When drivers receive a Rhode Island traffic citation due to a specific offense, they have two options at disposal: fight traffic tickets or submit an RI ticket violation payment to the corresponding court. The consequences of your traffic citation will depend on whether or not you are found guilty in court. In general, your license and driving record may be negatively affected in case of a misdemeanor conviction. Learn more about how to settle traffic tickets in RI in the following sections:
- Fighting a Rhode Island ticket.
- Paying a Rhode Island ticket.
- Lost tickets in Rhode Island.
- Rhode Island fines and penalties.
- Points in Rhode Island.
- How tickets affect a Rhode Island driver's license
- Rhode Island car insurance fines and violations.
Fighting a Rhode Island Ticket
Drivers fighting traffic citations in Rhode Island must appear in court by the deadline as stated on the form to resolve their issue. Should you decide to beat a traffic ticket, you will be required to enter a plea of "not guilty" on your arraignment. Once this step is completed, the court will schedule a trial date. Since the process of contesting a traffic fine in RI is demanding, you may hire an attorney at your own cost. When preparing an RI traffic ticket defense, be sure to contact any witnesses and provide convincing evidence in court. In case the judge rules in your favor, your charges will be dismissed and your driving transcript will remain intact.
Note: Out-of-state residents must request a certified copy of their driving record from their state's registry and bring the form to the arraignment.
Paying a Rhode Island Ticket
The methods to pay traffic citations in RI generally vary based on the court handling your case and the type of the offense. More severe traffic violations, for instance, impose a mandatory court appearance. If this is not the case, drivers can pay traffic fines online, by mail or in person. If the traffic violation court handling your case is a municipal court, you must contact their offices and inquire about payment policy. Visit the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page for detailed information about the payment procedure.
Lost Tickets in Rhode Island
Whether you decide to dispute traffic fines or provide a Rhode Island ticket violation payment, you must utilize the information displayed on the form. Important traffic ticket details include the citation number, total amount due and the deadline by which to respond. If you misplaced your RI traffic citation, you will need to contact the state Traffic Tribunal or the corresponding municipal court and retrieve the necessary details.
Rhode Island Fines and Penalties
Drivers who are unable to challenge speeding tickets or other types of citations within state must provide payment for the allotted fines. Fees for traffic violations in Rhode Island may vary depending on the severity of the offense committed. In addition to the base RI traffic fines, the presiding court may also impose additional costs and assessments which must be paid in a timely manner. Several infractions which cause the issuance of traffic tickets in Rhode Island and their corresponding fees are listed in the below fine schedule:
- Operating with expired registration - $75
- Following too closely - $75
- Minors using cell phone - $50
- Safety belt/Child restraint violation - $85
Note: Fines and fees are subject to change through statute.
Points in Rhode Island
In general, convictions of traffic violations lead to accumulation of too many negative points on driving records. Rhode Island does not implement a point system to regulate driving behavior within state. The absence of a point system, however, indicates that specific RI traffic violations may result in immediate penalties, including license suspensions, large fines and court fees. In addition to this, the state Traffic Tribunal or any of the municipal courts may require motorists to attend a defensive driving course to improve their driving habits.
How Tickets Affect a Rhode Island Drivers License
Motorists who were issued a traffic citation in Rhode Island may incur harsh penalties, in addition to paying driving fines. Such traffic violation penalties typically include a suspension or revocation of your driving license or vehicle registration. If you choose to settle your case by providing traffic tickets payment in RI via mail, you must do so within 20 days after you have been cited. Also, traffic fines and other assessments must be paid immediately after your court hearing, provided you were found guilty in court. Failure to meet the requirements of the corresponding court may also result in an order for a license and/or auto registration suspension or revocation, as well as state income tax withholding.
Note: Drivers may dismiss traffic tickets in RI on the basis of a good driving record. However, only certain traffic offenses may be eligible for this procedure.
Rhode Island Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Drivers who commit too many traffic violations punishable by Rhode Island traffic citations may also incur an increase in their car insurance premiums. If you have several traffic tickets on your record, you may be considered a risky investment by insurance companies. Depending on your situation, you may be able to complete a traffic school course and receive an insurance discount.