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What Should You Do if You Get a Houston, Texas Speeding Ticket?

by Stephen Thomas on March 18, 2013

Houston Speeding Ticket

Speeding is one of those things that very few people set out to do, but nearly everyone ends up doing at some point. It happens. Meetings run late, you oversleep, or you overbook yourself. So you speed, from one place to the next, hoping to make up a fraction of the time in your car.

Unfortunately, being late doesn’t validate speeding, so it’s still illegal. And in a highly populated city like Houston, it can be even more dangerous.

If you are issued a speeding ticket in Houston, chances are you will have the option to either appear in court or pay the fine. If you’re lucky, you’ll also have the option to take a defensive driving class.

APPEARING IN COURT

If you opt to fight your speeding ticket in Houston, Texas, you must appear in court to plead “not guilty” and appeal your case. Your ticket will indicate the time and place you must appear. If you’re under 18 years of age, you’ll need a parent or legal guardian to appeal with you. During your appearance, you may be able to come to an agreement with the prosecuting attorney. If an agreement is not reached, your case will go to trial, where you will fight your ticket, and plead your case to a judge and jury. You may also hire a lawyer who specializes in traffic tickets to help you fight your speeding ticket.

PAYING YOUR TICKET

If you choose to pay the fine, you can follow the simple instructions outlined on the Houston city government website:

  • Paying Online: The courts in the city of Houston allow you to pay your traffic ticket right from your computer.
  • Paying by Mail: Check the box marked “Guilty” on the citation, sign the ticket, and include a check or money order. Mail to the court where your ticket is answerable (indicated on the back). Remember to include the citation number on your payment (in case they get separated), and keep a scan or photocopy of the citation for your records.
  • Paying in Person: If you choose to pay in person, you must go to the court indicated on the citation. Most courts will accept cash or credit cards, in addition to checks and money orders.

Whatever you decide, make sure to pay the fine within 15 days in order to avoid late charges, additional fines, and suspension of your license.

DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE

If you do find yourself holding a speeding ticket in your hand, you might be able to take a Houston defensive driving course. You can opt for a classroom setting, where you will spend 8 hours of your Saturday completing the course, or you could take an online course at your own pace. If you want to save yourself the headache, or if classrooms just give you the shivers, Texas approved online defensive driving course can be a great time-saver.

Whatever you choose, defensive driving school can dismiss the points that get accrued on your license, which could in turn prevent your insurance rates from going up. And if you learn how to be a safer driver, all the better.

Of course, the best way to deal with speeding tickets is to get plenty of sleep, leave the house on time, and not overbook yourself—drive safely, and you will never get them. But if you’re like most people, sometime life just gets in the way – so it’s good to know what options you have if you make a mistake!

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