Drivers must resolve a Delaware traffic ticket issue within 30 days of receiving the traffic citation in order to avoid facing further fines and penalties, such as license suspensions or an arrest warrant. Depending on whether or not motorists were issued a voluntary assessment traffic ticket in DE, they may be able to provide their traffic tickets payments via several methods. Ticketed drivers also have the option of fighting traffic tickets in DE through the state courts. Learn how to resolve a traffic citation in Delaware and avoid the accumulation of points on your DE driving record in the sections below:
- Fighting a Delaware ticket.
- Paying a Delaware ticket.
- Lost tickets in Delaware.
- Delaware fines and penalties.
- Points in Delaware.
- How tickets affect a Delaware driver's license.
- Delaware car insurance fines and violations.
Fighting a Delaware Ticket
Drivers who would like to fight traffic tickets in Delaware can plead "not guilty" and request a court trial. To plead innocent to a traffic ticket in DE, motorists must sign their tickets and mail or fax them to the address of the court indicated on the citation. After receiving your traffic violation ticket, the court will notify you of the details of your upcoming trial. To ensure the success of their traffic ticket defense, drivers are encouraged to subpoena any relevant witnesses, bring the necessary evidentiary documents and submit proof of a valid car insurance policy.
If you lose the DE traffic violation case, you will be required to pay any due fines, fees and other court costs. The state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will also assess penalty points on your driver's record. If you win the case, the court will dismiss your traffic ticket, and you will not accrue any demerit points.
Certain drivers may be eligible to avoid a conviction for a traffic offense and the resulting fines and penalties through the Delaware Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) program.
Paying a Delaware Ticket
Paying driving fines in Delaware is a procedure that can be completed by mail, by fax, by phone, in person and via the internet. Drivers who did not receive a voluntary assessment traffic ticket, however, will have to settle the issue by appearing at court. Note that motorists who pay a traffic citation in DE issued as a response of speeding 1 to 14 mph over the posted limit may not be assessed points on their records. Review the steps in the process of paying traffic tickets online or via other alternative methods in DE by visiting the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page.
Lost Tickets in Delaware
Regardless of whether drivers are fighting traffic tickets in Delaware or paying the traffic citation, they must often rely on the information contained within their traffic tickets. In the event of a loss of a traffic violation ticket, however, motorists can still learn how to fight traffic tickets in DE by recovering the data displayed on the citation via several methods. You can generally contact the Voluntary Assessment Center by phone and provide the requested information in order to receive your ticket's details. Drivers who have received their DE traffic citations in a specific municipality can contact the corresponding Alderman's Court.
Delaware Fines and Penalties
Drivers who are unable to dismiss traffic tickets in Delaware through the state courts will be required to pay the traffic fine associated with the citation. Note that in addition to the base DE traffic violation fine, drivers will be required to provide payment for other fees and costs as well. For instance, while the base fine for speeding 9 mph over the post limit is currently set at $29, motorists will also be required to provide a payment of $20 for the court costs, as well as payments for several state-managed funds.
The following list outlines examples of traffic fines in Delaware resulting from different traffic offenses:
- Failure to obey a stop sign: $25
- Using a mobile phone while driving a car: $50 to $100
- Reckless driving: $100 to $300
- Causing death of an individual while operating a vehicle: $1,150
Note: For traffic violations that result in a driver's license suspension or revocation, motorists will also be required to pay a specific reinstatement fee to the state DMV.
Points in Delaware
Drivers who incur a traffic citation in Delaware generally accrue a specific amount of demerit points on their driving transcripts. Note that drivers who are paying a speeding ticket in DE will not be assessed points on their records if they submit the payment within 30 days of receiving the ticket. Review several DE traffic offenses and the resulting point penalties in the following list:
- Disregarding stop signs or red lights: 3 points.
- Speeding 10 to 14 mph over the posted limit: 4 points.
- Reckless driving or aggressive driving: 6 points.
- Passing a parked school bus: 6 points.
Note: Depending on their circumstances, drivers may be able to earn a three-point credit by completing an approved defensive driving course in DE.
How Tickets Affect a Delaware Drivers License
In addition to paying the fine related to a traffic ticket in Delaware, penalized drivers may also be facing certain actions taken against their driving privileges. Since traffic citations in DE result in a certain number of points, drivers who receive several tickets are at risk of a suspended license. Drivers who accumulate 14 points within a two-year period, for instance, will be required to undergo a mandatory four-month suspension. Note that certain types of DE traffic violations can also result in automatic driving license suspensions, regardless of the current point count of the driver.
Delaware Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Another offense leading to traffic tickets in Delaware is driving without the proper liability car insurance policy within the state. The minimum required coverage is $10,000 for property damages, $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one individual and $30,000 for all participants in an accident. The DE traffic fine for operating an uninsured vehicle currently ranges from $1,500 to $2,000. Motorists who provide false insurance evidence will also be penalized with an additional fine of $500.
Note: Certain Delaware car insurance providers may also raise the insurance premiums of drivers who incur several tickets within a specific period of time.