How to Beat a Traffic Ticket

Getting a ticket stinks, especially on a road trip. But when you beat a traffic ticket, you can save yourself a lot of money and feel like a whole new person.

Yes, that's right. You don't just have to pay the ticket like a robot. And even if you do choose to pay the ticket, your insurance won't necessarily go up if you play your cards right.

Here are some tips to help you beat a traffic ticket:

Don't admit guilt. When you're first pulled over, you may be a bit rattled, especially if it's your first ticket. But even if you know you were going 65 in a 45 zone, don't apologize or say, "I was speeding, wasn't I?" You deserve a fair trial (if you want one). Admitting guilt will destroy your case.

Contest the ticket by mail. There's an urban legend going around that if you book a court date with the officer who issued the ticket, he generally won't show and you'll get off. But we've heard from more reliable sources that officers do get paid overtime for showing up in court.

You're better off contesting your ticket via trial by mail, if you were cited in a state that offers it. That way, you get to make your case in writing.

There are several online services that offer trial by mail templates, which you can customize with the details of your citation and submit to the judge. These services claim to have a very high success rate.

We cannot vouch for these successes, of course, but if the purchase price is $25-50 and it might get you out of a $250 ticket, we say it's worth a shot!

Complete online traffic school. So, you got stuck with the ticket. Don't worry. Although traffic school sounds like a pain, it's really not. I once watched a co-worker complete a supposedly 8-hour traffic school course during her lunch break. She passed and got the ticket removed from her record.

The trick is to go straight to the test questions for each section and find out what you'll need to know. Then use Ctrl+F to search for key information within the lesson. Finally, go back to the quiz and answer the questions correctly. Ba-da-bing.

Hey, shrug it off. Traffic tickets happen to nearly everyone at some point. You're not a bad person - just kind of a bad driver. Follow the tips above, and you may be able to prevent any lasting damage to your driving record.

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