How to Take Defensive Driving to Dismiss a Traffic Ticket in Texas
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What Do I Need To Do First After Receiving A Ticket?
First, quit kicking yourself. Tickets aren’t fatal, and it was probably just one of those “stupid mistake/wrong time, wrong place” situations. Then again, if it wasn’t, please feel free to ignore that “quick kicking yourself” part…
Defensive driving is a kindness offered by the state to help drivers who’ve made mistakes avoid the negative effects of a ticket. By following a few simple court-ordered steps, these drivers can keep their driving records clean and avoid increases in their insurance premiums.
What Kinds Of Things Will Be Required By The Court?
The court will require a little more from you if you’re looking to dismiss your ticket than if you decide to plead guilty. But, if that’s your choice, all you’ll need is your checkbook. If it’s ticket dismissal you’re after, it will take a little more but, believe me, it will be worth it.
After getting your ticket, the very first thing you will want to do is to contact your court for options. Unless you’re a regular ticket-getter, it is quite likely that the court will offer defensive driving as the solution to your citation problem. It is VERY important that you ask to take defensive driving before you take (or even enroll) in a defensive driving class. As far as the process for getting permission, some individual courts have their own quirks. But, by and large, the process works like this. You’ll be asked to…
- Fill out a form expressing your desire to take defensive driving.
- Provide proof of insurance.
- Pay an administrative fee. Believe me, this will cost you WAY less than the price of the fine associated with your ticket.
- Receive a packet of instructions from the court that will reinforce everything they told you and will include a darte by which you must get the process fininshed.
Depending on the court, this process can be completed in person or, in some cases, by phone or email.
It is at this point you can shop for your defensive driving course. BTW, the court is going to refer to it as a “driver safety course,” but they are the only ones that call it that.
After you have received your certificate of course completion, you will bundle it together with whatever else the court has required of you and get it back to them. Very likely that stack of paperwork will include a copy of your 3A driving record. Get it all done by when they ask you to and POOF!, your ticket is gone, never to show up on your driving record. It’s important to note here that it is your responsibility to notify the court of your completion. Unlike other state, Texas defensive driving providers do not report directly to the courts.
How Long Will The Court Give Me To Finish My Defensive Driving Course?
Generally speaking, the court will give you 90 days to complete your course and return with your required paperwork. that’s pretty generous. Just make sure you don’t let their generosity lull you to sleep. With 10-14 days to conntact your court after your ticket and another 90 to get your stuff to the court, it’s easy to see how someone could forget all about it. Be careful not to let that someone be you!