When you receive a traffic ticket, in most cases, you can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in person or by mail. The mail option is only available for offenses of the traffic law classified as traffic infractions.
Mailing your plea is not an option for more serious offenses which could be classified as misdemeanors. Some examples of traffic misdemeanors are driving while intoxicated (DWI), reckless driving, or driving with a suspended license. A personal appearance requires you to adjust your work or personal schedule to accommodate the court schedule.
A plea of guilty concludes the matter, except for the DMV’s assessment of points and a fine assessed by the court. More importantly, a plea of guilty, or a finding of guilty after trial, might result in a suspension of your drivers license and increased insurance premiums. If your job requires a clean license, you could risk losing your job.
Retain an attorney. An experienced attorney can usually make any required court appearances for you, negotiate with the prosecutor and the court, achieve a reduction in DMV points, and eliminate adverse license and insurance consequences.