Fight Traffic Ticket in Nevada
If you plan to submit a “not guilty" plea and fight your traffic violation, you'll most likely need to appear in court on your scheduled arraignment date.
To find out your specific requirements, check your traffic ticket or contact the appropriate NV traffic court.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Option to plea bargain penalties.
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
- Possible option to take driving safety course to reduce points.
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.
Learn more about
paying Your traffic 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.
- Be found guilty, pay fines, court/legal fees and be assessed penalties.
Pleading Not Guilty to Your NV Ticket
Depending on your citation and the court that has jurisdiction, you may be able to enter your plea of not guilty:
- By email.
- By mail.
Your ticket should tell you which plea options you're eligible for. If your court doesn't offer the above options, you'll be required to appear in person on or before the date listed on your traffic ticket to enter your plea.
If you have any doubts about how to submit your plea, call the NV municipal court assigned to your case.
You can find the specific municipal court handling your case listed on your NV traffic citation. If you've misplaced your ticket, you can find out the steps to take on our Lost NV Traffic Ticket page.
What It Means to Plead Not Guilty
Admitting a plea of “not guilty" means you believe you are innocent of the violation you've been accused of, and you are accepting your right to stand before a judge to prove that.
Before pleading not guilty, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you devote the time required to appear in traffic court (possibly multiple times)?
- Do you believe you have viable evidence and the means to properly present it to a judge?
- Are you facing jail time?
- Typically, jail time is a consequence of serious traffic violations like DWI and DUI.
- If convicted, will points be added to your driving record? If so, are you going to lose your driving privileges?
To find out more, check out our guide on knowing when to fight your traffic ticket.
Fighting Your NV Traffic Ticket in Court
Once you've entered your plea, fighting your Nevada traffic ticket in court will likely consist of a pretrial conference or a trial before a judge.
A pretrial conference is the first and potentially only step to fighting your NV traffic citation.
At the pretrial conference, you and a Nevada state prosecutor will try to negotiate a plea bargain. A plea bargain requires that you change your plea to guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.
If you can't agree on a plea bargain, you'll need to post bail, ensuring that you'll return to plead your case before a judge.
Don't forget, your auto insurance rates could INCREASE dramatically after pleading guilty to your charges. So, before agreeing to a plea bargain, make sure you're fully informed on how traffic ticket convictions can affect your insurance rates.
Trial Before a Judge
PRIOR to appearing before the judge, consider hiring a traffic ticket lawyer. Remember, if you decide to represent yourself, you'll be going up against a professional, state attorney, and expected to follow all proper court procedures.
In some cases, the court may automatically assign you an attorney if you can't afford one. Contact the Nevada municipal court handling your citation for more information.
The process of appearing before a NV municipal court judge will generally follow these steps:
- The NV state prosecutor and you (or your attorney) present opening arguments, evidence, and witnesses (if applicable).
- The state prosecutor can choose to cross-examine you and present rebuttal witnesses.
- Both you (or your attorney) and the state representative will make closing arguments.
- The judge decides whether you're guilty or not guilty of the traffic charges.
- If you're found guilty, you'll have the chance to make a final statement before the judge decides on your sentence and penalties.
Outcomes of Fighting Your NV Ticket
There are various potential positive and negative repercussions to fighting your Nevada traffic citation. Depending on the outcome of your case, you might walk out of court feeling like contesting your ticket was a great idea, or possibly, not worth the time at all.
If You Lose Your Case
Depending on the severity of your convictions, the penalties you face after losing your case could be any of the following:
- You'll need to be prepared to pay all of your fines on the day of sentencing. If you don't have the financial means to do so, the judge may allow you to work out a payment plan.
- Community service.
- Points added to your driving record.
- Jail time.
- Suspended/revoked license.
NOTE: If convicted, commercial drivers MUST notify their employers within 30 days, regardless of the vehicle that was being driven.
In Nevada, the judge may allow you to enroll in traffic school, thus REDUCING the amount of points added to your driving record. Fewer points on your record means a smaller increase in your auto insurance rates! Learn more about traffic school in Nevada.
If Your Win Your Case
If the judge decides that you are not guilty of the traffic violation, you can expect the following:
- All charges are dropped.
- Points aren't added to your driving record.
- Car insurance rates don't go up.
- No fines or penalties to deal with.
Of course, the best way to avoid visiting a court house at all is to always practice safe driving—so make sure to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road!