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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Indiana

In the state of Indiana, traffic tickets are notices served by law enforcement agencies to road users believed to have violated any traffic regulations and rules in the state. Some common traffic violations in Indiana include driving without a driver’s license, DUI, running a red light, overspeeding, and reckless driving. Violations such as parking tickets, not having proof of insurance, and failure to pay levies, among others, are regarded as minor offenses. Indiana also classifies traffic violations as either non-moving or moving crimes.

A road user can fight an Indiana traffic ticket in court no more than 60 days after the ticket was issued. To fight a ticket, the accused party may take the following steps:

  • Tick the “not guilty” field on the traffic ticket, then mail it to the appropriate address
  • Visit the proper courthouse and inform the clerk about the decision to contest the ticket
  • Appear at the courthouse on the court date written on the ticket and inform the judge to secure a hearing date.

Apart from the duration for which a speeding ticket remains on a driver’s driving record, below are some other repercussions for receiving Indiana speeding tickets:

  • Fines and court costs
  • Higher insurance rates
  • Extra points are added to the driving record
  • License suspension
  • Arrest

In Indiana, public traffic records are also accessible from some third-party websites. These websites streamline the search process by aggregating records from various judicial districts, providing remote access to them, and allowing users to perform multi-record searches. To use third-party search engines, interested parties are typically expected to 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 in which the person resides or was accused.

Third-party sites are neither managed by government custodians nor sponsored by these agencies. Because of this, inquirers may be charged a fee for the service, and the accuracy or completeness of these records may not be guaranteed.

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

Yes, it may be worth it to fight an Indiana traffic ticket, especially if the alleged offender can prove their innocence beyond all reasonable doubt.

In Indiana, the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) operates a point system that ranges in value from 2 to 8. Persons who are charged and convicted of a traffic violation that carries points may have those points included on their driving records for a minimum of 2 years. Individuals may face license suspension if their records have too many points. As such, defendants are often encouraged to fight their tickets in Indiana traffic courts. In court, a judge decides on the case and declares judgment that may convict or exonerate the defendant. Although fighting a traffic ticket can be costly and time-consuming compared to a plea of guilt, motorists generally have a right to contest a ticket, especially when the citation is not deserved.

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Indiana

In Indiana, individuals served with traffic tickets can choose to contest the charges as stated in the state’s legislature. To do so, the motorist may:

  • Gather the case: Together with the attorney, the concerned parties should prepare their testimony and ensure it is detailed before the hearing. Get necessary evidence and witnesses, as this may strengthen the case.
  • Present the case at the hearing: After the prosecutor’s opening statement, the defendant(s) may present their cases. There, defendants or their representatives can provide evidence, testimony, evidence, etc. When the hearing is over, the judge issues the verdict.

If the judge does not rule in favor of the accused, the defense may file an appeal. Appellants without attorneys can visit the Indiana BMV website to learn how to file appeals.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court

To contest an Indiana traffic ticket, the accused should be present at the courthouse where the case was charged. In Indiana, failure to appear in court after receiving a citation is regarded as a guilty plea. The counties and cities in Indiana have a traffic court charged with handling traffic cases in that district. However, the prosecutor and defendant can agree to resolve the matter out of court through a successful negotiation.

How Do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Indiana?

Accused drivers in Indiana may seek a mitigation hearing. Although this may still be considered an admission of guilt, it may help mitigate the traffic ticket. If the presiding judge rules in the defendant’s favor, the fines could be reduced or even replaced with community service. The Indiana legislature also offers a traffic amnesty program maintained by the state’s court system. The program is directed at helping the residents in the state get reduced fees and fines.

Can You Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Indiana?

Yes, Indiana residents can get their speeding tickets dismissed by contesting the court’s ticket and presenting the case to the judge. Defendants (and their legal representatives) may also be able to reach a plea bargain with the prosecutor or ask to attend traffic school for the case to be dismissed. Indiana speed limit rules vary and are dependent on the district. However, below are some general speed limits in the state:

  • The alleyways limit is 15 mph.
  • Urban locale's limit is 30 mph.
  • Highways and interstates limit range from 65–70 mph (for most motor vehicles). This applies to an interstate or highway located outside of urban areas. 55 mph is the limit on the other state highways

The Indiana speed limit regulations are regarded as absolute according to the Indiana Code 9–21–5. This implies that if the predetermined limit is 35 mph and a driver records a speed of 36 mph, then such a person has violated the state’s traffic law. Therefore that individual can be issued a speeding ticket.

What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Indiana?

In Indiana, paying a ticket is usually regarded as the offender’s admission of guilt. Guilty parties are given information on the penalties, which are normally ticket fines, surcharges, court costs, and other penalties written on the traffic ticket. Also, drivers found guilty may have their driver’s license suspended.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Indiana

Motorists who are served with Indiana traffic tickets and opt to contest the citation may require the services of a legal advisor. Several third-party websites offer traffic attorney services in the state. Most law firms also have both online and offline addresses that are accessible to the public. Indiana traffic law attorneys know and understand the state’s traffic courts and system; hence, they are better equipped to get tickets dismissed. These lawyers can also help in a mitigation hearing or if the defendant is open to negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutors.

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