Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the State of Delaware for various violations of traffic law. 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.
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 Delaware, see our general section on Traffic Tickets and Violations.
PAYING A TRAFFIC TICKET - WHAT IT MEANS
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.
HOW TO PAY THE FINE
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. Usually, you must act within 30 days of receiving a traffic ticket to avoid additional fines and possible suspension of your license.
If you are given a voluntary assessment ticket you do not have to appear in court. You can pay the ticket by mail, phone, fax or in person.
- Pay by mail. Read the instructions on the back of the ticket carefully, then check the "Guilty" box and sign the ticket. You can pay by credit card; or you can enclose a check or money order (with your ticket number written on it) for the amount indicated on the ticket, made payable to the State of Delaware. The mailing address is given on the ticket and is usually:
State of Delaware - Voluntary Assessment Center
P.O. Box 7039 Dover, DE 19903
Be sure to send a self addressed stamped envelope along with the payment if you want a receipt.
- Pay by phone. To pay by phone call (302) 739-6911. You need to provide your ticket number and other information to the clerk. Payment can be done by credit card.
- Pay by fax. Just fax a copy of both sides of your ticket (remember to fill out your credit card information) to (302) 739-7590.
- Pay in person. You can pay your traffic tickets at any Justice of Peace Criminal Court. Bring the citation with you, along with a cash, check, money order, or credit card.
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
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 Delaware State.
DISMISSAL OF CHARGES
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.
If you lost a traffic ticket after receiving it, you must contact the Voluntary Assessment Center at (302) 739-6911 or call the Alderman's Court if you received the ticket in a municipality.