Traffic tickets in Minnesota can be expensive, and they can also result in points on your driving record. If you don’t have a particularly clean driving record, the next offense could result in the loss of your license.
In order to give you the best chance to retain your license and fight your traffic ticket, we’ll explain how a person fights a traffic ticket in Minnesota. Check out the flow chart to learn about the two choices you have immediately after you receive a traffic ticket.
Notifying the Court
As noted in the flow chart, a person has 21 days from the day their citation is entered into the court system to enter a plea. If you don’t plan on contesting the ticket, you can simply pay the ticket within the time frame. Paying your citation is an admission of guilt.
If you plan to contest your ticket, you need to follow the directions on your citation for informing the local court. Some districts have different regulations than others, so read your citation to determine the specific method. You can also hire an attorney to take care of notifying the district court of your intent to contest the ticket.
Prepping your case
Regardless of whether or not you hire an attorney, you’ll need to recount the details surrounding the violation. If you do hire legal counsel, your attorney will ask you numerous questions to determine if your rights were violated or if the officer committed a breach of the law. These questions will help build your case, and your attorney will determine a course of action after they hear your side of the story. Your attorney may be able to track down potential witnesses to corroborate your story.
If you don’t hire an attorney, write down as much information about the citation as possible so you’ll remember it for your court date.
When your court date arrives, show up on time to plead your case. If you retain an attorney, they may be able to represent you in court, which can keep you from taking unnecessary time off of work. Your attorney will inform you whether or not you need to appear. After a short deliberation, the judge will uphold, reduce, or dismiss the ticket.
Related source: Minnesota DMV