Fight Traffic Ticket in Arkansas
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You have the right to fight your Arkansas traffic ticket by pleading “not guilty" and taking the issue to court.
Below you'll find more information on what that process entails and what you can expect when contesting your AR traffic citation.
Pleading Not Guilty in Arkansas
How to fight your Arkansas traffic ticket varies by which county you were ticketed in. No state-wide agency handles the topic.
No matter where your citation was issued, though, the first step will be to contact the court and let them know you intend to plead “not guilty," on or before the court date given to you on your ticket.
In some Arkansas cities or counties, the court clerk may be able to set your trial date. However, in other counties you may have to attend an arraignment where you will officially enter your “not guilty" plea in front of a judge before the court can set your trail date.
*NOTE: Pleading not guilty puts you on the legal record saying you did not violate the law(s) in question. It's highly recommended to gather any evidence you may have to support this argument before going to court.
Want to spend more time in class and less time in court? Some courts may offer to drop your case or offer other benefits if you complete a defensive driving course.
Find out more on our guide to Arkansas traffic school.
Fighting Your AR Traffic Ticket
Once your plea is entered, the court will schedule your trial date for you to fight your Arkansas traffic ticket. There's no guarantee this will be held on the same day as your arraignment, so several trips to court is a possibility you may want to plan ahead for.
Arkansas does not provide court-appointed attorneys for traffic-related cases, so you will be expected to represent yourself unless you hire an AR traffic ticket lawyer.
At your trial, you or your attorney will get the chance to:
- Argue the law.
- Call witnesses.
- Present other evidence.
- Question a police department representative.
Once both sides have been considered, the judiciary official in charge will find you either guilty or not guilty.
When considering whether you want to fight your ticket, keep all of the potential monetary factors in mind.
Aside from paying the original fine on your Arkansas citation, you could be on the financial hook for:
- Attorney fees.
- Additional court fines, if you lose.
- Time off work to attend court.
- Higher auto insurance.
Not sure how fighting your ticket relates to your auto insurance rate? Find out more at our guide to traffic tickets and car insurance, and how to avoid higher rates if you lose your case.
Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket
At the conclusion of your trial, you'll hear the judiciary official's ruling on your case.
If you are found not guilty, you're done with the issue. Your AR traffic ticket will be dismissed and you will NOT:
- Have the violation on your driving record.
- Need to pay the traffic citation fine.
However, if you lose and are found guilty, the violation will stay on your driving record, and you may also have to:
- Pay additional court fees.
- Pay the original fine.
- Face additional penalties.
Depending on how severe the citation was, losing your case could also result in:
- Having your license suspended.
- Can happen even if you live out of state.
- Getting points added to your license.
- Serving jail time.
- Being ordered to perform community service.
Legal repercussions are decided on a case-by-base basis. Make sure to ask the judiciary official or your traffic ticket attorney about any other potential consequences of losing your case.
Whether you win or lose, the fate of your driving record hangs in the balance!
Make sure the document accurately reflects the outcome of your trial by ordering a copy of your driving record for review.
Missing Your Court Date
When you miss your court date, you don't get to miss out on the repercussions, too. In fact, you could end up worse off from skipping court than you would be from losing your case.
There are a number of different penalties you could face for missing court, including:
- Points added to your license.
- A warrant issued for your arrest.
- The original violation staying on your driving record.
- License suspension.
- Additional fines and fees.
It's highly recommended to call the appropriate court as soon as you realize you may not make it, and ask to reschedule if possible.