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Traffic Tickets and Violations in Connecticut
Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the State of Connecticut for various violations of traffic law. Citations generally indicate the statute or code number of the violation, and explain how and when to pay the fine or respond to the ticket. You must respond to a citation, usually by paying a fine or appearing in court, or else a warrant may be issued for your arrest and your driving license may be suspended.
TYPES OF VIOLATIONS
Most traffic tickets in Connecticut are issued for what are sometimes called "strict-liability" offenses. In these cases, the only thing required to convict a person of the offense is proof that they committed the act, regardless of any criminal intent. Examples of strict-liability offenses include:
- Overdue parking meters
- Not using turn signals
- Parking in a handicapped zone without authorization
MOVING VS. NON-MOVING VIOLATIONSViolations are also classified by whether or not the vehicle was in motion at the type of the incident, and traffic tickets may therefore be for either moving or non-moving violations. Examples of moving violations include:
- Speeding or driving below the minimum speed
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Driving without a seat belt
- Drunk driving (DUI and DWI)
- Parking in a handicapped zone or other illegal parking
- Driving with an invalid vehicle registration
- Having expired or missing license plates
- Leaving a vehicle unattended and running
YOUR OPTIONS WHEN YOU RECEIVE A CITATIONMany citations do not require a court appearance, and you may admit guilt by paying the ticket directly. The citation will indicate how and by what date to pay the fine. You can pay the fine by mail by sending a check or money order (payable to "Clerks of Superior Court") in the self addressed envelope given with the ticket. If you do not have the envelope, you can mail the check/money order to:
Central Infractions Bureau P.O. Box 5044 Hartford, CT 06102-5044The ticket number should be mentioned on your check or money order. Cash is not acceptable. You can also plead "not-guilty" by calling (860) 263-2750 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:00 pm) or by replying to the charges in the self addressed envelope attached with your ticket. You can also write to the address given above for the same. If you plead "not guilty," the case will be transferred to the court in your area. The case may be heard in a Superior court or a traffic court. If it is the former, you will be given a specific date to appear before a judge to cite your reasons. If your case is sent to a traffic court you can reply to the charges by mail. While you may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, a trial will be scheduled if no agreement is reached. A trial gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury, and most people prefer to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to defend them in court.
THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEING FOUND GUILTYWhen you pay a ticket directly, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense, which carries the same consequences as being found guilty of the violation in court. Motorists who either plead guilty directly or are found guilty of an offense should be aware of the following possible consequences:
- Certain traffic offenses, including speeding and other moving violations, are automatically reported to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Connecticut routinely provides information concerning traffic ticket convictions to other states.
- The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles follows a point system to track violations and their corresponding penalties. Points are added to your driving record which could result in your license being suspended. For more information, see our Point System section.
- Connecticut drivers that accumulate points on their driving record are often subject to higher car insurance premiums.