Fight Traffic Ticket in Louisiana
Written up for a violation you didn't commit? There's more you can do than get angry.
You can challenge the citation in court by pleading not guilty and presenting your case.
Read below to find out more about how to fight your Louisiana traffic ticket.
Pleading Not Guilty in Louisiana
Upon receiving a traffic ticket in Louisiana, there will be a hearing/appearance date written on the front of your citation. This is the date you must act by, whether you decide to go to court or choose to pay your ticket.
Your traffic ticket should include more information on which court you must contact and whether to respond in person or via mail.
Typically, in order to plead not guilty, you must appear in court on or before your appearance date and enter your plea in front of a judge during your arraignment. After pleading not guilty, the court will schedule your trail which may or may not be held on the same day.
*NOTE: Pleading not guilty means you've officially de clared that you haven't violated the law in question. It's highly recommended to have some evidence to support your claim before going to court.
Traffic school can be a helpful tool. Many courts may offer to dismiss your case if you complete a class.
Find out how a little extra time in Louisiana traffic school could mean less time in court.
Fighting Your LA Traffic Ticket
After telling the court you want to fight the ticket, you will be issued the location and time of your court date.
Louisiana does not offer court-appointed attorneys for traffic cases, so you may want to consider hiring an LA traffic ticket lawyer. Otherwise, you will represent yourself in court.
After the court notes your official plea, you'll receive a trial date. This may or may not be held on the same day, so plan ahead for the possibility of several trips to court.
When you go to trial, you or your lawyer will then get the chance to:
- Present evidence.
- Call witnesses.
- Question the officer who wrote you up/a representative of the police department.
- Argue the law.
After each side makes their case, the judicial officer in charge will make a ruling of either guilty or not guilty.
Your traffic ticket isn't the only potential cost involved in challenging your citation. Consider the possibility of other costs when weighing out whether to fight your traffic ticket, including:
- Higher auto insurance.
- Time off work to attend court.
- Ticket attorney fees.
- Additional court fines.
If you lose your case, you risk a higher car insurance rate. Find out how to avoid that fate with our guide to tickets and car insurance.
Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket
At the conclusion of your case, the judiciary official in charge will make a determination.
If you are found not guilty, you will NOT:
- Pay the traffic ticket fine.
- Have the violation on your driving record.
If you are found guilty, you could face:
- Additional court fees.
- Paying the original fine.
- Having the citation added to your driving record.
Depending on the severity of the violation, being ruled guilty could also result in:
- Points added to your license.
- Having your license suspended.
Make sure to ask the judiciary official or your traffic ticket attorney about finalizing all paperwork and any other potential consequences of losing your case.
Your case outcome could impact your driving record! Errors on your driving history will have a severe impact on your life.
Make sure the document is accurate by ordering a copy of your LA driving record for review.
Missing Your Court Date
You could face a number of substantial penalties if you fail to appear for your court date, including:
- Points added to your license.
- License suspension.
- A warrant issued for your arrest.
- The violation going on your record.
- Additional fines and fees.
If you realize your court date won't work for you, it's strongly recommended to call the proper Louisiana court and ask to reschedule as soon as possible.
If you already missed your date, contact the court as soon as possible. Your case will eventually be forwarded to the LA Department of Public Safety and Corrections, which could result in heavier fines and license suspension.