Fight Your Ticket Without an Attorney

You decided to handle your own ticket. Let’s review the process for the majority of traffic tickets handled in Las Vegas. These procedures are not aimed at getting your ticket dismissed. These tips are only to possibly get your ticket reduced. For fighting your ticket read our article Strategies for Fighting a Traffic Ticket

Which Court

There are six courts who handle traffic tickets in Las Vegas. Each city has a court; Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. Each city has a county court, called a Justice Court; Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. Therefore, it is possible your traffic court is Las Vegas Justice, which is the county, or Las Vegas Municipal, which is the city. Take a look at your ticket and be sure you know which court you need to appear at and the date. Below are the links to each court’s website.

Traffic Court Websites

Most court websites allow you to pay your ticket online. Don’t, unless you are OK with DMV points, insurance increases and possibly traffic school. And they certainly don’t allow you to ask for a lessor fine. The website do not allow you to negotiate for a lesser offense.

Dress Professionally

Dress professionally for your court date. You don’t need to rent a tuxedo or a gown. You don’t even need to wear a suit. Wear something you would wear to a job interview. No flip flops, cut-off jeans, or “Who Farted” baseball hat.

Traffic Court Procedures

Appear in court on the date and before the scheduled time. Go inside and check in. By checking in you are letting court clerk know you are there. They will give you some instructions of where to wait or what to do next.

The Plea

The court, most like the judge, will ask you how you plead. The responses are “guilty”, “not guilty”, or “no contest”. Do not plead “guilty”. You would have been better off paying the ticket online and saving yourself the parking fees. The correct response to negotiate a ticket is to ask the judge if they would reduce the fine, reduce the ticket to illegal parking, and no traffic school in exchange for your plea of “no contest”.

The Negotiation

This “no contest” plea is where you negotiate with the judge for a lessor offense, and for a lessor punishment, and fine. How well the negotiations work depends on several factors; your driving record, what you are accused of, and judge’s mood. Be polite and kindly ask for a reduced fine, and reduced penalties.

Next Hearing

If the judge doesn’t budge and doesn’t offer you a lessor offense, then you have two choices. Plead guilty and accept your fate or plead not guilty and force the judge to hold another hearing. By pleading guilty you are forcing the court to hold a hearing where they interview witness and make a final decision. You could call it a trial, but it’s a much smaller hearing than a trial.