Fight Traffic Ticket in Alaska
You may have gotten a traffic ticket, but if you feel you've been wrongly cited, you may not have to pay it.
You have the option to contest your AK traffic ticket by pleading not guilty and going to court.
Read below to find out more about this process and how to fight your Alaska traffic ticket.
Pleading Not Guilty in Alaska
Pleading “not guilty" to your AK traffic ticket means you believe you did not violate the law in question.
It's important to understand that, in Alaska, the details of pleading not guilty vary by the municipality or county where your ticket was issued.
Always check the citation you were issued for specific directions and information regarding:
- Which court to contact.
- How long you have to contact the court.
- Exact fine amounts.
- Your appointed court date and time.
- Whether you can reschedule your court date.
Generally, to begin the process of contesting a traffic ticket in Alaska, you'll have to:
- Check the “not guilty" box on your citation.
- Sign and print your name.
- Provide an accurate mailing address.
Your ticket should include directions on where to mail the signed citation. Once you do, the Alaska court system will reply with a notice of your appointed court date and time, where you will formally plead not guilty at your arraignment.
*NOTE: Once you plead guilty, you will likely be unable to take other steps to avoid your ticket. It's strongly recommended to consider any evidence you may have to prove your innocence before fighting a traffic ticket.
Fighting Your AK Traffic Ticket
Before going to court, consider hiring an Alaska traffic ticket attorney. He or she will help you understand the law and provide feedback on your legal options.
If you choose not to hire a traffic lawyer, you'll represent yourself in court.
After entering your plea at your arraignment, you'll have your trial. This may be scheduled for the same day.
At this stage in the game, you'll hear from the officer who wrote up your citation. You'll also get the chance to:
- Call witnesses.
- Argue the law.
- Question the officer who issued the violation.
If you're representing yourself, you may want to consider preparing for your trial by:
- Practicing your own testimony.
- Speaking to any potential witnesses.
- Ensuring you bring the proper documents, including:
- Your AK traffic ticket.
- Any paperwork proving your innocence.
- Gathering any other evidence in your favor.
Once your case has been presented by both sides, the judicial officer will consider your arguments and issue a verdict.
Your ticket fine isn't the only cost at stake when you contest a driving citation.
Make sure to consider all possible financial factors when deciding whether to fight your Alaska traffic ticket, including:
- Your auto insurance rate.
- Additional court fees.
- Time off work to attend your court date.
- Hiring an AK traffic attorney.
A traffic ticket conviction will most likely lead to a spike in your auto insurance. Find out what this means for you in our insurance and traffic violations guide.
Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket
When all is said and done, you will either win or lose your traffic ticket case.
If you're found not guilty, you will NOT:
- Be responsible for paying your traffic ticket fine.
- Have the violation added to your driving record.
If the court rules against you, however, you can expect to:
- Pay the full ticket fine.
- Pay additional court fees.
- Have the citation logged on your driving record.
Depending on the severity of the offense, losing your case could also mean:
Make sure to ask the court or your traffic attorney about all possible outcomes of losing your trial.
This could change for the better or worse after fighting your ticket. Make sure that change is accurate by getting a copy of your certified driving record.
Missing Your Court Date
Missing your court date could be even more harmful than losing in court.
Penalties for skipping out on your court date in Alaska could include:
- A default judgment against you, requiring you to pay the maximum allowable fine.
- Additional court surcharges and fees.
- A possible warrant issued for your arrest.
Some AK municipalities may allow you to reschedule your court date. Contact the appropriate court clerk as soon as you realize that you can't make your scheduled appearance.