Traffic Ticket: Pay the Fine or Go to Court?

author-thumbnail Grover Collins

BY Grover Collins

Founder & Managing Member

After receiving a traffic ticket, what should you do? Do you admit guilt and pay the ticket or should you go to court? Read here to learn more about your options.

Everything you need to know about traffic tickets in Davidson county, nashville, and surrounding areas

After receiving a traffic ticket, what should you do? Do you admit guilt and pay the ticket or should you go to court? Read here to learn more about your options.

Hypothetically speaking… On a rainy afternoon in Nashville, Harry was speeding down Broadway. A Metro Nashville Police Officer pulled him over and gave him a traffic citation. Harry did not want to take time off work to go to court; however, paying the ticket meant he would use a portion of the money he had been saving to go to a Nashville Predators game.

Harry had a decision to make. Should he A) pay the traffic ticket or B) go to court?

Pay the ticket or go to court?

Harry must consider the following:

  1. If you pay the traffic ticket and forgo Traffic Court, it is an automatic admission of guilt. As a result, your car insurance might increase and the ticket will also appear on your driving record.
  2. If you go to Traffic Court (while daunting), you have a better chance of the situation working in your favor. Having a conversation with the Judge could lead to a reduced charge, reduced fine or dismissed ticket.
  3. Traffic School may be an option. Depending on the type of citation you receive, you may be eligible to attend Traffic School, which is provided by the General Sessions Court Traffic School. Completing Traffic School could prompt the court to stop the addition of points on your driving record or dismiss the ticket altogether. In some situations, Traffic School may be a requirement. Traffic School courses range from four to eight hours in-person to an online course that may be self-paced. (Note: Traffic School offerings and hour requirements vary depending on the state and county.)

Harry decided it was worth taking the time to go to court. The Judge agreed that upon completion of Traffic School, Harry’s ticket would be dismissed. Harry spent the earlier part of his Saturday attending Traffic School. That night, he was sitting in Bridgestone Arena waving to the Jumbotron.

Disclaimer: For specific citations and situations, processes and procedures may vary. For more information, contact an attorney, Traffic Court and/or other informational sources.


Important locations

→   Traffic Court; Justice A. A. Birch Building, Courtroom 1B

→   Traffic Violation Bureau; Justice A. A. Birch Building, Suite 1160

→   Davidson County General Sessions Traffic School; (administrative office) Justice A. A. Birch Building, Suite 1130

→  Traffic School Classroom; Genesco Park, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37217

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