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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Connecticut

Connecticut traffic tickets are official citations served by law enforcement officials to road-users regarding violations of the state’s traffic law. The agency that maintains and disseminates driver information is the Connecticut department of motor vehicles (DMV).

Below are some traffic offenses that may result in being served a traffic ticket:

  • Road rage
  • Intimidating driving
  • Street racing
  • Engaging a law enforcement officer in pursuit
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving past a school bus
  • Reckless driving
  • Riding in the right lane

All motorists issued a citation must respond by the “answer date” written on the ticket.

To contest a Connecticut traffic ticket, the motorist should inform the court of the intention to plead “not guilty.” This can be done either:

  • Online: via the website of the state’s Centralized Infractions Bureau(CIB)
  • Phone: Defendants can also call the Centralized Infractions Bureau on (860)263–2750. Calls are to be made during regular business hours and on weekdays.
  • Mail: All Connecticut traffic citations contain the details that a defendant will need to mail their response to the appropriate court. This information is the court to contact, phone lines, addresses, and the deadline to respond.

After contacting the appropriate official, the petitioner will be informed about the court hearing’s time and location.

Motorists issued citations in Connecticut can also fight the ticket by participating in the state’s online ticket review program. To participate in that program, interested parties must go to the CIB website and enter their ticket number and the initial three letters of their last name. If the individual qualifies and chooses to partake in the program, a prosecutor will be assigned to review that driver’s case. If the case goes to court, the defendant will be mailed a “transfer notice” from the CIB. However, it might be months before the court hearing is scheduled.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

Is it Worth it To Fight a Traffic Ticket in Connecticut?

Yes, contesting a Connecticut traffic ticket may prove worth it, especially for road-users who were wrongly accused. Paying the fine is usually deemed a “Nolo Contendere” plea (no contest). Although this does not mean the person admits to the charges, it still has the same legal effect as pleading guilty and may lead to higher premiums from the insurance company. Also, drivers should be aware that paying-off the ticket may still result in being handed administrative sanctions such as license suspension by the state’s commissioner.

Pleading nolo contendere takes away the right to contest the ticket. Thus, the driver has to pay the fine, and based on the circumstances, that can be costly. However, deciding to fight the traffic ticket could bring greater reward as winning the case would mean not paying the fine.

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Connecticut

The Connecticut laws empower the state’s road-users to dispute traffic tickets in courts. Therefore, the defendant should hire a legal traffic advisor. After the driver has responded to the traffic ticket to contest the citation, they will be given a court hearing date. If the citation was issued in specific Connecticut locations with Regional Motor Vehicle courts, the defendant could submit a written response to the appropriate prosecutor. Then the prosecutor may decide to “nolle” (drop the charges of the case) or “not nolle” (not drop the charges). If the case does not get nolled, the defendant has to appear in a traffic court.

To successfully contest a traffic ticket in Connecticut, the defendant’s party will need to build a strong defense. Building the defense means establishing the driver’s account of the event that led to the citation. The concerned party should detail every occurrence before, during, and immediately after receiving the traffic ticket. Details such as traffic conditions, weather, the official’s demeanor, the road type, and so on should be detailed. All questions regarding the court may be directed to the office of the clerk.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court

Offenders of Connecticut traffic rules can contest their traffic citation out of court through a bargain or a mitigation hearing. A credible traffic ticket attorney can meet-up with the prosecuting party in a bid to strike a bargain. A bargain could involve community service, a driver retraining program, or other menial penalties to the defendant. If the concerned party qualifies for and participates in the online ticket review program and the prosecutor "nolles” the case, such a person would not need to appear in court.

How do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Connecticut

Persons issued Connecticut traffic tickets can get their fines reduced through the online ticket review program. After applying for the program, if the case is not nolled, the prosecutor could make the defendant an offer. This offer generally comprises reduced traffic ticket charges. The offer may also include the option of different but reduced penalties.

Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Connecticut?

Yes, motorists in Connecticut may get their speeding citations dismissed if the prosecuting officer fails to appear in court on the hearing date. Alternatively, a Connecticut online ticket review program would also get the ticket dismissed if the prosecutor nolles the case. This way, drivers can easily have their traffic tickets dismissed, avoid points on their record, and ultimately prevent high insurance rates. However, unlike most states, Connecticut does not allow for dismissals of speeding tickets after a driver participates in an operator retraining program.

What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Connecticut

If an offender pleads guilty to violating any of the state’s traffic rules, such persons will have penalty points added to their driving records. They may also be forced to enroll in any of the state’s driver retraining courses while having their driving licenses suspended. Further, the consequences in terms of auto insurance premiums can be very costly.

Although through a mitigation hearing, road-users can get hefty penalties replaced with community service. Committing three major moving violations or a combination of 12 minor and major moving offenses within five years makes a driver a habitual traffic offender. Such a driver may be charged with a compulsory 4-year license suspension.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Connecticut

Contesting a traffic ticket may prove arduous. Therefore, defendants are advised to employ the services of a credible Connecticut traffic ticket attorney. Interested persons can discover these attorneys both offline and online in the state. The Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) is a good starting point for parties looking to read the lawyers’ reviews. Certain third-party sites also offer listings of professional traffic lawyers in the state. These sites provide the credentials of the lawyers to make it easier for individuals to make a choice. A credible attorney can help build a strong defense and successfully bargain with the offense to settle the case out of court.

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