Monday, November 4, 2013

Got a Ticket?

You didn’t want one, but now that you’ve got it, you have to do something with it. You can’t just put it in the glove box and forget about it. You might want to throw it on the ground in disgust but we strongly discourage that. Even though those aren’t good options, you do have a couple of choices after receiving a traffic ticket.

To begin with, you have the choice to enter a plea of not guilty or guilty. If you choose to plead not guilty, you will be assigned a court date by a judge to question the facts as presented by a city prosecutor who presents the city’s version of events. You may choose whether to testify and present evidence supporting your version of events.
Once a judge has heard the facts a decision will be rendered based on the evidence presented.

Another option is to plead guilty or no contest, and pay a fine. To do that you first have to determine if your ticket requires a mandatory court appearance or simply pay a fine. If a mandatory court appearance is required, you must appear on that scheduled date and time.

Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and your driver’s license may be suspended. If your ticket has a mandatory court appearance, the judge will advise you of the fine amount during your court appearance.

Traffic tickets that do not require a court appearance may be paid online, by mail or dropped off at one of the city’s drop boxes. Information about online payments and drop-box locations are available on line: http://www.opkansas.org/city-government/overland-park-municipal-court/how-to-pay-your-court-fines/ or it can be found on your ticket.

You’ll want to make sure you pay the amount on the ticket or look it up at http://www.opkansas.org/city-government/overland-park-municipal-court/traffic-fines-and-violations/.  Pay only what you are required to pay. Do not pay double and assume your ticket will be amended from a moving to a non-moving violation. 

The only way to amend a ticket is to speak with a city prosecutor and have your case reviewed. You may schedule an appointment to meet with a city prosecutor by calling 913-327-6800.

If you are not paying your ticket in person, do not wait until the last minute.  It may take up to three days to process your payment once it is received. Allow plenty of time for postal service delivery.

One more thing, if you get a ticket for failure to show proof of insurance at the time of your stop, the ticket may be dismissed if you are able to provide proof your vehicle was properly insured at the time of the stop.

You will need to present proof that the vehicle was insured at the time of the stop, by way of email at verifyinsurance@opkansas.org or by fax at 913-890-1499. 

That proof will be forwarded to the state for verification. If you receive notice from the state that the insurance was unable to be verified, don’t ignore the correspondence. Your license could be suspended if you do not take action.

Hopefully this gives you some direction and a better option than stuffing your ticket in your glove box and paying the consequences later. For more information, you can always contact the Overland Park Municipal Court at:  913-327-6800.