Traffic Ticket Q&A

How many traffic courts does Las Vegas have?

Las Vegas, or the Clark County area around Las Vegas has six different traffic courts. Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson each have a municipal traffic court. Then each city has a justice traffic court. Municipal court is for violations on city roads. Here is a link to each of the courts websites; Las Vegas Municipal, Las Vegas Justice, North Las Vegas Municipal, North Las Vegas Justice, Henderson Municipal, Henderson Justice.

Where do I go for traffic court?

At the bottom of each ticket is the location of the traffic court you must appear at. The ticketing officer does not control which court you go to. A Henderson policeman can give you a ticket for Las Vegas Justice Court. This is commonly seen with Highway Patrol. They are state police driving on state, city, or county roads. There is no state traffic court so any tickets they hand out will be for a city or county court.

How does traffic court work?

Traffic court is an initial hearing. At the bottom of your traffic ticket is the date, time, and location of your court. At traffic court the judge is reviewing the violations the policeman charged you with, and looking for your plea. The judge may ask a few questions and then will enter your plea. If your plea is guilty they will enforce the fine. If your plea is no contest the court will enforce the fine. If your plea is not guilty they will schedule a return hearing to hear testimony from the ticketing officer.

Should I plead guilty to a traffic ticket?

At the initial hearing the judge will ask if you are guilty, not guilty, or if you would rather plead no contest. Traffic tickets are misdemeanor charges so by law you are afforded a hearing to hear your plea. A guilty plea is the worst thing you can say. With a guilty plea the full fine and penalties will be enforced. No contest is the best option. This is not guilty nor guilty. It simply stating you

Do I need to appear in court for a speeding ticket?

Yes, you will need to either appear in court, or handle the ticket through the court’s website, or phone line. Not every court offer’s a website or phone line service. If a court does offer a website or phone service, it is typically limited to guilty pleas and accepting the full fine and penalty.

What to say in court for a speeding ticket?

The judge might ask you a few questions. Mostly the judge is looking for your plea. You can try to explain to the judge why you think you are not guilty. This doesn’t typically work so well. The policeman’s opinion of whether you were speeding, or didn’t stop is typically taken at face value by the judge. You might attempt to negotiate with the judge. Ask for a reduction in fine, or reduction to a parking ticket in exchange for a no contest plea.

How to get a copy of your traffic ticket?

If you lost or misplaced your traffic ticket you can still get a copy. All of the courts around Las Vegas have website to view your traffic ticket. Above is a link to each of the court’s websites. Search by name. Some sites require you date of birth.

What happens if officer doesn’t show up to court?

The police officer who wrote the ticket will not be appearing at traffic court with you. At least not at the initial hearing. The first time you see a judge is not a trial, therefore the policeman doesn’t need to be a witness. The ticket is the policeman’s charge of the violation. The judge will be asking how you plea and if you plea guilty or no contest the judge can issue the fine and penalty. If you plea not guilty then a second hearing which is a mini trial. The police officer will testify to what he saw, you will get to testify and then the judge makes a final decision. If the police officer doesn’t show up for this hearing, then you escape the ticket. But, they always show up. They get paid to show up.

How long do you have to pay a speeding ticket?

Most courts accept check, debit card, or credit card for traffic tickets. Some courts will allow payment plans. This is something to negotiate with the judge. We have seen typical repayment periods of 3 to 6 months.

If I pay my speeding ticket do I still have to go to court?

You do not need to go to court if you are paying the full fine and penalty and accepting a guilty plea. Most of the traffic courts have website where you can accept a guilty plea, and pay the full fine. We do not recommend this approach.

Do I need a lawyer for traffic court?

A lawyer is not provided to you for traffic court. Traffic tickets are misdemeanors and do not come with the right to legal counsel. You can appear on your own behalf. You do not need to hire a traffic ticket lawyer.

Can a lawyer get you out of a speeding ticket?

Yes, a lawyer can, or at least a lawyer can negotiate the fine to be reduce, no DMV points, and no traffic school. Sometimes a lawyer may see something wrong with the traffic ticket, or sees a solid defense. Absent the obvious get out of jail card the power of the lawyer is to negotiate with the judge or the city attorney. City attorneys don’t really want to hold a mini trial for your ticket. A good lawyer knows this and will plea guilty and force a mini trial unless a fair negotiation is made.

How much are traffic ticket attorneys?

Pricing of a traffic ticket attorney varies. Some charge a fixed fee of $100 or $150 for the entire ticket. Others charge $25 to $50 for each violation. Some violations like reckless driving, traffic warrant are more. There can be different prices based on the court. We charge more for North Las Vegas courts because their courts are farther away and more difficult to deal with.

Can I fight a speeding ticket and win?

Yes, you can argue a traffic ticket and have it dismissed. It’s not easy, and doesn’t happen very often. You would need to convince the judge at the first hearing that the officer was wrong, or the ticket shouldn’t have been written. If you can’t convince the judge to dismiss the ticket, then the next hearing is basically a mini trial. The policeman will testify, and you get to argue why the policeman is wrong. If you are successful, then the judge will dismiss your ticket.

Can I fight a speeding ticket without going to court?

No, you cannot. To argue a ticket, you need to appear in front of the judge and either convince them the ticket shouldn’t have been written, or plead not guilty and be given a mini trial. The court will not accept testimony via a phone call or letter. Without testimony you cannot fight the ticket. You can only accept the fine and penalty.

How to get a speeding ticket dismissed?

Yes, you can have it dismissed. You can convince the judge the officer’s judgement or reason behind the ticket were wrong. If you are successful, then the judge will dismiss your ticket.

How to reduce a speeding ticket?

Reducing a traffic ticket is basically where you negotiate with the judge for a lesser fine, or lesser penalty. Typical requests are no DMV points, no traffic school or a reduction in the fine. The reduction in the fine is the hardest concession to get. The courts are more likely to waive DMV points or traffic school than money which is earmarked for the city.

If you fight a ticket and lose what happens?

When you are asked to plea and you plea not guilty a mini trial will be scheduled. The city attorney will bring in witnesses like policeman to testify against you. You will need to do the same. The judge is the jury in a misdemeanor traffic trial, and makes the final decision. If he believes the city attorney then you will be found guilty and the full fine and penalty will be imposed.

Is a traffic ticket a conviction?

Yes, but a misdemeanor conviction. Traffic ticket misdemeanors rarely effect a job, or profession and don’t commonly appear on criminal records. A traffic ticket will appear on your DMV report which is commonly used by insurance companies. Being view by insurance companies is the bigger issue, because it may cause your rates to increase.

Is a parking ticket a moving violation?

No, a parking ticket is not a moving violation and does not appear on your DMV report. The DMV report is important because insurance companies have access to this report. Traffic courts report to the DMV on all moving violations. Insurance companies then may raise your rates based on moving violations.

Do fix it tickets go on your record?

A fix it ticket, like a broken tail light, or a missing license plate is not a moving violation. It doesn’t affect your DMV record and therefore not reported. Fix-it tickets can be a little tricky. You are not able to simply fix the issue and then go to court. The judge will not take your word the issue has been fixed. The judge needs proof. Having an official review, the issue and initialing the ticket the issue has been fixed is the appropriate step. DMV’s have officials who can initial your ticket, or any policeman can initial your ticket. The judge may still fine you for the issue.