Traffic Ticket FAQ in Texas
Getting a traffic ticket on your way to work is never a good feeling, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Keep reading this page to see what you will need to do to take care of it in the state of Texas.
What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in Texas?
After getting a traffic ticket, it’s time to decide how to take care of it. First, you must decide how you will plead. You have a few options:
- No contest.
- A “Guilty” or “No Contest” plea require you to pay the full amount of the fine on the ticket on or before your scheduled court appearance.
- Not guilty.
- If you decide to plead not guilty, learn more on how to fight your traffic ticket.
No matter how you decide to plead, just be sure you do so by the date listed on your citation. Ignoring the traffic ticket could lead to a warrant for your arrest.
In some cases, you can request to take a driving safety course. If the appropriate course is completed, it will guarantee that the citation is dismissed, but a driving safety course must be requested before the scheduled court date.
Who handles traffic tickets in Texas?
If you receive a traffic ticket, you will need to contact the county court in which you received the ticket to get it resolved. If you are unsure of the county, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) website has a citation search to help you get your hands on court contact information.
How can I get a TX traffic ticket dismissed?
In some cases, you can get a Texas traffic ticket dismissed by passing a driving safety course. You must request permission from the county court to go this route before the scheduled court date. Once permission is granted, complete a state-approved course, either:
- In person.
- At home with a DVD.
To learn more, check out our page on point reduction and traffic ticket dismissal.
Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?
Periodically checking your driving record allows you to make sure the state’s record accurately reflects the correct number of points associated with your driver’s license. Be sure the state record is correct, especially after you get a traffic ticket. Otherwise, you could be penalized, face annual surcharges, or pay more for auto insurance.
What is the cost of my Texas traffic ticket?
Traffic ticket costs vary depending on the offense and the county in which you were pulled over. You should see the full amount owed on your actual citation. If you have misplaced the ticket, visit our page about lost traffic tickets for tips on how you can track it down.
How many points will I get if convicted?
The amount of traffic ticket points you could potentially get depends on whether the violation you were cited for involved an auto accident. Here’s how the point distribution breaks down:
- Non-accident moving violation conviction: 2 points.
- Conviction that resulted in a crash: 3 points.
For more on the Texas point system, check out our dedicated page. You might also want to look into the traffic ticket fines and penalties you face. In some cases, the court might offer you the option to take a driving safety course to get the traffic ticket dismissed and avoid extra points from accumulating on your driving record.
Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state of Texas?
No, traffic ticket fines vary by county. However, penalties, points, and surcharges are standard throughout the state. Read our page on traffic ticket fines and penalties in Texas for more information.
How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?
Losing your traffic ticket only adds to the stress of being cited in the first place. Luckily, you have a couple of options.
If you got pulled over by the Texas Highway Patrol, you can look up your traffic ticket using an online ticket search. Otherwise, visit our page lost traffic tickets for info on tracking down your citation. Because the state handles traffic tickets on the county level, we help you locate your county court online for details specific to your traffic infraction.
When is it a good idea to hire a Texas traffic ticket attorney?
Every incident is unique, but usually a traffic ticket attorney is a great resource in the following situations:
- Out-of-state tickets (or those from far-away counties).
- For example, if you get pulled over in another state or if the county in which you were cited is a far drive, you can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to stand in for you on your court appearance date.
- Fighting a traffic ticket.
- If you decide to plead not guilty, you can take your case to an attorney and determine whether that’s a sound decision. Legal counsel might help you decrease the charges, but it really depends on your budget and whether you can make a strong case when contesting the traffic ticket.
How many driving record points can I accumulate before the state suspends my TX driver’s license?
If you know that you already have points on your driving record, you’re probably wondering how these traffic ticket points will affect the validity of your license.
When it comes to traffic tickets and the points that go along with these infractions, the state will suspend your Texas driver’s license if you:
- Have convictions for 4 moving violations or more occurring separately within 12 months.
- Have convictions for 7 moving violations or more within 24 months.