Law enforcement officials issue traffic tickets in Alabama for a wide variety of offenses. Drivers who do not resolve their traffic citation issues on time are at risk of certain penalties, such as late fees or license suspensions. If you choose to pay driving tickets in AL, the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) will add a certain number of demerit points to your driving record. Motorists can, however, arrange a traffic ticket defense and contest the issue in court to avoid certain negative results, such as an increase in their car insurance premiums. Learn more about the processes of fighting traffic tickets and paying driving fines in Alabama in the sections below:
- Fighting an Alabama ticket
- Paying an Alabama ticket
- Lost tickets in Alabama
- Alabama fines and penalties
- Points in Alabama
- How tickets affect an Alabama driver's license
- Alabama car insurance fines and violations
Fighting an Alabama Ticket
Drivers can choose the option to fight traffic tickets in Alabama if they believe they were wrongly punished. Contesting a traffic ticket in AL is a procedure that must be initiated by the date displayed on the bottom half of the citation. Note that the state law enforcement agencies report traffic violation information to the state courts within seven to 10 days. Therefore, drivers must wait at least a week before contacting the corresponding traffic court.
To dispute traffic tickets in Alabama, drivers must visit the presiding court, plead "not guilty", and request a trial date. If you fail to take an action to either fight or pay driving tickets in AL prior to your First Appearance Date, the court will report the incident to the state DPS, you may face a license suspension and a warrant for your arrest will be issued.
To ensure a successful traffic ticket defense in AL, motorists must carefully prepare their case prior to appearing at their trial. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to deliver your testimony, present your evidence and call witnesses. Courts dismiss traffic tickets only after reaching a verdict of "not guilty". To increase your chances of having your traffic ticket dismissed, it is important to have a qualified ticket attorney to help you build and argue your case. Fortunately, you can find a qualified attorney online relatively easily.
Note: Drivers who received a traffic ticket in Alabama may contact the corresponding court to change the First Appearance Date only if the scheduled date has not yet passed.
Paying an Alabama Ticket
Paying traffic tickets online in Alabama is the most convenient option to provide the due fine payments within the state. Note that the action of paying driving fines in AL is an admission of guilt, which also results in the accumulation of demerit points and an increase of your vehicle coverage rates.
Drivers can generally provide their AL ticket violation payment via several methods, which may vary based on factors such as the type of infraction that was committed and the practices of the presiding court. Certain types of tickets, for instance, can only be paid in person through the corresponding traffic court. Regardless of whether you choose to pay traffic ticket online, in person, by mail or by phone, you must complete the action by the date displayed on the ticket in order to avoid additional fines and penalties.
Note: Learn more about the procedure to pay traffic citations in AL by accessing the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page.
Lost Tickets in Alabama
When resolving an Alabama traffic citation, drivers will generally be required to utilize the information displayed on the ticket they have received. Drivers who lose their traffic tickets, however, can still learn how to get out of a speeding ticket in AL or other types of citations by contacting the court that is handling their case. Note that, in the event of a loss of your AL traffic violation ticket, you will be able to obtain the necessary information only after the issuing police agency reports the citation to the court. When contacting an Alabama traffic violation court for details regarding your traffic ticket, be sure to request information about the type of violation, the fine amount and the due date to pay it.
Alabama Fines and Penalties
Drivers who choose to pay traffic citations in Alabama can consult their tickets to obtain information about the exact fine amount. Note that the fines resulting from traffic violations vary based on factors such as the type of infraction and the county where the offense was committed. The total payable amount may also vary depending on the method you choose to pay your ticket. Online transactions, for instance, may require the payment of an additional processing fee.
In addition to paying the ticket fines in AL, drivers who commit a traffic offense may also be subject to additional penalties. Driving while under the influence (DUI) offenses, for example, may incur license suspensions and community and jail sentences, in addition to steep fines. If you wish to avoid these fines, your best option is to hire a lawyer who can help you build a strong traffic ticket case. You may find a lawyer easily and conveniently online by entering some basic details about your charge and sending in a picture of the ticket.
Note: If you fail to provide your traffic tickets payments on time, you may be required to pay additional late fees.
Points in Alabama
Drivers found guilty of a traffic violation in Alabama are also penalized with a certain number of negative points on their driving reports. The AL traffic ticket fine amount and the number of demerit points vary depending on the type of violation that was committed. The following list outlines several infractions and their corresponding point penalties:
- Speeding up to 25 mph over the speed limit: 2 points.
- Disregarding traffic signs and lights: 3 points.
- Illegal passing: 4 points.
- Passing a parked school bus: 5 points.
- Reckless driving: 6 points.
How Tickets Affect an Alabama Drivers License
Apart from paying driving fines in Alabama, motorists who were issued an AL traffic ticket may also be facing a driving license suspension as a result of an excess of penalty points on their records. The duration of the DPS-administered suspension varies based on the number of points accrued within any two-year period. Note that certain more serious traffic violations in AL may also result in automatic license suspensions and revocations.
Note: Certain state courts may offer the option of a ticket dismissal to drivers who complete a state-approved traffic school. In such circumstances, the DPS will not add points to your record, and your driving privileges may not be affected.
Alabama Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Alabama traffic tickets may also be incurred by driving without the proper auto insurance coverage within the state. Per the AL Mandatory Liability Insurance Law, motorists must maintain a minimum coverage of $25,000 for property damages, $25,000 for injuries or death to one individual and $50,000 for all participants in the accident. For first no-insurance traffic violations, offenders will be required to pay a $500 fine. Second no-insurance offenses result in a $1000 fine.
Note: The fine for a lack of insurance will generally be administered in addition to the original traffic fine. Also, multiple traffic citations in AL received within a specific time period may also affect your car insurance rates, since citations are indicators of unsafe driving behavior.