Occasionally it is neither possible nor legally advisable to contest your traffic ticket for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it is your second or third DUI/DWI offense. Perhaps multiple witnesses placed you at the scene as the at-fault driver. As merciless as it sounds, it is also possible the presiding judge is simply not prone to dismissing traffic tickets regardless of severity.
In such cases it is sometimes possible to request a speeding ticket deferral or deferred ticket in lieu of outright contesting the ticket and charges against you. What is a speeding ticket deferral and how does a deferred ticket help you?
A deferral helps you avoid points accruing against your driving record which lead to higher insurance rates and possible license suspensions.
Requesting a deferral is an admission of guilt in many ways. Therefore deferral requests have both pros and cons. Why should you request a deferral? Paying your fine without any resistance is a concrete admission of guilt from the perspective of any traffic court.
Requesting a mitigation hearing implies you admit to what happened but claim extenuating circumstances beyond your control caused the infraction. A Contested Hearing is an official proclamation of your innocence in which you attempt to have all charges completely dismissed. Requesting a deferral is a way of stating to the court you are an otherwise good driver who committed an anomalous error. A deferred ticket request is also a request for leniency and reduced charges.
Ticket deferral is not an option for numerous violations as per various state laws. One benefit of receiving a ticket deferral involves not having the points associated with your traffic violation assessed to your driving record. Deferrals also legally relieve you of the requirement to pay the fine(s) associated with your traffic violation, albeit with strict and specific conditions attached. Cons of ticket deferrals also exist. Court costs and administration fees are charged to you whether you win your deferral case or not.
Losing your case means you are required to pay your fines plus all court costs pursuant to your deferral hearing. If you are cited for any other traffic violation during your deferral grace period (usually one year in length) you will be required to pay previously rescinded fines. In the latter case all points associated with your initial infraction will also be reassessed to your driving record. Deferrals are also limited to one per driver per every seven years.
Once you receive a deferral you lose the chance to request another one for a heavier subsequent point-laden traffic violation until seven years go by. Winning your deferral case gets you out of paying fines, however, and saves you multiple potential issues going forward as an active driver in your state.