Fight Traffic Ticket in Connecticut
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Stewing over a traffic ticket you don't deserve? Tell it to the judge.
You can fight your Connecticut traffic ticket by pleading “not guilty" and taking the violation to court.
Read below for more information on how to plead “ not guilty" to your CT citation and what to expect from the process.
How to Plead Not Guilty in Connecticut
The first step toward fighting your CT traffic ticket is informing the court you want to plead “not guilty." You can do so either:
- Online through the CT Centralized Infractions Bureau's web portal.
- Over the phone at (860) 263-2750.
- Call Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Through the mail.
- Must sign your ticket where notified.
Your traffic ticket will provide the specific information you'll need about:
- Which court to contact.
- Phone numbers and addresses.
- A timeline by which to respond.
After you reach out to the proper official, you should receive the time and location of your court 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.
Missing Your Deadline
Keep your response deadline in mind. Not responding to your ticket in the provided timeframe could lead to:
- License suspension.
- CT has a $175 license reinstatement fee.
- A $60 reopening fine with the court.
- Paid in addition to original ticket fee.
- A possible warrant issued for your arrest.
Want to spend more time in class and less in court? Many courts may drop your case or offer other benefits if you complete a course.
Find out more on our guide to Connecticut traffic school.
How to Fight a CT Traffic Ticket
After notifying the court that you want to plead “not guilty" to your traffic ticket, you'll receive your court date.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to provide a written response instead of going to court. In these situations, the prosecutor may decide to suspend your case for a certain period of time, and have the issue dropped if you stay out of legal trouble during that period.
If you do go to court, you will be expected to represent yourself, unless you hire a CT traffic ticket lawyer. Connecticut does not offer court-appointed attorneys for traffic cases.
Before you see the judge, you will have the opportunity to speak with the prosecutor about your case. After this conversation, you will stand in front of the judge for your hearing. Your case may or may not be closed after this initial hearing.
What are the Costs of Fighting a Ticket?
There are a number of financial factors to keep in mind when weighing whether to fight your Connecticut traffic ticket.
Aside from paying the original fine on your citation, you could have to deal with:
- Time off work to attend court.
- Additional court fines if you lose.
- Attorney fees.
- Higher auto insurance.
Not sure how fighting your ticket relates to your car insurance rate? Find out more, and learn how to avoid higher rates if you lose your case.
Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket
The judiciary official in charge will make a ruling once both sides have argued their case.
If you win your case, and are found not guilty, the issue is over. Your CT 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 incident 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 violation, you may also potentially:
- Have your license suspended.
- Can happen even if you live out of state.
- Get points added to your license.
- Serve jail time.
- Be ordered to perform community service.
Make sure to ask the judiciary official or your traffic ticket attorney about ensuring the process is wrapped up or 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 your CT driving record for review.
Missing Your Court Date
Missing your court date doesn't mean missing out on the consequences. In fact, skipping out on court could come with even heavier repercussions than losing your case.
You could face any number of penalties for missing your court date, 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.
If you realize you won't be able to make it to court, it's highly recommended to call the appropriate court as soon as possible and ask to reschedule.