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Alabama Traffic Tickets & Violations
There's no one standard Alabama traffic ticket—they all come with their own individual fines and penalties. After all, Alabama DUI laws dictate that the penalties for driving under the influence are much higher than those for running a red light. However, the process for handling a citation is the same, no matter what the violation is.
Just a few of the Alabama State traffic violations you could be ticketed for include:
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Following too closely
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to wear a seat belt
- Improper passing
You have two options when you get an Alabama traffic ticket: you can either plead guilty and pay the fine, or plead not guilty and fight the ticket in court. No matter what option you decide to go with, be sure to take some sort of action, because ignoring your ticket will only lead to more trouble.
When you plead guilty, you accept responsibility for the violation and must face the penalties, which typically include a fine and points on your driving record. Generally, the procedure is as follows:
- You can pay your fine in person, through the mail, or online
- If your citation states that you are required to appear in court, then you must do so
- The judge may let you plead to a lesser offense with lesser penalties, depending on the circumstances
- The judge may even let you take an Alabama defensive driving course to have the ticket dismissed
- You will have points added to your driving record; the exact amount depends on the severity of the violation you were cited for
- Having points added to your record could potentially result in an Alabama suspended license if you already have a significant number of points on your driving record
- Your car insurance rate could increase after the citation is added to your driving record
There is also a specific set of steps you must follow if you wish to contest your Alabama traffic ticket.
- Your ticket should list a court date and time for you to appear. This is when you will need to show up to court and plead your case.
- Depending on your court, you will either have a second hearing the same day as your first in order for you to receive a verdict, or you will have another hearing scheduled for a different day.
- Consider hiring a traffic ticket lawyer. They can offer you the best advice for your case.
- Get ready for your hearing by planning how you will present your case. Gather all of your evidence together and practice what you are going to say.
- Plead your case in court and receive a verdict from the judge.
If you are found to be not guilty, you will not have to worry about paying the ticket fine or getting any points on your record. However, if the judge finds you guilty, you will need to pay all required fines and will have points added to your driving record.
No matter what the outcome of your hearing is, be sure to check your driving record after the judge makes a decision. If you were found not guilty, you want to ensure that no points got added to your driving record, and if you were found guilty, you want to make sure that the right amount of points was applied. Your driving record is an important document, and it should be accurate at all times (especially since insurance companies use it to determine your car insurance rate!). Once everything is said and done, all that's left is for you to drive safely to avoid Alabama traffic ticket fines and penalties in the future!