You received a traffic ticket in Mississippi. What are your next steps?
When you commit a traffic violation in Mississippi, you should respond to it within ten business days in one of the following ways:
- Pay the fine
- Request a mitigation hearing to request leniency
- Request a mitigation hearing to take a driver safety course
- Request a contest hearing
Paying a traffic violation in Mississippi
When you pay the fine for your traffic violation, you are admitting guilt. You waive your right to challenge the ticket in court. Possible consequences include an increase in car insurance rates and the suspension of your license by the Department of Licensing depending on your driving record.
Don’t pay without first speaking to an attorney, however, should you decide to pay the ticket speak to the clerk first with the number provided on your ticket. Once they know you plan to pay the fine, you may choose to pay in-person or by mail. Only pay cash if you plan to pay in-person, and never send a personal check in the mail. Instead, submit a cashier’s check made payable to the clerk of the court. Additionally, provide a self-addressed envelope for a receipt for proof that you paid your ticket. You may also have the option to pay by card online.
Options to reduce Mississippi traffic violation penalties
If you request a mitigation hearing, it may result in a reduced fine, a monthly payment plan or community service to work off your debt. Another option is to request permission to complete a driver safety course. These courses typically prevent most minor violations from appearing on your record, but you will likely still need to pay the ticket. Mississippi offers ticket dismissal to drivers once with driver safety courses.
When you request permission to complete a course, the court will consider the following details:
- If you have dismissed a traffic violation with a driver safety course before
- If the ticket was for an excessive speed over the limit
- If the ticket was provided in a school or work zone
- If you hold a commercial driver’s license
Fighting a traffic ticket in Mississippi
The other option is to directly challenge the traffic ticket by requesting a contested hearing. If you choose to plead not guilty and fight your ticket, hire a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer with experience defending traffic violations can help you avoid penalties such as increased insurance payments, fine or jail time.
Attorney Amy Pietrowski has successfully fought traffic violations for clients in both Mississippi and Tennessee. If you are facing a traffic ticket and have any questions about your case, call Amy Pietrowski today at (662) 372-1622.