If you’ve gotten a speeding ticket in the Memphis, Tennessee area, you may be wondering how to go about handling it. Do I just send in the payment? What happens if it goes on my record? Should I go to court and fight it? How many hours out of my day is that going to take? Can a lawyer help me? This article will answer those questions.
Traffic violations in Memphis are governed by the laws of the Tennessee Code Annotated. Traffic violations are found in Title 55 of the Code, which regulates motor and other vehicles. Most traffic laws are in chapters 9, 10, and 11, which cover rules of the road, vehicle equipment, and accidents, crimes, and penalties.
Memphis traffic tickets are handled at the criminal courthouse, located at 201 Poplar Avenue in downtown Memphis. City traffic tickets are assigned to Divisions 1, 2, and 3, while Shelby County tickets are assigned to Division 14 on the second floor. City tickets simply mean tickets that are issued within the city limits by Memphis police, while county tickets are issued outside city limits but within Shelby County, usually by Sheriff’s deputies.
Will your traffic ticket go on your record, causing you to pay more in car insurance? It depends, but if handled properly there is a chance that it won’t. If it’s a city of Memphis ticket, and the infraction is a minor one such as speeding 10 miles an hour over, improper passing, seatbelt violation, or an accident with no injuries, the ticket will generally be dismissed with payment of court costs. Court costs for Memphis traffic court are $130. More serious offenses may have to be tried. If the traffic violation goes on your record it could result in higher insurance premiums, though it depends on how many points are on your record. If you have too many points on your record over a 12-month period, you could lose your license.
Shelby County tickets also require payment of court costs, but to be dismissed you will have to attend defensive driving school (usually a four-hour course that can be taken online). The case will be reset six months for you to take the course and get a certificate, and you will also be placed on driving probation during that time. That means no more traffic tickets. If you get another ticket during the probationary period, the deal goes away and you must either plead guilty or go to trial.
Germantown traffic tickets are handled similarly. Tickets in Germantown are heard at the Germantown city court, located on 1930 Germantown Road South in Germantown, Tennessee. Tickets may be set off for six months and, with no more tickets in that time, dismissed with payment of court costs.
You may be wondering if you have to go to court to get your ticket dismissed. You do not if you hire an experienced Memphis traffic ticket lawyer to handle the case. Hiring an attorney for your speeding ticket or other violation can take out all of the stress and waiting. If you choose to handle it yourself, you’ll have to go downtown, park, wait in line to just get in the courthouse, then wait in line to go into the courtroom to see the judge. This will take hours. You may be anxious about going to court. You may be worried about saying the wrong thing, or the judge simply finding you guilty. With an attorney on your side, this will not happen. You do not have to take off work or set aside half a day to wait at court. Your lawyer will go to court for you and insure you get the best outcome possible, which in many cases will be a dismissal.