Fight Traffic Ticket in WyomingPage Overview
You can plead guilty or no contest, pay your traffic ticket fine, and deal with the penalties, or you can plead not guilty and fight the ticket in court.
NOTE: Some citations state whether a driver must appear in court, regardless of how he wants to plead.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine, possibly online.
- Have a violation on your driving record.
- Risk license suspension or revocation.
- See increased auto insurance rates.
- Possibly attend a substance abuse course for DWUI-related violations.
Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Show up on hearing date and enter not guilty plea.
- Possibly hire a traffic ticket attorney to represent you.
- Face no penalties if found not guilty.
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
Each court has its own requirements and processes for drivers who want to contest citations, but overall fighting a WY traffic ticket means:
- Notifying the court you contest the charges.
- Appearing before a judge and pleading your case, possibly with legal help.
- Receiving your verdict.
You’ll move forward depending on the verdict. Drivers found not guilty can put the episodes behind them, but those found guilty must deal with all related ticket fines and penalties.
Pleading Guilty or No Contest
Sometimes, a driver finds it’s more convenient to plead guilty or no contest, pay the fine, and deal with the penalties―especially if he knows he’s guilty and the offense is minor.
For more information about this option, visit Paying Your Traffic Ticket.
Avoid Additional Charges
Your traffic ticket includes a hearing date. You must do one of the following by that date:
- Notify the court of your not guilty plea .
- Show up (on that date) and enter your not guilty plea.
- Pay your fine (if you’re pleading guilty.
NOTE: See below for information on how to notify your court.
Most courts allow a grace period, so if you don’t make it to court on your scheduled date (or don’t pay your fine if you’re found guilty) within the grace period, you’ll receive a notice. The notice gives you a new date by which you must show up in court or pay the fine.
Failure to appear or pay by the new date puts you at risk for license suspension. Depending on your violation, the state could issue an arrest warrant.
Determine Where to Plead
Two types of courts handle traffic ticket cases in Wyoming: Municipal Courts and Circuit Courts.
Municipal Courts handle city-level tickets; Circuit Courts handle tickets issued by sheriff departments and the Highway Patrol.
Your ticket will state which court is handling your ticket.
Inform the Court
How you inform the court of your not guilty plea depends on the court. Some courts require formal processes (generally, this means you must complete a form); others only require you to show up on the date of your hearing.
Check your citation for specific instructions; if you can’t find any or are confused, contact your court.
Rescheduling or Postponing Your Hearing
Whether your court requires a formal scheduling process or only requires you to appear in court on the date on your ticket, you must notify your court as soon as you realize you can’t make the date. Most courts will reschedule hearings if you make your request within a reasonable time.
Drivers hire traffic ticket attorneys for different reasons.
You might feel more comfortable and confident if you have a lawyer to:
- Help prepare your case.
- Speak on your behalf.
- Present evidence and question the ticketing officer.
You might also need an attorney to:
- Postpone or reschedule your hearing.
- Negotiate a plea agreement.
- Appeal a guilty verdict.
NOTE: Most drivers hire attorneys if they’re facing serious criminal charges, such as those involving DWUI or vehicular manslaughter.
Factors to consider as you prepare your case include:
- Practicing your testimony, especially if you plan to speak for yourself.
- Determining whether you need witnesses, and how to subpoena them.
- Collecting any evidence you have that can help prove your innocence.
NOTE: An attorney can help you determine whether you might be eligible for a plea agreement (and whether that’s a better idea than trying for an outright “not guilty” verdict).
Again, exact processes vary by court, but whether you have your hearing the date printed on the ticket or the court schedules you a date after you enter a plea, you can expect that the judge will:
- Listen to testimony (including witness testimony) from each side.
- View evidence.
- The judge will deliver a verdict.
Drivers who are found guilty are responsible for all related ticket fines and penalties.
Filing an Appeal
You can appeal a guilty verdict. Just talk with the judge or clerk of the court about the filing process and associated fees, or have your traffic ticket lawyer handle the process.
Wyoming doesn’t use a point system, but the state does record your violations on your driving record; if you accumulate four violations in a 12-month period, you face license suspension.
Check your driving record after receiving your verdict. Make sure the state added only the applicable violation to your record if the judge found you guilty, and no violations if the judge found you innocent.
Refer to WY Driving Records to get a copy of yours today.
If the judge finds you guilty, your auto insurance provider might increase your rates the next time you renew your policy.
Of course, this consequence depends on your provider and:
- Your policy.
- Your driving record.
- Any provider- or policy-related rewards program for which you’re eligible.
Check with your agent about a possible increase, and, if necessary, start shopping for lower rates now to find a more affordable deal.Other Topics in This Section