Fight Traffic Ticket in Wyoming
Were you undeservedly issued a Wyoming traffic citation? Do you have the means to prove your innocence? If so, keep reading to find out how you can fight your ticket in court.
Plead Not Guilty to Your Ticket
To start the process of fighting your Wyoming ticket, you'll need to plead not guilty" with the court in charge of your case. The type of court you need to respond to depends on which Wyoming agency issued your ticket:
- City: Municipal courts.
- Sheriff department OR Highway Patrol: Circuit courts.
The ways in which you can plead will differ from court to court; you could have the option to plead:
- In person.
- By mail.
- Through e-mail.
Regardless of method, you'll need enter your plea ON OR BEFORE the arraignment date printed on your traffic ticket.
More specific information about how AND where to plead will also be printed on your citation. If you lost your ticket, check out our lost traffic ticket guide.
Once your plea is accepted, the court will assign a return date for a pre-trial conference OR trial. Take note of this date! If you miss ANY scheduled court appearances, you could face penalties like:
- A warrant for your arrest.
- Additional fines.
- Driver's license suspension.
If you need to reschedule a court date or you still have questions, contact the Wyoming municipal or circuit court handling your case.
What Does It Mean to Plead Not Guilty?
When you plead not guilty," you're exercising your legal right to stand before a WY judge or jury and make a case for your innocence. You're also verifying that you:
- Can devote the necessary time to appearing in court, possibly on multiple occasions.
- Understand that points can be added to your driving record as a result of a conviction.
- Are aware you could be jailed if found guilty of a serious crime, like DWUI.
Still on the fence about your plea? Take a look at our When to Fight a Traffic Ticket page for more information.
Contesting Your WY Ticket in Court
Usually, the court appearances you'll be required to make when fighting your traffic ticket are:
- Pre-trial conference.
- It's up to the court's discretion to decide if you'll have a pre-trial conference—lesser traffic offenses usually don't warrant one.
- Trial before a judge OR jury.
- You may only request a jury trial if you:
- Are facing possible jail time.
- Have been charged with DWUI.
- You may only request a jury trial if you:
If you're facing serious and/or multiple charges, consider hiring a traffic ticket lawyer. Remember, if you decide to represent yourself, you'll need to be able to follow all procedures of Wyoming traffic court.
To learn more about which traffic violations might call for the help of legal representation, take a look at our guide on When to Hire a Traffic Ticket Lawyer.
At the pre-trial conference, a Wyoming state prosecutor and yourself (or your attorney) will attempt to negotiate a plea agreement. Plea agreements typically require that:
- You change your plea to guilty.
- The state reduces the penalties for your traffic charges.
If a plea agreement can be reached, you won't have to go to trial—the process of fighting your ticket ends there. If not, the court will assign you a date to return for trial.
DID YOU KNOW: Pleading guilty can result in higher car insurance rates.
Before accepting a plea agreement, read up on how traffic violations can affect how much you pay for auto insurance.
Generally, you can expect trial before a judge or jury to follow this procedure:
- Opening arguments from you (or your attorney) and the Wyoming state prosecutor.
- Chance for both sides to present:
- Cross-examinations of witnesses and/or rebuttals.
- Closing arguments.
- Judge or jury issue a verdict.
- If you're found guilty, the judge will proceed to administer your sentence.
File an Appeal
You have 30 days from the date of judgment to submit the following items to the court in order to appeal your verdict:
- Written notice of appeal, including:
- Your name.
- The verdict you're trying to appeal.
- The WY municipal or circuit court where your trial was held.
- A transcript of your trial.
- You can order transcripts from the court where your case was tried.
- $20 filing fee .
For additional information, contact the Wyoming municipal or circuit court you'll be filing an appeal with.
Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket
Depending on the verdict you receive, the consequences of fighting your WY traffic ticket can have long-lasting negative OR positive effects on your life.
If the judge or jury find you guilty of the charges, you could face any of the following penalties:
- Additional points on your record.
- Community service.
- Mandatory defensive driving courses.
- Loss of driving privileges.
- Jail time.
NOTE: If you have a valid Wyoming commercial driver's license (CDL), federal law requires you to notify your employer of any non-parking traffic charges within 30 days of being convicted. Convictions that occur outside the state's jurisdiction also require you to notify the licensing agency within 30 days.
Does that guilty verdict have you worried about points on your driving record? Do the additional points put you in danger of having your license suspended?
If so, consider a Wyoming defensive driving course. Successful completion can REDUCE the number of points added to your record after a traffic conviction.
If You Win
If you win your traffic case, congratulations! You can expect the following:
- No points added to your driving record.
- Dismissal of the citation.
- No penalties or fines to deal with.
- Insurance rates don't increase.
Following the conclusion of your traffic case, it's important to check the accuracy of your WY driving record. Any errors can result in unwarranted fines, stress, and penalties down the road for you.