Fight Traffic Ticket in Idaho

Written up for a driving offense you didn't commit? Don't get mad—fight.

You have the right to plead “not guilty" to your ID traffic citation and take the issue to court.

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

Pleading Not Guilty in Idaho

In Idaho, each jurisdiction has control over its own traffic court. Specific details of fighting your ticket will vary based on where your citation was issued.

No matter where your ticket originated, though, the first step toward contesting your citation is informing the court of your decision to fight.

Your Idaho traffic ticket should include all the details you need to initiate the process, including:

  • Which court to contact.
  • Phone numbers and addresses.
  • How to contact the court—whether:
    • In person.
    • Via mail.
    • Over the phone.
  • A timeline to respond by.
    • Missing this timeline could lead to penalties such as:
      • Higher fines.
      • Losing your chance to plead “not guilty."

Once you get in touch with the court, the proper official will schedule your court date. Your first court date will be your arraignment where you can officially enter your plea.

*NOTE: Pleading “not guilty" is a legal assertion of your innocence. It's highly recommended to gather any evidence that will support your claim before deciding to fight your Idaho traffic ticket.

(Traffic) School Is in Session

Traffic school is about more than grades. Many ID courts may offer to dismiss your case if you complete traffic school.

Find out how some extra time in school may help you spend less time in court.

Fighting Your ID Traffic Ticket

You'll be expected to represent yourself in court, unless you hire an ID traffic ticket lawyer. Idaho does not provide court-appointed attorneys for traffic cases.

The court will issue your trial date after recording your official plea. Your trial may or may not be scheduled on the same day as your arraignment, so you might want to plan ahead for the possibility of several trips to the courthouse.

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

  • Argue the law(s) in question.
  • Call witnesses.
  • Present other evidence.
  • Question a police department representative.

Once all is said and done, the judiciary official in charge will make a ruling on your case, finding you either guilty or not guilty.

Potential Costs

The cost of your Idaho traffic ticket isn't the only potential financial factor to keep in mind when deciding whether to contest your ID traffic citation.

There are a number of other monetary elements to keep in mind, including:

  • Time off work to attend court.
  • A higher auto insurance rate.
  • Attorney fees.
  • Additional court fines if you lose.
Auto Insurance Rate Up? What's Up?

Your court case outcome and auto insurance rate could be more related than you think.

Learn more about the process, and how to avoid higher rates if you lose your case.

Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket

Once both sides are heard from, a ruling will be made in your Idaho traffic ticket case.

If you are found not guilty, the issue is resolved. Your case will be dismissed and you will NOT:

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

A ruling of guilty, however, means the incident will stay on your driving record, and you may also have to:

  • Pay the original fine.
  • Pay additional court fees.
  • Face additional penalties.

Depending on the severity of the violation(s), losing your case could bring on additional consequences, including:

  • Having points added to your license.
  • The suspension of your license.
    • This can happen whether or not you're an Idaho resident.

Exact outcomes are found on a case-by-case basis. Ask a court official or your traffic ticket attorney about any other potential consequences of losing your case.

Going on the Record

When you go to court, 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 Idaho driving record for review.

Missing Your Court Date

Missing your court date doesn't mean missing out on any consequences. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

You could face even more repercussions for skipping out on court than you would for losing your case, including any or all of the following:

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

All consequences are handled on a case-by-case basis. If you realize you won't be able to make your court date, it's highly recommended to call the appropriate Idaho court as soon as possible and ask to reschedule.

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