Police officers issue traffic tickets in Connecticut for a wide range of infractions. Drivers who receive a CT traffic citation must resolve the issue by the due date displayed on the ticket in order to avoid additional fines and penalties. Motorists can either pay the traffic fine or admit their guilt, or they can enter a plea of "not guilty" and contest the issue in court. Drivers who either pay the fine on time or win their court case will avoid the accumulation of demerit points on their driving records. Learn more about the processes of paying driving fines or fighting traffic tickets in Connecticut in the following sections:
- Fighting a Connecticut ticket
- Paying a Connecticut ticket
- Lost tickets in Connecticut
- Connecticut fines and penalties
- Points in Connecticut
- How tickets affect a Connecticut driver's license
- Connecticut car insurance fines and violations
Fighting a Connecticut Ticket
Drivers who decide to dispute traffic tickets in Connecticut must first contact the state Centralized Infractions Bureau (CIB) via the internet, by mail or by phone to declare a plea of "not guilty". Note that drivers who do not take an action regarding their CT traffic citation by the Answer Date displayed on the citation are facing additional fines and penalties.
The CIB transfers the traffic ticket case to the court located in the state area where the offense was committed and mails a Notice of Transfer after the driver submits his or her plea of "not guilty". Motorists can prepare their CT traffic ticket defense in the months leading up to the scheduled trial date. After hearing your case, the judge will deliver his or her sentence. Drivers who win their CT traffic ticket case will not be required to pay the fine, and they will not receive any penalty points. If you are found guilty, on the other hand, you will be required to pay the ticket fine in full, as well as any additional court-related costs. If you wish to do all you can to fight your traffic ticket, it is essential that you hire legal representation. You may find the right traffic ticket attorney for you online by sending an image of your ticket and answering a few simple questions about the citation.
Paying a Connecticut Ticket
The most convenient method to pay traffic citations in Connecticut is to provide your payment via the CIB online services portal. Motorists can pay their CT traffic ticket via the internet after logging on to the system and providing their Complaint Ticket Number, displayed on the top half of the citation. After submitting your payment with a valid credit card, the system will generate a printable confirmation page, which can be used as proof of a paid ticket.
Drivers who cannot utilize the option of paying traffic tickets online in CT can still pay driving tickets by mail. If you choose to provide your traffic ticket payment by mail, ensure to include your ticket along with the check or money order made payable to the Clerk of Superior Court. Visit the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page to learn more about the process of paying a ticket in Connecticut.
Note: State police departments generally transfer the traffic citation information to the CIB within seven to 30 days. Drivers who committed a traffic violation in CT will, therefore, have to wait a short period of time before taking an action.
Lost Tickets in Connecticut
Drivers who are contesting a traffic ticket in Connecticut or paying the traffic fine will often need the information contained within the citation to successfully complete either procedure. The CIB offers several methods of recovering the data of a lost CT traffic ticket. Drivers can either call the CIB during their regular working hours, or they can email the bureau at their convenience. Note that, regardless of the method chosen to recover your traffic citation information, you will be required to provide your full name and birth date.
Connecticut Fines and Penalties
Drivers who choose to settle a Connecticut traffic ticket issue by paying the fine, and those who are found guilty during their trial, will be required to pay a traffic fine in the amount stated on the citation. The base fine amount generally varies based on type of CT traffic violation that was committed. Note that the state Superior Court updates the schedule of fines for motor vehicle-related infractions and violations on a yearly basis.
Several examples of traffic offenses and the resulting traffic fines in Connecticut are outlined in the following list:
- Unsafe backing of a motor vehicle: $50
- Abandoning a motor vehicle: $90
- Operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile phone: $150
- Operating a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight greater than 9999 pounds with a defective braking system: $250
Those who wish to avoid paying these fines have no other option than to attempt to fight the citation in court. Although this sounds intimidating, a traffic ticket attorney can be a great resource for those interested in building a strong case. Fortunately, these attorneys may be found easily online.
Note: Prior to providing your CT ticket violation payment, study your citation or consult the Infraction Booklet published by the state Superior Court.
In addition to the base ticket fine, drivers will be required to pay additional fees, costs and surcharges. While the base fine for abandoning a motor vehicle is $90, for instance, motorists will have to pay an additional fine of $11 and a surcharge of $35. Drivers who fail to pay their traffic violation fine by the deadline will also have to pay additional court fees and costs as well.
Points in Connecticut
Connecticut traffic violations that result in a traffic citation will lead to the accumulation of demerit points on the motorist's driving transcript only if the driver is found guilty after a court hearing. Under the state point system, different types of CT traffic violations result in different types of traffic tickets and the subsequent penalty points. Review several offenses and their corresponding point consequences in the following list:
- Making an illegal turn: 1 point.
- Disobeying a stop or a yield sign: 2 points.
- Improper passing: 3 points.
- Driving too closely to another vehicle: 4 points.
- Committing homicide with a motor vehicle: 5 points.
Note: Depending on the discretion of individual state courts, drivers may be able to utilize the option of reducing their total point count by completing a state-approved traffic school.
How Tickets Affect a Connecticut Drivers License
Drivers who incur traffic tickets in Connecticut may face certain adverse actions taken against their driving privileges. Per the provisions of the state point system, the state Department of Motor Vehicles issues driver's license suspensions to drivers who accrue 10 points within a 24-month period. Since traffic citations may result in a specific number of points, motorists who commit several offenses within this two-year period are, therefore, at risk of a license suspension. Note that drivers who successfully pay driving tickets in CT by the date displayed on the citation will not incur demerit points on their records. Points are assessed only in the event of a bond forfeiture or as a result of a guilty verdict during a traffic ticket-related trial.
Note: Certain types of traffic violations will automatically result in credential suspensions, regardless of the driver's total point count.
Connecticut Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Connecticut traffic tickets are also issued to drivers who stop maintaining their car insurance coverage. Motorists who fail to carry or present an insurance card upon request from a law enforcement official will also be ticketed. For instance, the base CT ticket fine for operating a motor vehicle without insurance is currently set at $50. Refusing to present your insurance card, on the other hand, is an offense that results in a fine of $75.
Note: If you receive several CT traffic citations within a specific time period, your insurance provider may increase your vehicle insurance rates, due to the inherent risk of insuring a habitual traffic offender.