Law enforcement officials issue traffic tickets in Maine for a wide range of traffic violations, and drivers can utilize several options to settle their citations. You can fight traffic tickets in ME if you believe you were innocent of the offense, or you can pay the traffic fine and plead guilty. Regardless of your choice, if you do not take an action regarding your ticket by the date displayed on it, you may be facing additional fines and penalties, such as license suspensions. Learn more about the processes of fighting traffic tickets and paying driving fines in Maine in the following sections:
- Fighting a Maine ticket
- Paying a Maine ticket
- Lost tickets in Maine
- Maine fines and penalties
- Points in Maine
- How tickets affect a Maine driver's license
- Maine car insurance fines and violations
Fighting a Maine Ticket
The procedure to dispute traffic tickets in Maine can be initiated by mailing your traffic ticket to the state Violations Bureau within 20 days of receiving it. Note that up to three different ME traffic violations may be displayed on your ticket. In such cases, drivers will be required to mark the offenses which they want to contest by checking the corresponding boxes. After receiving your answer, the bureau will schedule your trial date and mail you the necessary information.
Drivers seeking to dismiss traffic tickets in ME through the state courts will be given the chance to present their plea after the corresponding court judge announces their case. Motorists found guilty of a traffic violation in ME will be required to complete the procedure to pay driving tickets, as well as any additional court costs. If you are found innocent, on the other hand, you will not be required to provide the ticket violation payment, the conviction will not be reported on your driving record and your ME car insurance rates will not be affected. Those who wish to enjoy the benefits of a successful traffic ticket defense should hire a lawyer whose expertise is fighting tickets in court. These experienced attorneys are available online and can be found simply by providing an image of the traffic ticket and answering a few simple questions about the traffic citation.
Note: If you fail to appear at court on the scheduled date, the judge will enter a default judgment of guilty against you. In such cases, the conviction will be reported on your record, and you will be required to pay the traffic fine in its entirety.
Paying a Maine Ticket
Drivers can provide their traffic tickets payments in Maine via one of the following methods: online, by phone, by mail and in person. While paying traffic tickets online or by phone are the fastest methods of providing your payment, certain motorists may be unable to complete the procedure due to a lack of a credit card. If you are unable to pay driving tickets in ME via these convenient methods, you can still pay with cash, check or money order in person or by mail. Learn more about how to pay a traffic ticket in Maine by visiting the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page.
Lost Tickets in Maine
To successfully settle a traffic citation in Maine, drivers will generally need to know several important details, such as the ticket number, the ME ticket fine amount and the due date by which it must be paid. Therefore, motorists who lose their traffic tickets may be unable to complete the procedure to either fight traffic tickets or pay citation fines. The fastest way to recover the information contained in your citation is to contact the Maine Violations Bureau by phone. In order to successfully locate your traffic ticket, an agent of the bureau will request your personal information, such as birth date, full name and driver's license number.
Maine Fines and Penalties
Drivers who decide to pay traffic citations in Maine will be required to provide the full due amount in order to successfully complete the procedure. Traffic fines in ME vary depending on the severity of the violation. Also, certain types of traffic violations may incur fines different from the standard amount as a result of the decision of a specific state court. Review several offenses and the corresponding costs that must be met when paying driving fines in Maine in the following list:
- Unnecessary stopping on turnpike: $137
- Littering from a vehicle: $165
- Using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle: $310
- Speeding 20 to 24 mph over the posted limit in a school zone: $420
As some of these penalties can be quite severe, it may be preferable for some drivers to attempt to fight the traffic ticket in court with the help of a seasoned lawyer. These driving ticket lawyers can be found relatively easily online.
Note: In addition to the base amount of the ticket violation payment, drivers may also be required to pay additional court-set costs and surcharges.
Points in Maine
Drivers who choose to pay driving tickets in Maine may also incur a specific number of penalty points on their driving records. Note that not all ME traffic violations result in demerit points. Several examples of offenses and the number of points assigned to them by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are outlined in the following list:
- Driving under the minimum posted speed limit: 2 points.
- Failure to obey traffic signs and lights: 4 points.
- Operating a vehicle with an improper credential: 6 points.
- Driving while suspended: 8 points.
Note: Drivers who complete an approved defensive driving course in ME may also be eligible for a ticket dismissal or reduction of points on their records. Inquire with the presiding court or the state BMV for the availability of these options.
How Tickets Affect a Maine Drivers License
Maine traffic citations may also have an adverse effect on the driving privileges of motorists who have incurred them. Since traffic violations generally result in a number of negative points, drivers who accumulate a specific amount of points may be at risk of a credential suspension. Note that certain offenses may also result in immediate driving license suspensions or revocations. Motorists who are contesting a traffic ticket in Maine through the state courts may be able to avoid an impending adverse action against their licenses, in the event that they win their cases.
Maine Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Another serious infraction leading to traffic tickets in Maine is driving without the proper vehicle liability insurance coverage. Traffic citations may also result from failure to provide the necessary proof of insurance upon request from a law enforcement officer. The standard traffic fine for failure to present evidence of coverage is currently set at $172.
Also, drivers who commit a large number of offenses may be subject to increased car insurance rates, since insurance companies review the applicant's driving record when negotiating the terms and conditions of the policy. In such cases, you may be able to earn a vehicle insurance discount by completing an approved traffic school program.