Some traffic tickets require a mandatory appearance in which the alleged offender is required to appear in court. If a mandatory appearance is required for your supposed traffic offense, you cannot simply pay the ticket and move on with life; you must show up in court for the matter to be heard.
How to Tell if You a Mandatory Appearance is Required
If you are ticketed for switching lanes without using your blinker or speeding slightly in excess of the posted speed limit, you probably won’t be forced to appear in court. However, if your traffic offense is considered to be particularly egregious, you might have a mandatory appearance. Look closely at the bottom of your traffic ticket. If the print on the ticket states in any away that you must appear in court, it is imperative you comply with this requirement. The words “appearance mandatory” might not be used. The language on the ticket might state something along the lines of: “You must appear in court.” Each parish uses idiosyncratic language to communicate the fact that a mandatory appearance is necessary.
Some examples of violations where appearance is required include:
- Speeding greater than 15 over the Posted Limit
- Reckless Driving
- Hit & Run Driving
- Driving on a Suspended License
- Careless Operation/Failure to Maintain Control of Vehicle
- DWI or other alcohol related driving offenses
Why Mandatory Court Appearances are Necessary
Mandatory court appearances are usually for three reasons. First, you may be required to appear because the citation has the possibility of jail time. Second, you could have a mandatory court appearance because the statute does not define the penalty. In this case, the judge has wide discretion to determine the appropriate penalty if you are convicted. Third, you are required to appear in court when you there is a ‘victim’ in your ticket. For example, when you are in a car accident, the court wants to ensure the other driver (victim) is made whole for the damages caused by the collision.
It is in your best interest to hire a traffic ticket attorney to represent you every step of the way when mandatory court appearances are required–the stakes are high. The attorneys at Crescent City Law can appear on your behalf even when your ticket says you have a mandatory appearance, we will fight to reduce or even dismiss the charges, and keep other drivers from coming after you for money. This way, you will not have to attempt to pull off what seems like mission impossible in learning all the nuances of the law and representing yourself in front of the judge. The assistance of a skilled attorney will prove especially helpful if you are accused of a criminal violation, like Reckless Driving, Hit & Run, or even DWI! Hire an attorney to protect your rights in court and you will dramatically increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
Looking to Fight Your Ticket? You Will Have to Appear in Court
Most moving violations do not mandate a required court appearance unless you want to fight the ticket. But, if you are charged with speeding well in excess of the posted speed limit, driving in a reckless manner, or for causing an injury, a court appearance will likely be necessary.
Do Out-of-state Residents Also Have to Show up to a Mandated Court Appearance?
If you live in another state and are slapped with a ticket for a supposed offense that requires a court appearance, you still have to show up in court as requested. If you fail to show for a required court appearance in another state, a warrant for your arrest might be issued and the court may request your the suspension of your driving privileges. Once the bench warrant is issued and suspension goes into effect, additional bench charges will also be applied, making this legal predicament that much more complex.
Our Attorneys are Here to Represent You in and out of Court
If you are issued a traffic ticket in which a court appearance is necessary, you should know the stakes are high. Do not make the common mistake of blowing off the ticket and assuming everything will work itself out in due time. Meet with our legal team, explain your side of the story and we will represent your interests to the fullest. Our legal representation might even result in a dismissal of the ticket. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by asking from help from our legal practitioners.