There is never a good time to be caught speeding, and the fines for speeding and other traffic tickets in the state of Louisiana can be rather steep and confusing. Ticket fines vary, based not only on the violation, but also by the court or location of your traffic stop. For example, a ticket for a seat belt violation in Baton Rouge will cost you $25, but in New Orleans the same ticket will cost $45. Not only do they vary, but they are generally not even printed on your ticket. In order to find out how much you owe in fines and fees, you have to contact the courthouse listed on the ticket. You will not only have expensive fines, but also court costs and possibly other surcharges to worry about.
When you get a speeding ticket in Louisiana, you can choose to either plead guilty or not guilty. When you plead guilty, you will have to pay the fine and the violation will still appear on your driving record. If you have committed a serious violation, you might have to face losing your license, and no matter what the offense, you may also end up seeing higher insurance premiums in the near future. If you choose to plead not guilty, you will have to contest your ticket in court. You will first prepare your case on your own or with an attorney. You might be able to ask to take a driver improvement course in exchange for the dismissal of your ticket, or you can also try to plead for lesser penalties and reduced fines. If you are found not guilty, you will not have to pay anything other than the court costs and any lawyer fees you may have incurred. If you are found guilty, however, you will have to pay all of the original fines in addition to the court costs and you will still have to deal with the additional consequences such as the violation recorded on your driver history and increased insurance rates.
Louisiana does not have a point system for recording driving violations like those which many other states utilize. Instead, Louisiana takes into account the type of violation a driver commits to determine whether or not the driver needs to have their license suspended or revoked. The driver’s registry also keeps a record for five years of all of your traffic violations so that the state can determine how safe or unsafe of a driver you are. Your insurance company also has access to these records and checks them before renewing your policy. If your record shows that you had a DWI that violation will stay on your record for up to 10 years. It is always a good idea to keep track of your own driving record to ensure that nothing is recorded in error which may negatively affect you.