How to Dismiss a Traffic Ticket in Arizona
It happens to the best of us. You made a mistake, you got pulled over, and now you have a traffic ticket on your record. Points from a single Arizona traffic ticket can negatively impact your driving record and cause your insurance rates to go up. Here's a quick rundown of what you can do get that annoying ticket off your driving record.
What Are Traffic Ticket Points?
Every ticket in Arizona carries a 2, 3, 4 or 6-point value. Some common moving violations include speeding, failure to obey a traffic signal or sign, illegal turning, etc. Once those points are on your record, your insurance company has the right to raise your rates.
Options for Dismissing a Traffic Ticket
Want to keep a traffic ticket off your driving record? Arizona drivers have 2 options. First, you can try fighting your ticket in court. This requires having excellent knowledge of Arizona driving laws, and your particular violation, as well as evidence proving you did not commit the crime you are accused of. If you are confident you can prove you did not violate any traffic laws, or you have the means to hire an attorney to argue your case, then fighting your ticket in court might be an ideal option. But keep in mind, you could end up with the same Arizona traffic ticket fines and penalties and you might not be eligible to take a driving school course to dismiss your ticket.
The second, and more common, choice for drivers is to take a driving school course. The Arizona court is willing to approve eligible drivers to take a course, either online or in a classroom, to remove their traffic ticket from their driving record. This is a much less painful option, and could end up saving you money in the long run.
Who is Eligible to Dismiss a Traffic Ticket?
Most drivers, especially those with their first minor traffic violation, will be allowed to complete a state-approved Arizona defensive driving school course to dismiss their ticket. To be eligible, you must:
- 12 months must have passed since the violation date on your last traffic citation.
- Have not been convicted of a criminal act associated with your ticket
- Not have a commercial driving license
If you can say no to all the criteria above, then you'll be in the clear to take a driving school course in Arizona online or in a classroom.
What Happens If I Don't Dismiss a Traffic Ticket?
One traffic ticket might not seem like a big deal, but once those points are on your record they'll stay there for five years from the date of conviction. Maybe you're okay with your auto insurance going up. That's your choice. But if you don't dismiss a traffic ticket, and you get another one, or possibly 2, you could be in real trouble. Accumulating too many tickets in a short amount of time could result in a suspended Arizona drivers license. Taking a driving school course online is an easy way to relieve the stress of a traffic ticket and ensure your driving record stays clean.
Benefits of Taking a Defensive Driving School Course
Keeping points and tickets off your record is the best way to keep your insurance rates low and prevent future problems like license suspension. But the benefits aren't limited to drivers who have traffic tickets to take care of — good drivers can benefit too. By voluntarily taking a driving school course, drivers can earn a reduction in their auto insurance rates. To find out if you're eligible to lower your premium, contact your insurance carrier to find out what type of discount you can earn and the process they require for submitting proof of course completion.
Completing Arizona Driving School
Arizona drivers who wish to dismiss a traffic ticket need to complete their driving school course at least 7 days prior to the court hearing date printed on the original traffic ticket. Taking an online course makes this easy to achieve.
Once you pass the final exam, your certificate of completion is due to the court. If you choose to take an online driving school course, like the one offered by I Drive Safely, proof of completion is sent directly to the court for you. This is a great way to ensure you get your completion filed with the court prior to your due date.
Check Your AZ Driving Record
You took all the steps to dismiss your Arizona traffic ticket. Now what? While a legitimate online driving school program will submit your certificate of completion to the court, you need to be sure you get credit before your due date. Contact the court prior to your ticket date and ensure that your course completion information has been properly filed and your ticket has been dismissed. You can also request a copy of your driving record to make sure the points from your violation have been removed and your insurance company won't have any reason to raise your rates.