight Traffic Ticket in Vermont
Were you recently issued a Vermont traffic ticket? Do you have the means to prove you're innocent of the charges? If so, keep reading to find out how to contest that VT citation in court.
Plead “Denied" to Your VT Ticket
The first step to contesting your VT traffic ticket is entering a plea of “denied." You must plea within 20 days of being issued the citation.
To plea, you'll need to indicate “denied" on your citation and mail your ticket back to the Vermont Judicial Bureau at:
P.O. Box 607
White River Junction, VT 05001
If you can't find your VT traffic ticket, take a look at our section on Lost Traffic Tickets for guidance on what to do next.
Once you've successfully entered your plea, the Judicial Bureau will mail you a date and time to return to court for your hearing. Traffic violation hearings are held at a number of Vermont courthouses—check your notice for your specific location.
When you receive your hearing date, mark your calendar! Missing a court date could lead to the following penalties:
- Warrant for your arrest.
- Suspended driver's license.
If you still have questions about submitting a plea of “denied," call the Vermont Judicial Bureau at (802) 295-8869 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
What Does a “Denied" Plea Mean?
By entering a plea of “denied," you're exercising your legal right to stand before a VT hearing officer and make a case for your innocence. You're also verifying that you:
- Can devote the time necessary to appearing in court, possibly on multiple occasions.
- Know you could face a jail sentence if convicted of a serious offense, like DUI or DWI.
- Understand additional points could go on your driving record.
Still on the fence about submitting a “denied" plea? Check out our guide, When to Fight a Traffic Ticket, for more.
Fighting Your VT Citation in Court
Prior to your hearing, consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney. If you represent yourself, you'll need to know how to properly follow all Vermont traffic court procedures. Vermont courts do not appoint counsel to defendants in traffic violation cases.
Your VT traffic ticket hearing will typically follow these steps:
- Opening arguments from you (or your attorney) and the Vermont state prosecutor.
- Presentation of:
- Cross-examination of witnesses and/or rebuttals.
- Each side gives closing arguments.
- Hearing officer issues a verdict.
- If you're found guilty, the court will proceed to administer your sentence.
File an Appeal
If you'd like to reverse a conviction, you'll need to request an appeal with the Vermont Supreme Court within 10 days of receiving the verdict. The fee for filing an appeal is $295.
To file an appeal, you'll need to provide:
- Notice of Appeal (Form 800-00005).
- Docketing Statement (Form 800-00006).
- Application to Waive Filing Fees and Service Costs (Form 228-IFP).
- Use this form if you won't be able to afford the appeal filing fee.
Send the above documents to:
Vermont Supreme Court
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609
For more information on making an appeal, take a look at the VT Supreme Court's appeal instructions.
Consequences of Fighting Your Traffic Ticket
Depending on the VT hearing officer's verdict, contesting your traffic citation will yield long-term consequences—positive OR negative.
If you're found guilty of your VT traffic ticket, your punishment could include any of the following:
- Points on your driving record.
- Community service.
- Mandatory enrollment in VT traffic school.
- Loss of driving privileges.
- Jail time.
NOTE: If you have a valid Vermont commercial driver's license (CDL) you're required by law to inform your employer of any traffic charges within 30 days of conviction. This does not include parking violations.
Although enrolling in VT traffic school won't take points off your record, doing so can make you a much better driver.
By completing a traffic school course, you can lower your chances of getting another ticket AND learn a few new skills to keep you safe on the road.
Not Guilty Verdict
If you're found not guilty of the traffic violations, you can look forward to the following:
- Dismissal of all charges.
- No points added to your driving record.
- Insurance rates don't increase.
- No penalties or fines to deal with.
After receiving the results of your traffic case, make sure to check the accuracy of your Vermont driving record. Erroneous information can lead to unwarranted stress, fines, and penalties in your future.