Missouri Traffic Ticket Process
When you receive a traffic ticket in Missouri, several steps are involved in the process. Before you pay your traffic ticket online or hire a St. Louis traffic ticket lawyer, read here for an easy explanation of what typically happens:
A law enforcement officer pulls you over for a traffic violation. They may ask for your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. The officer will then inform you of the reason for the traffic stop and may issue a citation.
If the officer decides to issue a ticket, they will provide you with a written citation detailing the violation, the date, time, and location of the offense, as well as any additional instructions or court appearances required.
The ticket is sent to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office for consideration. Ultimately, it is up to the prosecutor whether or not your ticket is filed. They can change the charge or send the charge to the state for more serious charges. They may take six months or a year to file the ticket in some cases. In other cases, the tickets are filed immediately. It is best to consult an attorney right away so they can tell you what to expect in that municipality or county. You can check Case.net-Missouri Court Case Search for your ticket. Case.net is your access to the Missouri state courts automated case management system. From here you are able to inquire about case records including docket entries, parties, judgments and charges in public court. Only courts that have implemented the case management software as part of the Missouri Court Automation Program and only cases that have been deemed public under the Missouri Revised Statutes can be accessed through Case.net. If your municipal/city ticket is not on Case.net, check MuniCourt.net as many municipalities are not using Case.net yet. If you hire a lawyer, we will do this for you.
Violation and Penalties:
The citation will specify the traffic violation you are accused of committing and the associated penalties, such as fines, points on your driving record, or other consequences. The severity of the offense and penalties depends on the nature of the violation.
Options for Resolution:
After receiving the ticket, you have several options:
a. Paying the Fine on your Traffic Ticket:
You can choose to accept guilt and pay the fine indicated on the citation. The payment details, including the amount and deadline, will be provided. This option usually resolves the matter without requiring a court appearance. You will receive points on your driver’s record which can cause a suspension of your license to drive in Missouri. Click here for a Free Driver’s Record to Determine Your Points .
A guilty plea on your traffic ticket may also cause your insurance premiums to increase. If you have a CDL, you may lose your job or not qualify for insurance. This guilty plea can also be used against you in related cases, such as an accident arising out of a speeding ticket. The guilty plea can also be used as a prior offense and enhance the punishment on future offenses depending on the type of ticket.
b. Contesting the Traffic Ticket:
If you believe you are not guilty of the violation, you have the right to contest the ticket with a St. Louis traffic ticket lawyer. To do so, you’ll need to appear in court on the specified date and time indicated on the citation. You can present your case, challenge the evidence, and provide any supporting documentation or witnesses. Without an attorney advocating on your behalf and with knowledge of the law, it is an uphill challenge for you to win against experienced prosecutors. To hire a St. Louis traffic: Submit Ticket for Quote.
c. Plea Bargaining A Traffic Ticket:
An attorney can usually negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. This involves reaching an agreement where you plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for reduced penalties. Often times you pay more in fines to avoid the point violation on your record. For high-speed traffic tickets or serious traffic offenses, you might need to do community service, attend a defensive driving course, donate to law enforcement funds, pay restitution if there was an accident, or attend other classes like Victim’s Impact Panel or SATOP.
d. Requesting a Hearing or Trial on Your Traffic Ticket:
Depending on the circumstances, you may request a hearing to challenge the ticket. This process involves presenting your case before a judge who will evaluate the evidence and make a determination.
Court Appearance on Your Traffic Ticket:
If you choose to contest the ticket or fail to pay the fine by the specified deadline, you will need to appear in court. During the hearing, you can present your defense, question witnesses, and argue your case before the judge.
Potential Outcomes on Your Traffic Ticket:
The judge will consider the evidence presented and make a decision. Possible outcomes include being found guilty and facing penalties, having the ticket dismissed, or being granted alternative options, such as attending traffic school to mitigate the penalties.
Penalties and Consequences of a Traffic Ticket:
If you are found guilty or plead guilty to the violation, the penalties may include fines, points added to your driving record, increased insurance premiums, license suspension or revocation, mandatory traffic school, probation, or other consequences as determined by the court.
It’s important to note that the specific procedures and penalties may vary depending on the jurisdiction within Missouri and the nature of the traffic violation. It’s advisable to consult with attorney Michelle M. Funkenbusch or refer to the Missouri Department of Revenue or local court system for precise information related to your case.