Fight Traffic Ticket in Delaware

Unhappy about a traffic ticket you were wrongly cited with? Don't complain to your friends—tell it to the judge.

You have the right to plead not guilty to the violation and fight your Delaware traffic ticket in court.

Read below to find out more about the process and what you can expect when fighting your DE traffic ticket.

Pleading Not Guilty in Delaware

To challenge your Delaware traffic ticket, begin the process of pleading "not guilty" by:

  • Signing the ticket where indicated.
  • Returning the ticket to the proper DE court, either:
    • By mail.
      • The proper mailing address should be listed on your ticket.
    • Via fax to the court (fax number should be on the ticket).
      • Make sure to fax both sides of your ticket.
      • Call (302) 739-6911 to ensure it was delivered.

Your traffic ticket will provide the specific information you'll need about:

  • Which court to contact.
  • Phone numbers and addresses.
  • A timeline to respond by.
    • Missing the deadline to respond could lead to penalties such as:
      • Higher fines.
      • Losing your chance to plead not guilty.

After getting in touch with the proper agency, you'll officially enter your “not guilty" plea on your court date.

*NOTE: When pleading not guilty, you're taking the official stance that 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.

(Traffic) School Is in Session

Want to spend more time in class and less in court? Traffic school is about more than good driving tips. Many courts will cut you a deal or offer other benefits if you complete a course.

Find out more on our guide to Delaware traffic school.

Fighting Your DE Traffic Ticket

You'll be expected to represent yourself in your case, unless you hire a traffic ticket lawyer. Delaware does not provide court-appointed attorneys for traffic ticket cases.

Once your plea has been officially recorded, the court will schedule your trial. There's no guarantee that this will take place on the same day as your arraignment, so plan for the possibility of making several trips to court. However, be prepared for the possibility of trial starting on the same day.

At your trial, you or your attorney will get the chance to:

  • Question a police department representative.
  • Call witnesses.
  • Argue the law.
  • Present other evidence.

After your case concludes, the judiciary official in charge will render a verdict, ruling you either guilty or not guilty of your Delaware traffic ticket.

Potential Costs

When weighing whether to go to court over your traffic violation, there are a number of financial factors to keep in mind.

Aside from paying the original fine on your ticket, you could encounter a number of different costs, including:

  • Ticket attorney fees.
  • Additional court fines if you lose.
  • Higher auto insurance rates.
  • Time off work to attend court.
Car Insurance Rate Up? What's Up?

Not sure how fighting your ticket relates to your auto insurance rate? Find out more about the process, and how to avoid higher rates if you lose your case.

Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket

Once your case wraps up, the judiciary official in charge will make a ruling.

If you win, and are found not guilty, the issue is over with. Your traffic ticket will be dismissed and you will NOT:

  • Have the violation on your driving record.
  • Need to pay the traffic ticket fine.

If you lose, however, 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:

  • Get points added to your license.
  • Serve jail time.
  • Have your driver's license suspended.
  • Be ordered to perform community service.
Going on the Record

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 Delaware driving record for review.

Missing Your Court Date

If you miss your court date, you won't be able to miss out on the penalties of your trial. In fact, skipping out on court could come with even heavier repercussions than losing your case.

You could face any number of consequences for missing your court date, including:

  • A warrant issued for your arrest.
  • License suspension.
  • Points added to your license.
  • Additional fines and fees.
  • The original violation staying on your driving record.

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.

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