Isa traffic citation classified as a criminal charge?

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Isa traffic citation classified as a criminal charge?

I received a traffic citation for speeding and have to appear in court in 3 weeks time. I have to fill up a background check form for a firm. Is my traffic citation classified as a charge? Details about the ticket: I was speeding at 75 on a 60 mph highway . There was no damage or injury to anyone. It was not a school zone or a work zone.

Asked on June 11, 2011 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In TX a speeding ticket is considered to be a criminal offense but with a fine as the only penalty. Usually the ticket will include a fee schedule based on how much over the limit you were speeding. You can just pay your ticket; this will constitute a plea of "no contest" and result in a guilty conviction.

However you can avoid the consequences of a conviction for speeding by opting to take defensive driving course. You should contact the court in which your speeding ticket has been filed for permission to take the course. Once such permission is received, you will have 90 days to complete it and mail your certificate to the court, along with whatever else the court requires (i.e. your driver's license, a copy of your insurance, etc). If you turn everything in by the deadline, the court will dismiss your ticket. If you fail to comply with the requirements, the court will enter a guilty conviction and you will have to pay the full fine and court costs.

Also, as with any criminal charge, you may plead not guilty to your speeding ticket. As such, you are entitled to all the rights as a defendant in a more serious criminal case would be. However because the punishment is by fine only, TX law does not provide for a court-appointed lawyer to help you. So you may want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you (although you may also represent yourself if you are so inclined).


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