Fight Traffic Ticket in Indiana

Ticketed for an offense you didn't commit? There's more you can do about it than get angry.

Fight your Indiana traffic ticket by pleading not guilty and going to court.

Read below to find out more about the steps you'll need to take to contest your IN traffic citation.

Pleading Not Guilty in Indiana

The specific process of contesting an Indiana traffic ticket varies by county. Regardless of where the ticket originated, though, the first step is to inform the court that you're pleading not guilty.

District courts typically handle traffic cases in IN, although this is another factor that may vary, depending on where you were written up.

Your traffic ticket should provide some (if not all) of the specific information you'll need about:

  • Which Indiana 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 the deadline to respond could lead to penalties such as:
      • Higher fines.
      • Losing your chance to plead not guilty.

If your court date wasn't already given to you, you will be assigned one after notifying the court that you plan on contesting your IN traffic ticket. Your initial court date will be your arraignment, where you will have the opportunity to officially plea not guilty.

*NOTE: Pleading not guilty is officially taking the stance that you did not violate the law in question. It's highly recommended to consider any evidence you may have to substantiate your claim before going to court.

Fighting Your IN Traffic Ticket

After the court records your “not guilty" plea, your trial will be scheduled. There's no guarantee that your trial will be held on the same date, so consider planning ahead for the possibility of several trips to court.

Before going, think about hiring an Indiana traffic ticket lawyer. The state does not provide court-appointed attorneys for traffic cases, so if you don't hire an attorney, you'll represent yourself in court.

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

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

Once both sides are heard from, a judicial offer will render a judgment in the case.

(Traffic) School Is in Session

Traffic school is about more than good driving tips. Many courts will offer to dismiss your case if you complete a course.

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

Potential Costs

It's not just the cost of your citation to think about when weighing whether to go to court.

Fighting an IN traffic ticket could come with a number of different costs, including any or all of the following:

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

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

At your trial's conclusion, a verdict will be rendered either for or against you.

If you are found not guilty of your IN traffic ticket, you're done with the issue. Your case will be dismissed and you will NOT:

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

However, if you are found guilty, the incident will stay on your driving record, and you may also have to:

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

If your violation was severe enough, you may also potentially:

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.

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 your IN driving record for review.

Missing Your Court Date

The penalties for missing your court date could be just as bad—or worse—than losing your case.

You could face any number of repercussions if you don't make your court date, including:

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

It's highly recommended to call the appropriate court as soon as you realize you won't be able to make your court date. Ask the clerk if you can reschedule, in order to avoid facing any of the above consequences.

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