Fight Traffic Ticket in Maine
Stuck with a ticket you don't deserve? There's more you can do than simply admit defeat. You have the right to challenge that citation by pleading not guilty and going to court.
Read below to find out how to start the process and what you can expect when fighting your traffic ticket in Maine.
Pleading Not Guilty in Maine
After receiving your ticket, you have 35 calendar days to notify the appropriate court that you'll be fighting your ME traffic ticket.
To do so, you'll have to file a written answer to your citation by:
- Marking the Contested box(es) on the back of your ticket.
- You can contest up to 4 violations per ticket.
- Signing and dating your ticket.
- Filling in your mailing address on the ticket where notified.
Mail your filled-out citation to the ME Violations Bureau at:
P.O. Box 480
Lewiston, ME 04243
The Violations Bureau will then mail you information regarding your court date where you will be arraigned and given the chance to officially plead not guilty.
*NOTE: When you plead not guilty, you assume the position that you did not violate the law in question. It's highly recommended to have evidence of this before going to court.
Traffic school is more than a chance to brush up on your driving skills. Many courts will offer dismiss your case if you complete a course. Find out how some extra time in school may help you spend less time in court on our Traffic School guide.
Fighting Your ME Traffic Ticket
After you contest your ticket, you should receive information from the Maine Violations Bureau about the time and location of your court date.
Maine does not provide a court-appointed attorney in traffic ticket cases, so consider hiring a ME traffic ticket lawyer. Otherwise, you'll have to represent yourself in court.
After the court records your official plea, you'll get your trial date. This may or may not be held on the same day, so you may want to plan ahead for the possibility of another trip to the courthouse.
Whenever you do go to trial, you or your lawyer will then get the chance to:
- Argue the law.
- Call witnesses.
- Present other evidence.
- Question the officer who wrote you up.
Once all sides are heard from, your case will be considered and decided on by a judicial officer.
If you lose your case, you could see your car insurance rate jump up. Find out how to avoid that fate with our guide to tickets and car insurance.
Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket
After both sides present their case, the judiciary official in charge will make a ruling.
If you are found not guilty, you will NOT:
- Have the violation on your driving record.
- Need to pay the traffic ticket fine.
However, if you lose and are found guilty, you could have to:
- Pay additional court fees.
- Pay the original fine.
- Have the ME traffic citation added to your driving record.
Depending on how severe the infraction was, a guilty ruling could also potentially mean:
Make sure to 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.
Missing Your Court Date
Failing to show at court is often accompanied by several penalties. If you miss your traffic court date, you could potentially be looking at repercussions such as:
- 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 Maine Violations Bureau at (207) 783-5422 or to contact the appropriate ME courthouse as soon as possible.