You are driving along, and all of a sudden there's a siren and flashing lights behind you. A police officer stops you, and gives you a speeding ticket. What is the best way to deal with speeding tickets, and other moving violations?
Options for Paying, Dismissing or Contesting a Speeding Ticket
- Pay the ticket You can pay the fine at a Ramsey County Courthouse, by post, on the internet, or by telephone. Paying a ticket is equal to an admission of guilt to the offense. The ticket will go on your driving record, and your insurance costs will likely increase.
- Ask to continue the case for dismissal. This option is only available if you don't have any other moving violations in the past year, and it's the best option if you don't think you'll get any more in the coming year.To ask to continue the case for dismissal, first make sure the citation has been filed. It takes 10 business days to file the citation. Look up your citation number on the Ramsey County Fine Payment website, or call 651-266-9202 to find out if it has been filed.
- Once the citation has been filed, you will need to visit one of the Ramsey County courthouse locations, and speak to a hearing officer. Bring photo ID and the speeding ticket with you. If your driving record is very good or clean, the hearing officer will likely approve the continuance for dismissal. You will have to pay the fine, plus extra for court costs, but if you don't get another moving violation in the next year, this ticket will never go on your driving record. If you do get another ticket in the next year, then this one and that one will both go on your record.
- Contest the ticket. If you disagree with the ticket, a hearing officer can hear your case.
Contesting a Speeding Ticket in St. Paul and Ramsey County
Police officers do make mistakes, and there can be extenuating circumstances. What if you got a ticket you don't think you deserve? Then you can contest the ticket.
You will either plead not guilty, or plead guilty and offer an explanation. Pleading not guilty is for a situation where you don't consider you were speeding. For example, do you believe the speed recording equipment was faulty?
Pleading guilty and offering an explanation is for a situation where you were speeding but you think you have a good reason to do so. For example, driving someone to the hospital in an emergency.
First, check that the citation has been filed. It takes 10 business days to file a ticket. You can look up your citation number on the Ramsey County Fine Payment website, or call 651-266-9202 to find out if the ticket has been filed.
Once you have confirmed that the ticket has been filed, appear one of the Ramsey County court locations. Bring the speeding ticket, a photo ID, and any supporting documentation for your case.
Tell the cashier that you would like to contest the ticket. You will first speak with a hearing officer. The hearing officer has the power to dismiss your case if they accept your explanation.
For the best chance of having your case resolved by the hearing officer, bring any evidence you have with you.
If the hearing officer can't resolve your case, they can set the case for a court hearing.
What Can I Do if I Can't Pay My Fine?
Don't ignore it. The court will add late payment penalties after 21 days, then extra penalties if the fine is still not paid in 45 days. After that, the fine will go for collection, which may lead to your vehicle being impounded, or your driving license suspended.
You can make special arrangements with the Ramsey County Court to extend the due date, or pay your fine in installments. You must do this before the fine is due. To do this, visit one of the Ramsey County Court locations and tell the cashier you would like to make arrangements to pay your fine. You will need see a hearing officer to discuss the details and sign an agreement.