Fight Traffic Ticket in Vermont
If you plan to fight your traffic ticket, you'll need to schedule a hearing and plead " not guilty" in court. For specific instructions, refer to your traffic ticket or contact the VT Judicial Bureau directly.
Continue reading this page for information about fighting your Vermont traffic ticket.
Fighting Your VT Traffic Ticket
After getting a traffic ticket in Vermont, you must determine how you will plead:
- No contest.
- Pay the fine online or by mail.
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.
- No option to take defensive driving course to reduce 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.
- Possible 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 VT Traffic Ticket
If you want to deny the traffic ticket charges, you can state your case before a judge. You'll be granted a hearing once the court receives your answer of “Denied" in writing along with the cop's documentation. Then, you can tell your side of the story, present any witnesses and discuss why you are disputing the charges. You might consider consulting a traffic ticket lawyer to help you prepare and present your case.
Pleading "guilty" means paying the traffic ticket. Vermont makes it easy by offering an online payment option, or you can pay by mail. After admitting guilt or pleading "no contest," the state 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 Vermont traffic ticket payments.
Notify the Vermont Traffic Court
You must notify the Vermont Judicial Bureau in writing of your decision to contest the traffic ticket. Simply check the “Denied" box on the actual citation and mail it to the listed address. You can find full details on the back of the white copy of your VT traffic ticket.
As long as the traffic court receives your answer in time, you are in good shape to proceed with your dispute.
Receive Hearing Notification
Once the VT Judicial Bureau receives your answer in writing and the law enforcement agent's paperwork, it will set a hearing date and mail you a letter. This notification will include details on where and when you need to show up in person. Don't assume you can just go before a judge without a scheduled hearing.
Hire a VT Traffic Ticket Attorney
When stating your case before a judge, you might feel more comfortable with the help of a traffic ticket attorney. You're best bet is to chat with one about your case and see if hiring legal counsel is a sensible route for you and your budget. During your interview process, be sure you look for a traffic ticket lawyer that who knows the ins and outs of Vermont traffic court and has a great handle on VT traffic laws.
Prepare Your Case
During your hearing, the law enforcement officer who cited you will also be stating his case against you. Therefore, you want to be well prepared. This includes subpoenaing any witnesses to testify ahead of time.
Also, make sure you have ironed out the facts of your case and any uncertainty about the whole process before your hearing date. Being well prepared with a solid case will help diminish any feelings of intimidation you might have.
Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury
Once you and the cop offer your sides of the story, the judge will 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 of course, your attorney fees if applicable).
If you are found " guilty," points will be added to your VT driving record and the judge will inform you of how much you owe. This amount is also shown on the judgment itself (the paper you receive at the end of the hearing).
Check Your Vermont Driving Record
After receiving a traffic ticket, it's wise to check your driving record. Whether you are found "guilty" or "not guilty," be sure the state's record of your points is accurate. Once you give the court time to process the verdict, double check that the points you see on file correctly add up as these points could cause an increase in auto insurance rates and get you one step closer to a suspended driver's license.
Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates
If you're found " guilty" and paid your ticket fees and court fines, inquire with your auto insurance company on how the additional driving record points will affect your rates. Since points stay on your record for 2 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.