Our oldest daughter turned 16 this year and as you probably know, insurance costs increase significantly when a teenager is behind the wheel. While she is a great driver (no tickets– yet!), the lead foot can get us all! What are your options if you get a speeding ticket? In Montgomery County, if you are issued a ticket it will have a court date listed on the ticket. If you attend the hearing in Municipal Court on the appointed date, the court will usually allow you to pay the ticket. However, if you have not had any speeding tickets in five years, you can pay a nominal fee for your driving record and request driving school. If driving school is approved (no tickets in five years), you have the option of attending driving school, paying for the course and avoid having the ticket adversely affect your driving record….thus, keeping your insurance costs down as well.
If driving school is denied, your hearing will be reset and the municipal court judge will ultimately impose a fine or hear testimony as to the facts of the case. The prosecutor may have the officer who issued the ticket attend the hearing to give his testimony as the facts he witnessed. You would have an opportunity to give testimony as well. Then the judge will give his decision as to any guilt or innocence. If you are a young driver and you had a ticket within the five year look back period, you can request driving school and it is up to the judge’s discretion if he will allow it. If allowed, you will be given a deadline to complete the driving school course to provide a certificate of completion to the court. Please remember, you must attend any hearing dates set or have paid the ticket in advance of the hearing. You do not want the court to issue a warrant for you to be arrested for failing to attend!
Speeding tickets and other fines cannot be included in a bankruptcy. Of course, keeping your speed within the speed limits is the best way to avoid this headache! Safety is important on the highways and staying within the speed limits helps everyone stay safe.
Gail Hughes Donaldson is a Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She’s been helping families work through the bankruptcy process since she started with Bond & Botes back in 1993 as a paralegal. Read her full bio here.