We are sorry to hear about your ticket! The first question is whether or not you got an actual traffic ticket or just a traffic violation notice. If it says something like “Notice of Violation” or “Traffic Violation Notice” then this can be completely ignored. However, if it says “Arizona Traffic Ticket & Complaint” at the top, then it is an actual traffic ticket and you have a couple of options. These options presume you have done NOTHING with the ticket in terms of responding or contacting the court.
- Ignore the ticket until you are served. In Arizona, the court must establish jurisdiction over you by either having you waive service, by personally serving you (someone hands you a copy of the ticket), or by alternatively serving you (someone mails you a copy and then tapes a copy to your front door or garage). If they do not do one of these three things within 90 days from the date the complaint was filed with the court (not the date of the violation), your ticket will dismissed. If you look at your ticket, the date the ticket was signed off on by the judge is typically the date the complaint was filed. This is when the 90 days starts.
- Take Defensive Driving School. This is an online course that costs approximately $250 to $275 and takes 4 hours to complete. The benefit of completing the course is that it completely dismisses the ticket meaning you get no points on your license and you do not pay any additional fee. More information can be found by visiting www.azdrive.com.
- Hire an attorney. We represent people all the time on these matters. If your case is out of Scottsdale City Court, we charge a flat fee of $550. The benefit of hiring a lawyer is that we handle everything for you, including challenging service if it becomes an issue. The down side of just “ignoring” the ticket is that if you miss something or a process server is dishonest about serving you, there is a possibility that the court will believe they have jurisdiction over you. If this happens and you miss your court date, then the court can suspend your license, issues points against you and double your fines. Then you may be driving on a suspended license without evening know it!