No one likes to see the police lights in the rear-view mirror, but it can be even more frustrating if you are traveling at the time. It can already be confusing to know what to do when you receive a ticket, and getting a ticket when you are in a different county or state than where you live makes it even more confusing. The big question is whether you can handle the ticket in your home county or if you need to visit the court where you received the ticket. This guide will answer this question.
What To Do
First of all, you do not always need to appear in court. It is only for very severe traffic violations or criminal actions such as driving drunk that require a court appearance. If you receive a ticket far from your home, you usually can pay the fine remotely.
If you receive a ticket in another county, and you do need to appear in court, you unfortunately have to appear in the specific courthouse for the county where the ticket was issued. The laws do vary from state to state and from county to county, however, so you should research the laws for the specific county that you received the ticket in or speak to a traffic attorney.
Transferring Your Case
In some cases, you may be able to transfer the case to your home county, but this request is rarely granted. Additionally, the chances are good that you will need to appear in the foreign court for the initial date, which is the time when you can request the transfer. If you live very far away from the issuing county, the judge may be more likely to grant the transfer request.
Travelling in Other Counties
It’s unfortunate, but studies have shown that officers are slightly biased toward cars with out-of-state license plates. If you are driving in a state other than the one displayed on your plate, you should be extra careful not to break any traffic rules. Remember that traffic laws vary in each state, so be familiar with the laws in the state you are driving in.
If you plan to contest your traffic ticket, or if you are having a hard time keeping the foreign traffic laws straight, it is a good idea to hire or speak with a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA. Many attorneys offer a free consultation, even if you do not hire them, which would allow you to learn the laws you need to know.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and getting a driving ticket while traveling.