Photo by Alex Chernenko
There are nearly 3.5 million licensed drivers in the state of Lousiana. Every year fines from traffic violations are a huge source of revenue across the state. In fact, these tickets contribute up to 10% of each town’s revenue.
But a hefty fine is not the only thing you have to worry about if you get booked by a traffic officer. These tickets will also be added to your criminal record. This means that if you ever face a more serious charge, this could seriously count against you in court.
Luckily, there is something you can do to ensure you have a clear driving record. This involves taking a defensive driving course.
Never heard of these courses? Then you have come to the right place! Read on to find out exactly how to get a ticket off your record in Louisiana.
Different Types of Driving Tickets in Louisiana
There are several different things that you can get a ticket for when driving in Louisiana. All these relate to endangering yourself or others when you are on the road.
Speeding tickets are the most common type of ticket in Louisiana. The state has speed limits of 55, 65, and 70 mph depending on which kind of road you’re driving on. These may be lower in residential areas.
This is why it is important to always keep an eye on which type of road you are driving on. Driving tickets can also be awarded for the following traffic violations:
- Driving without a valid license for your vehicle
- Driving with unsafe equipment on the road
- Disobeying a police officer
- Ignoring or failing to follow traffic signs appropriately
- Careless driving
- Drag racing
- Not signaling properly
- Stopping your car in a prohibited area (whether you are parked or simply standing with the engine running)
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Not following road restrictions for vehicle size, load, or weight
A lot of these offenses also come with additional penalties. For example, if you are caught drag racing then you will also have to pay extensive fines and may face jail time.
Whether you are looking for how to avoid a speeding ticket on your record or clearing another type of ticket, there is something you can do.
How to Get a Ticket Off Your Record in Louisiana
When you get a speeding ticket in Louisiana or any other kind of ticket, you can appeal to have this removed from your record. There are several reasons that you can appeal for dismissal but taking a traffic course is one of the simplest.
A traffic or defensive driving course is a course that teaches drivers about road safety. The idea behind these courses is that rather than punishing dangerous drivers it re-educates them about safety on the road. This is a much more productive way to handle a driving violation for everyone involved.
These courses usually take place over four to eight hours, so you’ll probably have to take time off work to complete one. Some courses are available online now, which means you can take them at home in your own time.
In order to beat your ticket, you need to get permission from a Louisiana judge to take a course before you register. Without a judge’s approval, taking the course will not remove a ticket from your record. Judges are more likely to dismiss appeals from people who have repeatedly violated traffic laws.
If they approve your appeal then they will give you a citation for your case. You will need this when you register for your traffic course. Without this, the court will not receive confirmation that you have successfully completed the course.
Finding a Defensive Driving Course in Louisiana
There are several places you can look for a defensive driving course in Louisiana. It’s important that you choose a course that is approved by the state authorities.
You should always check which areas a course covers. Your judge will outline any specific things that your course needs to cover.
That said, most courses cover everything you’ll need. This is why you may find that not every part of a course feels relevant to your ticket. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to everything.
Some courses require you to take a final exam at the end of them. If this is the case, it’s worth checking if you’re allowed to retake this – a lot of courses will let you do this. The last thing you want is to fail the test and be stuck with the ticket!
Finally, it’s important to look for a course that sits within your budget. These courses can range from anything between $10 and $150.
Limitations of Traffic Dismissal Courses
When you get given a driving ticket in Louisiana it’s a good idea to take your defensive driving course as soon as possible. This is because it will ensure your record is cleared as soon as possible. However, there are some limitations to these courses.
You cannot enroll for a defensive driving course if you have taken one in the last 18 to 24 months. In this case, a judge will reject the appeal for dismissal and the ticket will remain on your record. This is to prevent people from repeatedly breaking traffic laws and using a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
You may also not be able to get rid of your ticket if you are facing a more serious charge. Tickets for parking or minor speed violations are a lot easier to appeal than major charges.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you’re wondering how to get a ticket off your record, a defensive driving course could be the way forward.