Ask for a trial on a traffic ticket

If you want to contest your traffic ticket, you can ask for a trial. You must ask for the trial before the due date on the notice you got from the court. 

Traffic ticket trials

In a traffic ticket trial, you and the officer that wrote the ticket both get a chance to explain what happened. You can have witnesses and present other evidence, like pictures or a recording. If the judge decides you are guilty, they will set the fine. 

There are no juries in a traffic ticket trial. A judge or commissioner (an official who works for the court) decides if you're guilty or not. 

How to get a trial

Decide what type of trial you want and ask for one by the deadline

There are two types of traffic ticket trials - by written declaration or court trial (in-person). You can ask for either one. 

Trial by written declaration

If you do not want to or can't come to court, you can ask for a trial by written declaration. In a trial by declaration, you send in a written statement, along with any evidence you have, to the court to explain what happened. You generally also send in payment. The officer who wrote the ticket then gets a chance to send in their own written statement. A judge then reviews both and mails you a decision.

 How to ask for a trial by declaration and what to expect 

Traffic court trial

A court trial means that you will have a trial in person at the court. Or, in some courts, that you will appear remotely. Appear remotely usually means that you call into the court by phone or video. If you have a lawyer, they can represent you at the trial.

How to ask for a court trial and what to expect

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