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Oklahoma Court Records

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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Oklahoma

Rules prescribing the use of roads and highways in Oklahoma are outlined in Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes (Motor Vehicles Code). Per Okla. Stat. Tit. §11–28–113, a police officer may issue or serve a traffic ticket to road users who have violated traffic rules and regulations in the state. The legal document, which contains information on the driver and the charges or violation, usually requires the recipient to pay the statutory fines or contest the court’s ticket. The municipal court and officials of the Oklahoma Judiciary are responsible for conducting proceedings for traffic cases.

Is it Worth it To Fight a Traffic Ticket in Oklahoma?

It depends. In the most unequivocal terms, Okla. Stat. Tit. §36–944 restricts a service provider from canceling or increasing an individual’s insurance premiums for speeding tickets received under Okla. Stat. Tit. § 37–11–8. However, the insurer may penalize the individual for other types of violations. Besides, there is a looming risk of having a criminal record after a serious traffic violation. Fighting a ticket may be worth it since everyone has the right to request a fair trial, and there is no penalty for losing a case other than the original sanction incurred. There is no single way to determine whether fighting a ticket may be worth it, but considering the following factors may help an individual decide:

  • Availability of evidence and witnesses to corroborate arguments
  • Attorney fees
  • Age of the traffic offender (juveniles face tight restrictions after a few violations)
  • Knowledge of traffic laws and ordinances
  • Lost work hours due to court appearance

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Oklahoma

The recipient of a traffic ticket is typically required to respond within fifteen (15) business days if they intend to fight the ticket. In some cases, the recipient is expected to respond earlier to be eligible for a dismissal or reduction. The location of the court where the ticket is heard is usually specified the ticket, and this is where the recipient needs to submit a response. Upon entering a not-guilty plea at the court, the court schedules a hearing date. From here, the individual has two options to fight the ticket:

  • Pro se: It is common for individuals charged with minor traffic violations to decide to self-represent or go pro se. Trials are usually held before a judge, but the court may hold a jury trial for a serious misdemeanor or felony violation. In preparation for trial, pro se defendants have access to court resources upon request, and many are successful in this way. For complicated cases, however, there is no substitute for services received from an experienced attorney.
  • Hire an attorney: Though the more expensive alternative, hiring an experienced traffic attorney may prove very useful. For one, the attorney can conduct an independent investigation, negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor, spot bases for dismissal, and file an appeal if necessary. Besides, nothing can replace competent assessment and counsel from an attorney.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Trial

Oklahoma does not typically allow trial by declaration or consider written statements from witnesses. Thus, all parties should be present at a trial. However, an individual may contest a ticket without going to trial if they make a plea bargain. After entering a not-guilty plea, the defendant could begin negotiating with the prosecutor before the hearing. Here, the defendant accepts that they committed a traffic violation or crime. However, the prosecutor may downgrade the actual crime to a lesser one with lighter sanctions.

How Do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Oklahoma?

If the defendant acknowledges guilt and can prove that the traffic violation was unpremeditated, the judge may reduce the ticket during the mitigation hearing. Other times, the violator may receive relief if immediate restitution for the traffic violation is made. For example, the judge may reduce a ticket issued for an illegal tag display or an equipment violation if the individual presents proof of compliance on or before the trial date. Besides this, the individual may request that the court set up a payment plan to pay fines and fees over a specified period.

Can You get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Oklahoma?

Yes. Before trial, Oklahoma provides several ways for a violator to get a ticket dismissed if eligible. For example, the court may dismiss an eligible speeding ticket if the violator enrolls in driver improvement school. The individual is usually eligible if they have not taken the court-approved driving course within three years, and the ticket is not due. Although the court usually dismisses the ticket in this case, the violator is usually required to pay an administrative fee and bear the costs of attending driving school.

During a trial, however, getting a speeding ticket dismissed depends on several factors. The defendant should have an attorney who can identify legal pressure points, such as discrepancies in the officer’s perception of the violation. Likewise, if the officer is not certified to use speed detection devices, the court may dismiss the ticket on this basis. Other factors that may influence a dismissal include the officer’s failure to show up in court and clerical error by the issuing officer.

What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Oklahoma?

Suffice it to say that the individual may have to pay the ticket and bear subsequent criminal or civil liabilities. A guilty plea also goes on the individual’s license, and the insurance service provider may increase the violator’s rates. If the individual is a habitual violator, the court may direct the Department of Public Safety to revoke the individual’s license. According to the state penalty system, habitual violators are individuals who accrue more than ten (10) demerit points within five years. Individual’s criminal history reports include records of traffic violations. Per the Oklahoma Open Record Acts, these records are available to interested members of the public, including prospective employers and government agencies.

Oklahoma public records, including traffic records, may also be accessible through third-party websites. These websites typically make the search process simpler, since their records are collated from various geographic locations, and users may perform searches for multiple records simultaneously. To use a third-party search engine, interested parties may need to provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state in which the person resides or was accused.

Third-party sites are operated independently of government sources. Consequently, users are enjoined to verify the accuracy of the records or information obtained through these sites, as their validity, accuracy, and availability are not guaranteed.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Oklahoma

Given the roles of an attorney in the adjudication, reduction, or dismissal of the traffic ticket, one can conclude that an experienced attorney is a valuable asset in a traffic case. Close friends and family members who are past clients provide credible referrals. Otherwise, the defendant may need to get a referral from a trusted source.

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