Traffic Ticket FAQ in Indiana
What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in Indiana?
Decide whether you want to plead guilty (or no contest) and pay your fine, or plead not guilty and fight the charges in court.
Sometimes, you can use deferral programs or enroll in a Driver Safety Program to keep the violation off your record; typically you must appear in court for either of these options.
How can I get a traffic ticket dismissed?
Usually, the only way to get a ticket dismissed is to fight the ticket in court and win.
Sometimes, officers (or even courts) will dismiss tickets for correcting certain non-moving offenses within a specific time period. For example, if you're pulled over for an expired registration but you have proof of current registration at home, your ticket might get dismissed if you bring in current proof.
Ticket dismissal aside, some drivers can use their courts' deferral programs or enroll in a Driver Safety Program course to prevent their violations from showing up on their driving records. These options vary by driver and court.
What if I have a IN CDL and get a traffic ticket?
Within 30 days of receiving the citation, you must notify your employer.
After that, you can plead guilty and pay your fine or plead not guilty and schedule a hearing―just like any other driver.
However, if you plead or are found guilty of certain violations, you face lengthy license suspensions that can affect your income and career.
We outline CDL penalties in Ticket Fines and Penalties; take a look before deciding which option is for you.
What if I am younger than 21 and get a DUI ticket?
If you are under 21 years old BMV will suspend your license for up to 1 year if you're convicted of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
Understand that your judge can impose additional fines and penalties.
What if I'm younger than 18 and get convicted of a traffic violation?
You face the same fines and penalties of any other driver; however, you are required to complete a defensive driving course if you are convicted of 2 offenses or more, or 2 accidents or more (or a combination of both).
Will taking a motorcycle safety course help me with a traffic ticket I got while riding?
Probably not. Your judge might decide otherwise, but generally drivers must enroll in an approved Driver Safety Program course in order to keep violations off their driving records.
NOTE: These courses do not dismiss tickets.
Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce the number of driver's license points on my driving record?
Yes. Per Indiana's Driver Safety Program (DSP), you can complete one course every 3 years for a credit of 4 points to your driving record.
Learn more at Defensive Driving & Traffic School.
Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?
Having a copy of your driving record lets you check that:
- You received point credit after voluntarily completing a Driver Safety Program course.
- Your license is not suspended (applies if a judge gave you the DSP option in lieu of suspension).
- Your violation doesn't appear on your record (applies if a judge gave you the DSP option for not reporting a violation).
- You received only the applicable number of points (if you pleaded or were found guilty of a violation).
- You received no points (if you won your case in court).
Learn how to get your hands on your own over at IN Driving Records.
What is the cost of my traffic ticket?
The total cost of your traffic ticket varies by violation, location, and additional fines and penalties.
Look at your ticket for the traffic ticket fine; then, contact your court for information about other related costs.
How many points will I get if convicted?
Points vary from 2 to 8 points and depend on the violation. Typically, the less serious the offense, the lower the points; the more serious the offense, the higher the points.
For example, if you're speeding 3 miles over the speed limit, you get 2 points, but if you're having a speed contest on the road, you get 8 points.
Of course, if you're pulled over and given multiple citations, you'll receive points for each violation of which you're convicted.
Check out IN Point System for more information.
Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state?
No. They vary by court.
How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?
You most likely can't. The state records ticket information in the Odyssey Case Management System, but not all counties use this system and you must have information handy, like your case or ticket number, that most drivers with lost tickets don't have.
Visit Lost IN Traffic Tickets for more information on retrieving lost citation information.
When is it a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney?
It's a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney when you plan to fight your ticket in court.
A traffic ticket lawyer can help you:
- Prepare your case, including practicing your testimony, gathering evidence, and subpoenaing witnesses.
- Negotiate a plea agreement, including one that involves the court's deferral program or the state's Driver Safety Program.
- File an appeal if you're found guilty.