You should always do your best to protect your rights during an interaction with law enforcement – just because a police officer asks you to do something, it doesn’t mean you are required by law to agree. Law enforcement officers are eager to issue tickets, so the cop probably won’t advise you of your rights during a traffic stop, and they won’t tell you the right things to say to protect yourself. This leaves many people with questions about what they should do during a traffic stop. If you are issued a ticket, here’s what you need to know about signing and paying (or contesting) it.
Is Signing A Ticket An Admission of Guilt?
Signing a traffic ticket simply indicates that you are aware you’ve received it. Since it is not an official admission of guilt, it isn’t detrimental to sign your traffic ticket in the presence of law enforcement. In fact, we urge anyone who is pulled over to cooperate and sign their ticket. If you refuse to sign, the consequences can be severe; you may even be arrested and charged with a crime. The criminal defense process is a much more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive outcome, so you should do your best to avoid an arrest. In Minnesota, law enforcement officers typically do not ask drivers to sign their tickets.
If you signed a traffic ticket, you still have options when it comes time to address the ticket. You can either pay the ticket, or you can choose to contest it in court. Of course, many times it seems easier to just pay your ticket and get it over with. However, there can be consequences that you are not thinking about, and in certain cases it pays to contest the ticket.
Contesting A Traffic Ticket
If you do not believe you should be forced to pay the ticket, you can head to court to present your case. It’s always a good idea to work with a criminal defense attorney any time you’re going to court, especially if your ticket could have greater implications. For example, sometimes people with previous traffic infractions will have to forfeit their license for 30 or 90 days after a subsequent violation, or even longer. This is inconvenient and may make it difficult to get to work and run essential errands.
In some cases, you will be required to appear in court for the ticket even if you would like to pay the fine: for example, reckless and careless driving tickets, or tickets involving an accident. If you are required to appear in court due to the details of your ticket, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you get your court date.
Criminal Defense Lawyers for Contesting Traffic Tickets
Sieben Edmunds Miller’s criminal defense attorneys have seen firsthand how a simple traffic ticket can trigger a series of unfortunate events: the ticket can cause a license revocation, and the revocation can easily turn into a charge of driving with a suspended license. We want to help our clients face their tickets head-on so they can avoid a criminal charge down the line. If you’ve received an unfair traffic ticket that you’d like to contest during a court hearing, contact our attorneys for assistance.