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What do you know about mitigating a traffic ticket?

Recently, Arizona law enforcement pulled you over for speeding. You do not feel the punishment fits the traffic violation, but you do not know your options.

NerdWallet describes how to negotiate a traffic offense. You do not have to feel trapped with paying the entire ticket penalty.

Understanding mitigation

Rather than pay the ticket, you may instead mitigate the penalty. With mitigating, you negotiate with the court and prosecutor to reduce your fine. With this approach, you save the court money, which may make the jurisdiction more willing to hear you out.

If this feels like a solid option for you, check the court’s site to determine whether you must request mitigation at or prior to your hearing date. You may need to write your request.

Reviewing mitigation outcomes

During mitigation, you must take responsibility for the offense and offer a case for why you deserve a reduced penalty. Depending on what the court decides, you may have more time to pay the fine in full. Alternatively, you may need to pay either the entire ticket or a reduced percentage, but the infraction does not tarnish your driving record. Other potential outcomes are you receive a reduced fine or you enroll in a driving class in lieu of paying the fine.

A judge may also grant you a deferral, which means you pay the penalty and receive a ticket dismissal after a “probationary period” when you do not commit further traffic violations. If you have no other traffic offenses on your record, you may take a driving course in exchange for a dismissal.

Know your rights and options for responding to traffic offenses. Professionals may help you build a solid case.