I’ve Got a Ticket.
Getting a ticket dismissed can help you save money in 3 different ways.
Keep your driving record clean. Keeping the ticket off of your driving record keeps your insurance rates from rising.
And traffic violations accumulate as points on your driving record for three years. Too many points on your record can cost you money, and risk suspension of your license. But a ticket dismissed with a defensive driving certificate disappears from your record.
Avoid paying the fine. Moving violations can cost a driver anywhere from $150 to $300 depending on the infraction.
Even with defensive driving, you’ll probably still have to pay the court fee — usually about $125 — but that will still be less than paying the full cost of the ticket.
Lower your auto insurance costs. Not only can dismissing a ticket with defensive driving keep your auto insurance premiums from going up, it can even make them go down. A state-approved driving safety course can qualify you for a discount on the comprehensive portion of your insurance.
Discounts vary from insurance company to company, but the standard discount is 10% for up to 3 years.
Steps to dismissing a ticket
1. CONTACT THE COURT. Somewhere on your ticket there’s a date. That’s the deadline by which you must contact the court to acknowledge that you go the ticket and discuss your options.
The court may allow you to choose deferred dispensation, which is also called “deferred adjudication”. This means probation for a period of time…and paying the court fee and the full fine. However, the ticket doesn’t go on your record.
The easiest and cheapest alternative is to take defensive driving, though the court may call this a “driving safety course.” You can dismiss one ticket within a 12-month period. You become eligible to take defensive driving on the anniversary of your completed defensive driving course (not when you got the ticket).
Drivers under the age of 25 should know that they have to take a defensive driving course every time they get a ticket, even if it hasn’t been a year and there’s no chance of getting the ticket dismissed.
Usually this is just a formality, but you will need the court’s approval to get the ticket dismissed BEFORE you take the class. Often the officer who pulls you over will suggest you take defensive driving, but that’s not enough: you need to get permission from the court.
You may want to hire an attorney to represent you. In some cases an attorney can help dismiss the ticket or help if you have more than one ticket in a short period of time. If you habitually get traffic violations, we recommend LegalShield for $17.00 per month. Along with other legal services, their plan includes representation for traffic tickets.
In some cases, you can get specific court approval to take defensive driving more than once. Having an attorney could be quite beneficial in those circumstances.
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2. TAKE A DEFENSIVE DRIVING CLASS. If you choose to take defensive driving and get the ticket dismissed, we can help you out. ComedyGuys.com provides classroom and online defensive driving classes, both taught by professional comedians.
- Our live defensive driving classes are taught in one six-hour session in a restaurant, and your meal is included in the price of the class. Our calendar of classes is the busiest in the state of Texas. Every day of the week, Comedy Guys is holding a class somewhere. Just look at the calendar, choose your class, sign up, and go.
- The online defensive driving course is so convenient you can even take it on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, Mac or PC. And you can switch between devices if you want. We store everything on our servers, so all you need is Internet access to work on the course. Register for the online course, then work through it at your own pace.
3. GET YOUR DEFENSIVE DRIVING CERTIFICATE. Upon completion of your defensive driving class — whether live or online — Comedy Guys will email a certificate to prove you’ve done what the court required. We email the certificate to you. When it arrives, print it out, sign it and then get it to the court.
In most cases, you’ll have 90 days to take the course and deliver the certificate. But don’t wait until the last minute, because things may happen that you hadn’t planned for. Internet connections go down and computers crash, so the online course may not be done when you’d planned. Classes get cancelled. A headache or a sick child may prevent you from going to the class.
But at least you won’t have to wait on the mail for your certificate anymore. Since November 2018, we email the printable certificate to you the day you finish the online course. Certificates from our live classes are typed and emailed the day our office gets the paperwork, so they’re fast, too. There is no more waiting for the mail, no more paying for overnight delivery.
4. DRIVING RECORDS AND COURT AFFIDAVITS.
Some courts require extra paperwork before they will dismiss a speeding ticket. They should tell you what paperwork they require when you first speak with them to discuss your option. Our usual suggestion is to put all the paperwork into one large manila envelope, to keep it all together until you’ve finished everything.
There is a form for requesting these records by mail from the Texas DPS in Austin, but it is much faster to get your driving record online from texas.gov. Fill out the form, pay $12, and you can print your driving record on the spot.
Some courts also have an additional affidavit. If you’re working with one of these courts, wait until you have both your defensive driving certificate and your driving record, then take both of those forms and your affidavit to a notary public to be notarized. If you don’t know a notary, there should be one at any branch of your bank, and sometimes there is no fee charged if you have an account in that bank.
5. DELIVER ALL YOUR PAPERWORK TO THE COURT.
If you’re mailing it, we recommend using registered mail, so that you get a signed receipt of its delivery. Once the court has your paperwork, it should record that your ticket has been dismissed and set about having it erased from your driving record.
But we suggest you keep a photocopy of your defensive driving certificate in your car. Even courts sometimes lose paperwork, and you may discover months later that the ticket was not dismissed and has instead become an arrest warrant. You can get a second copy of your official certificate by calling the Comedy Guys office, but having a photocopy in the car can help you to avoid complications if you’re pulled over before the matter is settled.