Fight Traffic Ticket in New Hampshire

SUMMARY: How to Fight a New Hampshire Traffic Ticket

How you'll fight your NH traffic ticket will depend on the type of citation you received. If your traffic ticket instructs you to respond to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, you can enter a “not guilty" plea by mail or in person.

Refer to your traffic ticket or contact the appropriate county court for further details.

You don't have to take a traffic ticket lying down if you feel you've been unfairly cited. New Hampshire provides the option to fight a traffic ticket if you believe you're innocent—particularly if you have evidence to prove it.

Read on to find out more about this process and what to expect when you contest your citation.

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.
  • Possible option to take driver improvement program and reduce points.

Learn more by reading below

Pleading Not Guilty to Your Ticket

In New Hampshire, you must respond to your traffic ticket within 30 days of receiving it.

When you decide to plead not guilty, you're accepting your right to stand before a NH judge and contest your traffic citation.

To fight your traffic ticket, you'll need to:

  • Check the not guilty box on your citation AND sign it.
  • Present your ticket in person OR mail it to the following address:
    • Department of Safety
    • Bureau of Financial Responsibility
    • P.O. Box 3838
    • Concord, NH 03301

The New Hampshire Circuit Court will notify you by mail of the date you'll need to return to court in order to begin the official process of contesting your traffic citation.

Fighting Your Traffic Ticket in Court

The process for fighting your New Hampshire traffic ticket in court could consist of the following steps:

  • Pretrial conference.
  • Appearance before a judge.

Pretrial Conference

Your pretrial conference is the first and possibly only step to contesting your NH traffic ticket.

At the pretrial conference you'll meet with a New Hampshire state prosecutor and try to work out an agreement that prevents you from having to go to trial.

Typically, an agreement will require EITHER:

  • You change your plea to guilty or nolo contendere. In that case, you'll need to pay your NH traffic ticket.
  • The state attorney amends your ticket and decides not to prosecute.

If you can't come to agreement with the state prosecutor, the court will mail you information as to where and when you'll need to return and plead your case before a judge.

NOTE: If you fail to appear for your pretrial conference, you'll automatically be found guilty and begin facing the penalties of your traffic charges.

DMV.ORG TIP: Watch for Insurance Rate Spikes

Did you know your insurance rates could GO UP once you plead guilty or nolo contendere to your charges? Before entering into an agreement with the state prosecutor, make sure you're fully informed on how traffic tickets can affect the cost of your car insurance.

Court Appearance

When you appear before a judge to formally contest your NH traffic citation, have all of your witnesses and evidence ready. This is where hiring a traffic ticket attorney can be especially helpful.

It's important to note that in New Hampshire, the court system WILL NOT assign you an attorney if you don't already have one. However, if you can't afford legal representation, the NH Judicial Branch provides a list of resources to assist you in finding a low-cost or free lawyer.

You can also choose to represent yourself in court, but first take a look at our guide on knowing when to hire an attorney.

Consequences of Fighting Your NH Ticket

There are a variety of both positive and negative consequences you could face as a result of fighting your New Hampshire traffic citation. Keep reading to find out the specifics of losing and winning your traffic ticket case.

If You Lose

Depending on the severity of your traffic charges, the penalties you'll face if convicted (i.e. if you lose) could be any of the following:

Additionally, points will be added to your driving record, which may ultimately raise the amount you pay for auto insurance or result in license revocation.

DMV.ORG TIP: Earn a Point Credit to Your Driving Record

By completing a driver improvement course, you won't have to fret about extra points on your New Hampshire license. Ease the pain of that traffic conviction by reaping all of the benefits that NH traffic school offers.

NOTE: If you're a commercial driver you MUST report all traffic convictions (except parking violations) to your employer within 30 days of conviction.

If You Win

On the flipside, if you win your New Hampshire traffic ticket case, the positive outcomes include:

  • Not enduring any penalties or paying any fines.
  • Points not added to your driving record.
  • Car insurance rates won't go up.

Make sure to weigh your pros and cons before deciding to contest your NH traffic violation in court—and remember, a traffic ticket attorney can always help you determine whether or not you have a case.

DMV.ORG TIP: Keep Your Driving Record Accurate

It's important to track what's on your driving record! The information on your record can affect your insurance rates and even potential employment opportunities. Make sure your ticket has been removed by ordering a certified copy after winning your case.

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