Arizona Traffic Tickets
Traffic citations in Arizona are issued for a multitude of violations of motor vehicle laws. In general, drivers need to respond to a violation in a timely manner, so as to avoid further penalties. You can hire an AZ traffic lawyer to help you fight the charge if you believe a law enforcement agent has issued one unjustly, or plead guilty and provide payment to the court handling your case. You may also have the option of dismissal and reduce the number of demerit points on your driving record by attending an authorized traffic school. Read the applicable sections below to learn more about citations and their impact on your behind-the-wheel status.
Fighting an Arizona Ticket
Motorists can fight traffic citations in Arizona by pleading “not guilty” or not responsible for the traffic misdemeanor they have been charged with. To contest the issued fine, they must take action prior to or on the date listed on their citation. Drivers will need to contact the presiding court and request a hearing in due time. When mounting a defense, licensees must prepare their case and ensure a successful defense. They may also have the option of hiring an AZ traffic citation lawyer to represent them in court. Note that certain local courts allow motorists to provide a defense and appear for a hearing by phone, instead of an in-person visit. Requesting telephonic hearings may require drivers to submit specific information, such as their phone number, mailing address and a copy of their driver’s license or ID card. Motorists who win their case will not be required to pay any fines or have the offense shown on their Arizona driving report.
Note: Instead of fighting Arizona traffic citations, licensees may be able to dismiss their ticket by completing the state Supreme Court’s Defensive Driving Program. More details regarding this option may be found on the issued ticket.
Paying an Arizona Ticket
Drivers who decide to pay traffic fines in Arizona plead guilty to the committed violation, and they may face serious consequences, including the accumulation of negative points on their driving records, as well as higher vehicle insurance rates. Payment may be submitted via several methods, including online, in person, by phone or mail depending on the court handling your case. Paying online is the most convenient option, provided the presiding court offers this payment method.
Lost Tickets in Arizona
If you receive an AZ traffic citation due to a certain violation, you will need the information displayed on the ticket to resolve your case, thus staying in accordance with state laws. Drivers with a lost ticket must find the necessary details prior to appearing in court or submitting payment for the imposed fines. Motorists can generally obtain such information online, provided their presiding court offers such a service. You may also be able to contact the AZ traffic violation court in charge of your case to inquire about your due date and fines, in addition to other relevant details pertaining to your case.
Arizona Fines and Penalties
Drivers required to pay speeding tickets in Arizona or other types of citations such as a DUI, will need to do so in due time in order to avoid additional costs and harsher penalties. Arizona traffic ticket fees typically vary based on several factors, including the county of residence and the type of the offense committed. The list below outlines examples of violations and their corresponding fines in Phoenix:
- Unregistered vehicle – $155
- Failure to provide valid driving license/endorsement – $155
- No current registration – $591
- Failure to stop at school bus signal – $499
In addition to the original AZ ticket violation payments, motorists may be required to pay other costs and surcharges. Failure to settle your ticket timely and properly may also lead to larger fines.
Points in Arizona
If you are unable to fight your traffic ticket in Arizona, you will receive a certain number of demerit points on your AZ driving transcript as penalties for improper driving behavior. The number of driving points following an AZ traffic violation usually depends on the severity of the violation. The most common offenses and their corresponding penalty points are as follows:
- Driving under the influence – 8 points
- Reckless driving – 8 points
- Fleeing the scene of a car accident – 6 points
- Speeding – 3 points
Motorists may also be able to dismiss or reduce the number of points on their record upon successful completion of an Arizona-approved traffic school. Note that in certain instances attending a defensive driving course is mandatory in addition to arranging payment for all court fines and other costs.
How Tickets Affect an Arizona Drivers License
If you have been issued a traffic citation in AZ, it is your responsibility to appear in court and settle your case, either by fighting your ticket or providing payment for the set fines. Drivers who fail to submit payment or appear in court may incur a driving license suspension. The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division may also issue suspended drivers licenses to motorists with an excess of demerit points within a specific period of time. If you have amassed 8 or more points within any 12-month period due to various traffic violations in Arizona, your driving privileges may be temporarily withdrawn. To prevent such action, you will be required to complete an Arizona traffic school program.
Arizona Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Drivers with traffic tickets in Arizona may also incur higher vehicle insurance premiums. Unless you beat a traffic ticket, thus proving you are not guilty of the related violation, you may be considered a reckless driver and reduce your chance of earning insurance discounts. To prevent such action, you may achieve dismissal by completing a defensive driving course.