How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Delaware
In Delaware, traffic tickets are issued to road-users who violate road traffic laws. They contain details of the violation and associated penalties. Offenders who have been served these citations are usually given thirty days to respond to the traffic ticket. However, the timeframe may differ depending on the court. Recipients of these citations must take the time to study the ticket carefully and respond to the courthouse indicated on the ticket. The state of Delaware has various courts, including:
- Justice of Peace Courts
- Courts of Common Pleas
- Alderman’s Court
The court that will handle an offender’s case depends on the district where the violation occured. The state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for managing Delaware driver records.
Delaware traffic offenses are rated based on their severity; hence, the more severe the offender’s alleged crime, the more serious the penalties. Some common violations in the state include:
- Driving recklessly
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Ignoring stop signs
Motorists convicted of any DUI offense in Delaware are usually charged hefty fines. They may also be ordered to get an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles. The following are some of the penalties and fines to prepare issued to road-traffic offenders in Delaware—
- First violation: a fine up to $500-$1,500, a twelve-month jail term, and another 12–24 month driver’s license revocation
- Subsequent offenses: a fine up to $750-$2,500, with a mandatory jail term not longer than eighteen months (60 days minimum) and a 24–60 months driver license revocation.
There are no fixed ticket fines in Delaware as the courts have varying charges. Motorists cited for traffic violations can either pay the specified fines or contest the citation. For questions regarding how to pay the charges or the exact amount, offenders may contact the relevant court. However, if the individual decides to fight the ticket, they must employ a traffic attorney’s services.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for 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 of 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 Delaware?
Yes, contesting a Delaware traffic ticket may prove worth it if the ticket was unmerited. Deciding to pay the traffic ticket is considered an admission of guilt, which adversely impacts the alleged offender’s insurance premiums. Also, accumulating points may lead to the suspension of the driver’s license or other consequences. The state’s Division of Motor Vehicles checks for two years when evaluating the number of points on a record. Points that are at least a year old, however, will only be calculated as half points. According to the Driver Improvement Program, thus are the points and their respective punishments:
- 8 points - an advisory letter
- 12 points - a compulsory driving course
- 14 points - four-month suspension of license
- 16 points - six-month suspension of license
- 18 points - eight-month suspension of license
- 20 points - ten-month suspension of license
- 22 points - twelve-month suspension of license
Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Delaware
The Delaware offenders that have not agreed or been given a voluntary assessment are required to appear in the appropriate state’s courts at the date and time indicated on the citation. Such persons, pleading not guilty, are to sign at the appropriate fields marked on the ticket. The traffic tickets may be faxed or mailed to the indicated court. Those responding through fax must call 302–739–6911 to obtain their receipts.
Fighting a Delaware traffic ticket in court could lead to reduced penalties and, consequently, a smaller fine. It may also result in getting the citation overturned. Having the help of an experienced Delaware traffic attorney improves the chances of winning the case. The majority of traffic violations are treated as criminal offenses in the state. Therefore the concerned-party must bring all necessary documents to the court, including proof of insurance and the ticket.
How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court
Violators of Delaware traffic laws may yet dispute the traffic tickets without appearing in court if they can successfully negotiate a bargain with the prosecution. Defendants can discuss with the prosecuting party agreeable ways to settle the dispute. Both parties may agree with the offender agreeing for community service, a driving course, or so on. Alternatively, the judge will automatically throw-out the case if the prosecuting officer fails to appear in court. The defendant only has to file a motion to dismiss if this happens.
How do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Delaware
Delaware not only permits that three points be reduced from an offender’s driving record when such a person completes a government-authorized defensive driving course. It also gives the driver a three-point “credit” that can be very useful should they accumulate extra points in the future. The state’s point system is unique in this regard. This system can prove very valuable to road-users in keeping their driving record credible. It is also helpful in saving individuals money in fines, vehicle insurance premiums, and possible license suspension.
Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Delaware?
Yes, Delaware road-users can get their traffic tickets dismissed. This primarily depends on the court, the nature of the violation, and the individual’s driving history. After the offender has completed a defensive driving course, points for the violation will not be added to the driver’s license, and the ticket may get dismissed. Delaware traffic courts may also dismiss a ticket if the officer that issued the citation does not appear for the trial.
What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Delaware
Section 4101–4 (d) establishes law enforcement’s rights to impose monetary liabilities on traffic violators. When road-users receive a citation, it is indicated on their driving records and reported to the driver’s insurance company. With this information, the insurance providers may regard the individual as high risk, increasing the vehicle’s premium. Hence, pleading guilty could cost a Delaware road-user far more than the fine for years. However, alleged offenders may be given the option of voluntary assessment. If the citation is for a minor violation, then opting for the voluntary evaluation will decrease the offender’s chances of getting additional points on their license. However, the motorist still has to pay the fine.
How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Delaware
Road-users ready to fight a traffic ticket in a Delaware court are advised to find a credible traffic ticket attorney to handle their case. Legal advisors on traffic issues are available through online and offline sources. Some third-party websites provide their names, addresses, and credentials. It may be helpful to check the reviews on the traffic lawyer before making a choice. Reviews disclose the expertise and winning record of that lawyer as well as their understanding of the state’s traffic laws.