Fight Traffic Ticket in North Dakota

SUMMARY: How to Fight a North Dakota Traffic Ticket

If you plan to fight your ND traffic ticket, you'll need to request a court hearing by mail. Be sure to respond within 14 days.

For additional information, refer to your ticket or contact the appropriate county or municipal court.

If you believe you've unfairly received a traffic citation AND have the means to prove it, keep reading to find out how to fight a traffic ticket in North Dakota.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

Learn more about
paying your traffic ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest traffic ticket via trial.
  • Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney.
  • Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties.
  • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.

Learn more by reading below.

Pleading Not Guilty to Your ND Ticket

In North Dakota, you must submit your plea of not guilty within 14 days of receiving a traffic ticket.

To plead not guilty to your ND traffic citation, you'll need to:

  • Sign and date your traffic ticket.
  • Enclose the required bond (i.e. payment).
    • If you're found not guilty in court, the bond will be returned to you.
  • Mail the citation to the North Dakota district court handling your case.

If you're still unsure about how to submit a plea of not guilty, contact the ND district court in the county where you received your traffic ticket.

If you misplaced your citation, take a look at our Lost Traffic Ticket in North Dakota page for guidance on what to do next.

What Does a Not Guilty Plea Mean?

A “not guilty" plea essentially indicates that you believe you've been wrongly accused of your citation, and you wish to accept your right to prove your innocence before a judge.

When you choose to plead not guilty, also you're verifying that you:

  • Have the time to appear in court (possibly on multiple occasions).
  • Can properly present evidence proving your innocence.
  • Know points could be added to your driving record and possibly result in license suspension.
  • Could face jail time, especially if you're convicted of a serious violation like DWI or DUI.

Make sure that the above items are true; if they are not, it could be very difficult for you to win your case. For more, review our When to Fight a Traffic Ticket guide.

Fight Your ND Citation in Court

Fighting your ND traffic ticket in court will could consist of the following:

  • Pre-trial hearing.
  • Trial.

Once you plead not guilty, the North Dakota district court clerk will assign you a pre-trial hearing date. You MUST return on that date to begin fighting your traffic ticket in court.

If you miss your pre-trial OR trial date, the court could:

  • Issue a warrant for your arrest.
  • Order your license suspended.

PRIOR to your official court dates, consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney. The ND district court may automatically assign you one if you:

  • Are being charged with a violation more serious than an infraction.
  • Can prove extreme financial burden to the court.

Pre-trial Hearing

At the pre-trial hearing, you (or your attorney) and the state prosecutor will try to work out a plea agreement, preventing you from going to trial.

A plea agreement will typically require any of the following:

  • You change your plea to guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
  • The state prosecutor decides to dismiss your charges.

If you don't accept a plea agreement, you'll need to return for trial on the day assigned to you by the ND district court.


Your trial before a North Dakota district court judge will usually consist of the following steps:

  • Opening arguments, where both sides have the chance to present:
    • Witnesses.
    • Evidence.
  • Cross examination of you and/or your witnesses by the ND state prosecutor.
  • Closing arguments.
  • Judge's verdict.

Consequences of Fighting Your Traffic Ticket

Depending on the verdict of your case, the consequences of fighting your North Dakota traffic ticket span a wide range of positive and negative outcomes.

Guilty Verdict

If the judge finds you guilty and convicts you of your traffic charges, the sentence you face could contain any of the following:

NOTE: Commercial drivers are required by federal law to notify their employers of any traffic violation convictions within 30 days.

Not Guilty Verdict

If you're fortunate enough to win your ND traffic citation case, you can expect the following:

  • All charges will be dropped.
  • You won't have to pay any fines or endure any penalties.
  • Your auto insurance rates will remain the same.
  • No points will be added to your driving record.

At this point, it's very important to check your driving record to make sure your original citation doesn't show up. If it does, and it goes unchecked, it could lead to severe consequences, including huge fines and even license suspension.

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