So you just received a traffic ticket while driving in or around Colorado Springs. Not the best part of your day, to be sure. After the officer returns your license, hands you a ticket, and tells you to slow down or have a nice day, you’ll pull off of the shoulder and head back on your way.
But what should you do after that?
After you receive a traffic ticket, you have choices to make and actions to take that can have a big impact on your wallet and your time. Do you just pay the ticket or should you fight it? If you are going to fight it, how do you plan on doing that? Should you call a traffic ticket lawyer or just handle it yourself?
Four Steps to Take After Getting a Colorado Springs Traffic Ticket
Here are four steps you should take after being issued a Colorado Springs traffic ticket:
Slow down (before you decide what to do). When you get home, don’t just pull out your checkbook or log on to the web to pay your ticket. You may be angry or indignant or just plain don’t want to think about it. But paying the fines also means that you are admitting guilt, just as if you were standing in a courtroom before a judge. Make sure that you understand how pleading guilty to a traffic ticket can affect you before you take what may only appear to be the easy way out.
Take notes. If you believe that your ticket was unwarranted and that you were in fact following the law, make sure you write down (and take pictures if possible) everything about what was happening at the time you were pulled over – where you were, how fast you were going, any relevant signs or conditions in the area where you were stopped, etc. Memories fade pretty fast, so if you intend to fight your ticket, recording your impressions while still fresh can be extremely helpful when it comes time for your hearing.
Don’t delay. If you put that ticket in your junk drawer or glove compartment and then forget about it, you will make a bad situation worse. Failing to pay or contest a traffic citation can cost you more in fines, do further harm to your driving record and in some cases can even result in a warrant for your arrest. There are relatively short time limits for taking action so don’t delay.
Call a traffic ticket lawyer. It may seem like a traffic violation is a minor matter that shouldn’t require a lawyer. But that’s not always the case. There are many reasons to hire a Colorado Springs traffic attorney. For example, any person charged with a ticket six points or higher may benefit from the assistance of an attorney. The reason is that an adult driver (over 21 years of age) cannot receive 12 points or more in a year period, and 18 points in two years. If a person receives 12 points or more than that person’s license will be suspended for up to 1 year. Any charge that involves half of the points allowable in a year period is serious enough to involve an attorney.
A traffic ticket attorney can also help answer your questions about how to proceed, advise you of the consequences of different courses of action, and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Most traffic attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so there is simply no downside to reaching out.