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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Vermont

Traffic tickets are notices that state or municipal law enforcement officers issue to road users who violate the Vermont Motor Vehicle Code. These notices are also known as traffic citations. They typically contain information about the type of traffic offense the recipient committed, the payable fine, and available payment methods. They also contain information about the court that the ticket is assigned to and where hearings are held.

Vermont traffic ticket recipients may respond by resolving the ticket uncontested or by contesting the ticket. Both options have legal and financial implications. Resolving the ticket uncontested is the same as pleading guilty or admitting guilt; therefore, apart from paying the ticket fine, the court may enforce applicable penalties to ticket recipients who pay tickets unresolved. On the other hand, recipients who choose to contest a ticket may require an attorney’s services. Also, recipients who choose to contest traffic tickets are typically required to be present at the court hearing. Ticket recipients are expected to respond to the ticket within 20 days of receipt; otherwise, the court may enter a default judgment against the recipient. Additional fines may also apply.

Vermont public records, including traffic-related documents, may also be accessed through third-party websites. These sites expedite the record retrieval process by aggregating records generated across several jurisdictions and allowing users perform multi-record searches. To use a third-party site, the inquirer may be required to provide the following information:

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

Third-party sites are managed independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these agencies. Consequently, the availability, accuracy and/or validity of some records may not be guaranteed.

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

Depending on the nature of the offense, traffic tickets can lead to much bigger consequences than ticket fines. Most commonly, traffic tickets can lead to points assessed against the offender’s record. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Vermont uses a point-based system to assess drivers in the state. The DMV usually suspends the licenses of drivers who accumulate up to 10 points over two years. The DMV may reinstate the license after the driver meets certain conditions, which includes paying a reinstatement fee. Points on a driver’s license can also result in increased insurance premiums.

For Vermont ticket recipients charged with moving violations or other violations punishable by more than just a fine, it is worth contesting a ticket. If the ticket recipient is successful in the contest, the court may dismiss the ticket.

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Vermont

Ticket recipients interested in contesting a ticket may request a hearing at the relevant court within 20 days of receiving the traffic ticket. Recipients may request the hearing by mail or in person; however, recipients should be present in court for the hearing.

Persons unable to attend the hearing on the scheduled date should inform the court at least one week before the scheduled date. Failing to show up for a traffic ticket hearing without an explanation may result in the court entering a default judgment against the traffic ticket recipients. Also, apart from the applicable ticket fines, the court may enforce additional fees.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court?

It is not possible to contest a traffic ticket out of court in Vermont. Traffic ticket recipients who wish to contest the ticket may request a hearing at the relevant local court, which is typically a court in the area where the alleged offense happened. It is possible to request a hearing by mail by simply mailing the filled traffic ticket with an indicated plea to the court. However, traffic ticket recipients are expected to be present in court for the hearing. Traffic ticket attorneys may also represent case parties at hearings.

How Do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Vermont?

Traffic ticket fines in Vermont are uniform, and it may not be possible to reduce tickets. Similarly, the DVM assesses points against offending drivers’ records. Since the courts do not control driving points, the courts cannot reduce the points assessed against a driver’s record. Additionally, Vermont does not have installment payment options. However, taking defensive driving classes may contribute to point reduction for Vermont drivers. Reduced points lead to reduced insurance premiums.

Can You Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Vermont?

When a ticket recipient contests a ticket and successfully presents a legal defense against a traffic violation, the court may dismiss the traffic ticket entirely. In some Vermont Courts, the law enforcement officer has to prove that the ticket recipient is indeed guilty of the traffic violation. Additionally, offending drivers may take defensive driving courses to reduce traffic ticket points. While this may not result in the dismissal of the traffic ticket, taking the course may contribute to the reduction of points on the offender’s driving record.

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

Ticket recipients who plead guilty to a traffic ticket waive the right to a hearing. Such persons cannot contest the ticket or request a hearing. The court enforces the penalties that the state or municipal laws stipulate for the traffic offense that the recipient pleads guilty to. This means that besides ticket fines, ticket recipients may also have points assessed against personal driving records. Accumulated points lead to increased insurance premiums and the suspension of the driver’s license.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Vermont

Traffic ticket attorneys support traffic ticket recipients by representing the ticket recipients at hearings. Traffic ticket attorneys may also request hearings on behalf of the ticket recipient and, where the law allows, negotiate with prosecutors for the traffic recipient. For Pro Se or self-represented litigants, traffic ticket attorneys provide counsel on the state traffic laws and the court rules.

Interested persons may find traffic ticket attorneys by contacting local law offices in the area where the alleged traffic violation occurred. Third-party websites, the Vermont Bar Association, and other third parties may also help provide information and resources for traffic ticket attorneys in Vermont.

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