Colorado Traffic Tickets & Violations
Nobody likes getting traffic tickets—they cost both time and money. But since no one is a perfect driver, citations are a reality for most of us. There are all kinds of Colorado traffic violations, ranging from simple parking offenses to driving under the influence (DUI). That’s why we’ve put together this guide to Colorado traffic tickets, so you know about everything - from what you can be cited for to how to deal with a ticket.
Types of Violations
There are two kinds of traffic violations: they are either moving or non-moving violations, depending on whether or not your vehicle was in motion at the time.
Moving violations could be any of the following:
- Running a red light
- Breaking Colorado DUI laws
Non-moving violations include:
- Parking illegally
- Having expired/missing license plates
- Driving with an invalid vehicle registration
What to Do If You Get a Traffic Ticket
You have two options when you get a traffic ticket: you can either plead guilty and pay the Colorado traffic fine, or plead not guilty and fight the ticket in court.
Paying Your Traffic Ticket
If you opt to pay your ticket, you have 20 days to send your payment to the Division of Motor Vehicles. You have several payment options, depending on where you were cited. You can pay:
- In person
- By mail
- By phone
If your payment is late, you will be instructed to contact the court. Depending on what you were cited for, you may have to appear in court. If this is the case, it will be stated on your ticket.
Fighting Your Traffic Ticket
If you decide to fight your ticket, whether it’s a speeding ticket in Colorado or a citation for an improper lane change, the first thing you will need to do is let the court know. The court must be notified on or before the appearance date on your ticket. You will either have to submit your plea in person or by mail. After this step is completed, the process is as follows:
- Prepare for your hearing: Whether you have hired a traffic ticket attorney or are fighting your ticket on your own, you will need to organize your case. Gather evidence, contact witnesses if you have them, and practice what you plan on saying.
- Plead your case in court: On the date of your trial, you will present your case to the judge. He or she will then make a decision as to whether or not you are guilty of the violation.
If you are found guilty, you will have points added to your driving record (the number of points depends on the violation), which in turn could raise your car insurance premiums. And if you accumulate too many points within a certain amount of time, your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked.
If you are not found guilty, you will not have points added to your record. However, no matter what the outcome of your trial, be sure to check your driving record. Mistakes can happen, but your driving record is an important document that must be kept accurate at all times.
Dealing with Driving Record Points
The state of Colorado does not allow drivers to take a Colorado court-approved driver improvement course to remove points from their driving record. However, you may be able to get a discount on your auto insurance if your provider offers this option. Not to mention, a traffic school course will refresh your memory on valuable driving skills, and give you up-to-date information on topics like new traffic laws. Armed with this information, you can take to the road confidently, and with new skills that will help you prevent future Colorado traffic tickets.