Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the State of West Virginia for various violations of traffic law. You must respond to a citation promptly, 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 until you show proof for complying with the court action and pay all the penalties.
If you wish to dispute the citation, you must appear in court personally on the scheduled date, and enter a "not guilty" plea. Appearing in court 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. For more information on how to dispute a traffic ticket in West Virginia, see our general section on Traffic Tickets and Violations.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is informed by the municipal, magistrate and state courts whey you fail to pay or fail to appear or fail to comply with court decision/orders pertaining to your traffic tickets.
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When you pay a ticket, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense. Motorists should be aware that receiving and paying a traffic citation could result in higher car insurance rates and points on your driving record. Your license may be suspended if you accumulate too many points on your driving record.
A fine could be reduced by the court or occasionally dismissed if you opt to go through a defensive driving course. Also, as West Virginia follows a point system, 3 points could be deducted, if you have 11 points or less and have no outstanding tickets. This is allowed only once every 2 years. For more information do read the driver's handbook.
If you decide to plead guilty to a traffic violation, there are several ways to pay the ticket. Generally, the back of the citation will clearly indicate the deadlines and options for answering the ticket.
If you decide to plead not guilty and dispute the ticket, read the instructions on the back of the ticket carefully. The instructions will generally indicate when and how to plead not guilty, and information about appearing in court to dispute your ticket. See our general section on Traffic Tickets and Violations for more information about how to dispute a traffic ticket in West Virginia State.
Remember that you cannot be found guilty of committing a traffic offense unless there is clear, accurate and convincing evidence that you committed the violation. Charges may be dismissed in court if the citation includes vague or incorrect information. For instance, vehicle information, time, location and circumstances must all be indicated correctly on the ticket. Many motorists choose to consult with a traffic ticket attorney to help them evaluate the validity of the ticket, and whether or not it is likely to be dismissed in court.