The process of dealing with traffic tickets may look a bit different for a minor than for an adult. If you are underage and recently received a ticket, or if you are the parent of an underage child who was ticketed, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about this facet of criminal law in Lubbock, TX.
Your options for dealing with underage traffic tickets
As with any traffic offense, the underage driver who was ticketed has the right to plead not guilty and request a court trial. If this is the route you choose to go, the court will arrange a pretrial conference with an attorney, where you will discuss the ticket. You also have the right to request a trial by judge or jury, and while you are not required to have an attorney present, it is strongly recommended that you do if you go to trial.
Keep in mind that if your case does go to court, you are responsible for collecting and bringing all evidence you will use to defend yourself in the case, including various papers, pictures and exhibits. You will also be tasked with subpoenaing witnesses to have them come and speak on your behalf in the court.
The vast majority of traffic tickets, both adult and underage, result in a guilty or no contest plea and the ticketed individual paying a listed fine amount.
Underage drivers (those under 17) who are ticketed are required to have a parent with them for all court appearances.
Defensive driving eligibility
There are some cases in which drivers are eligible for defensive driving, a course drivers can take to keep their ticket offense off their driving record. This is only available for some offenses—it’s not available for drivers who were ticketed for speeding more than 24 miles per hour over the limit, fleeing law enforcement, passing a school bus or other types of reckless or dangerous offenses.
This is a good option for underage drivers in particular, who already have high insurance premiums and for whom having a traffic violation on their record could be particularly damaging.
A person who wishes to participate in defensive driving would need to enter a plea and then request permission from the court to take the course. The offense will be reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety as a completion of defensive driving upon finishing the course and presenting proof to the court of your having done so.
There is a charge to participate in the defensive driving course, and you will need to submit a check or money order to cover those fees, as well as a copy of the underage driver’s license or insurance. The insurance policy must have the name and phone number of the insurance company.
Ultimately, the processes for minors with tickets are mostly the same as those for adults, but parental participation is necessary in some of the processes, as children cannot represent themselves in certain circumstances in court.
For more information, contact an attorney specializing in criminal law in Lubbock, TX at The Law Office of Rob Biggers.
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Categorised in: Criminal Law