Tennessee Court Records
How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee
When a road user violates traffic laws in Tennessee, law enforcement agencies issue a traffic ticket to the individual. Recipient of the tickets may appear in court or pay a fine. Paying for a traffic ticket in the State of Tennessee is the same as accepting to have committed the offense on the traffic ticket, which leads to legal consequences and financial implications. Aside from paying the fines, the driver has to deal with an increase in insurance, traffic school costs, and several other penalties. However, it is a good idea to fight a traffic ticket.
In Tennessee, a driver piles up points against the driver’s license for every single moving violation, no matter how small. Even if the speed was just one mph over the speed limit, the driver could still get points against and might as well pay a fine.
To fight a traffic ticket, offenders must hire a very competent traffic attorney and plead not guilty to the traffic violation. Based on the type of traffic offense and court, the driver might not be required to be in court and send the plea via mail or online to the court or municipality, which will arrange a pre-trial conference. Specific information regarding where and how to fight a traffic ticket by pleading not guilty is on the citation. If the driver does not attend a scheduled appearance, the penalty is a license suspension. Rescheduling a court date or asking further questions can be done by contacting Tennessee Municipal or the City Court in charge of the case.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
Is it Worth it To Fight a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee
Only drivers pleading not guilty to a traffic ticket are eligible to fight the ticket. Although fighting traffic tickets can be stressful, lasting a long while and may not seem like it is worth it, eventually even if it is a win because of the time spent, money wasted, and opportunity lost during that period of fighting the ticket. The result of the case will determine whether or not the driver’s consequences of fighting the ticket will have a negative or positive effect.
If the driver loses the case, the gravity of the charges will be the determining factor for the penalties the driver will face:
- Jail time
- Enrolling in a driving school (mandatory)
- Community service
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Added points to driving record
- Increase in insurance rates
If the driver wins the case, the following will take place:
- No fine whatsoever
- No added points to driving record
- Court dismisses the charges
- No penalties
- No increase in insurance rates
After finding out the case results, the driver must check the Tennessee driving record as inaccurate information on the record can lead to fines, penalties, and unnecessary stress in the future.
Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee
To fight a traffic ticket in Tennessee, the violator can:
- State that the Driving was Essential to Avert Harm
This defense shows that the driving offense committed was necessary to avoid harm of any kind to the driver or others. Examples include speeding to prevent an accident or swerving to prevent oneself from hitting a pedestrian that fell off the sidewalk and into the driver’s lane. The point of this defense is to show the judge that if the driver had not done this, it could have resulted in injury or death.
- Show Evidence to Prove the Offense was a “Mistake of Fact”
In almost all courts, the Judge in charge of the case will be the one to decide on the judgment alone if given the right form of evidence. For some traffic tickets like running a stop sign, the court allows a driver to show proof that will require not paying for the ticket due to the driver making a “mistake of fact.”
For example, a mistake of fact could be a driver driving in two lanes because the lanes’ markers are worn down and not visible enough for the driver. Another example is the driver making an illegal turn due to wind, which blew away the sign stating not to make that turn.
- Argue the Police Officer’s Display of Evidence
There are some types of tickets where the driver cannot dispute the officer’s judgment, such as making an illegal U-turn or running a stop sign because the tickets are clear cut. Notwithstanding, challenging the ticket is also challenging the officer who saw the driver perform the ticket’s violation. This case will eventually depend on the person the judge believes, and the driver may have a hard time overcoming. However, the driver can present some arguments and evidence to win the case.
- Dispute the Police Officer’s Personal Opinion
Officers ticketing drivers for illegal turns, unsafe lane change, or speeding on a highway are always required to write down a personal opinion and subjectively conclude what happened that day. If the ticket given to the driver includes the subjective opinion of the law enforcement officer, the driver can challenge that opinion.
For example, suppose the driver receives a ticket for an unsafe lane change. In that case, the driver can argue that the change was safe due to the traffic and weather situation that day or that the officer was in front during the lane change because of heavy traffic and was most likely facing the road.
How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court
Fighting a ticket without going to court is possible in the state of Tennessee, but it solely depends on the type of traffic tickets incurred. The driver can fight the traffic ticket by pleading not guilty to the charges and entering the plea online or via mail. It is mandatory to respond to the traffic ticket within 15 days, or the penalty could lead to the suspension of the driver’s license and more. The driver must plead to the city or municipal court in charge of the case on or before the date listed on the ticket. To find further steps required to fight a traffic ticket, interested persons can look through the Tennessee Driver License Manual.
How do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Tennessee
To reduce traffic tickets in Tennessee, drivers must plead not guilty and send a notification to the court requesting a reduction in the plea. The party must send the notification before the date written on the ticket. The court will reply to the notice with the next steps that the driver can take to reduce the ticket.
Drivers can also reduce traffic tickets by doing the following;
- Contact the insurance company for information on earning a discount through traffic school. Many providers will give a rate reduction of 10% to drivers who want to complete a traffic school course in Tennessee. When discussing the reduction, drivers should inquire about the following:
- Reduction rate;
- Whether to renew the discount;
- How long the discount will be valid.
- Enroll in and complete traffic school in Tennessee.
- Upon completion, submit the certificate to the insurance company.
Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Tennessee
Yes, it is possible to dismiss a traffic ticket. According to Tennessee Traffic Laws, Drivers can dismiss a ticket by following the steps below;
- Contact the court in charge of the case and request to finish a Tennessee Traffic School Course: A date is specified on the ticket for the driver to contact the court, and the following information is required;
- Traffic ticket number
- Listed charge of violation
- Date of citation
- Appearance date
The court will decide whether the driver is eligible for ticket dismissal or must appear before a judge for further review. If the court grants permission, the driver can then sign up for a Tennessee Traffic School.
- Enroll and Complete the Tennessee Traffic School: The court is sure to give the driver a deadline to complete the course and submit the certificate.
- Submit the certificate of completion to the court: The court will inform the driver whether to mail, fax, or submit the certificate in person. If the court does not notify the offender, the violator must ask before going through with this process.
- Check Driving Record: After submitting the certificate, the court will then process the traffic ticket dismissal. The driver is required to check the driving record to ensure no violations or points are there. Drivers must be proactive and vigilant to maintain a good driving history.
What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee
Pleading guilty to a Tennessee traffic ticket is equal to admitting guilty. When a driver pleads guilty;
- There is a possibility of getting the ticket dismissed if the driver completes a state-approved defensive driving course, but the driver must apply it with the court.
- Depending on the court and violation, drivers can pay for the ticket via mail, online, or in-person.
- The court adds points to the driving records, but the number of points will depend on the violation.
- There is a possibility of the driver’s license being suspended, depending on the points and the traffic offense.
- Harsh penalties may apply if the violation is severe.
- Car insurance rates will increase.
Drivers can pay for the ticket before the date given in the citation. Failure to pay up will result in the suspension of a driver’s license and possibly an arrest.
How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Tennessee
If a road user decides to fight the traffic ticket, a traffic ticket lawyer can increase the chances of winning the case. These lawyers understand every vehicle code and are familiar with the officers and judges in charge of these cases. However, before hiring a traffic lawyer, there are many factors, such as the lawyer’s credentials, costs, city, and comfort level. Parties concerned should do thorough research before procuring a traffic attorney. To find an attorney in any county in Tennessee, interested persons can visit the county’s website or search Traffic Tickets Attorneys online.