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What are Colorado Traffic Tickets?

Colorado traffic tickets are issued to road users by law enforcement officials when they violate the State traffic laws.It usually contains details of the violation committed, the total fine to pay, and if it is a citation, details of the law section under which the offense is charged. The legal authorities overseeing traffic violations in the state are Title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C. R.S) and municipal ordinances, which are based on the Model Traffic Code promulgated by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must 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 that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Does a Traffic Citation Mean?

A traffic citation is an official summons issued by a law enforcement official in the State of Colorado to a road user who has violated one or more traffic laws. Unlike a traffic ticket that can be paid off with a fine, it is an official order requesting the individual’s presence in the county or city traffic court. In Colorado, the traffic citations could be an e- citation summons or the handwritten summons. They carry details of the time and place where the court appearance has been scheduled. Finally, it contains the section code under which the offender has been charged.

How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Colorado?

There are different ways of resolving a traffic ticket in Colorado, including;

  • Paying the ticket,
  • Requesting a contested hearing and pleading not guilty, or
  • Take a court-ordered and approved Colorado defensive driving course. Successfully completely doing this may have the traffic ticket dismissed.

If the offender does not wish to plead guilty, a court appearance is required, and the fine should not be paid. Paying the ticket in Colorado is an admission of guilt and an automatic waiver of rights to contest or fight the ticket in court. If the individual chooses to pay the ticket, then the fine amount must be paid within 20 days of its issuance. All payments made on or before the assigned court date attract an extra fee of $25.00. The traffic ticket contains information on the traffic court location, fine amount, and deadline for the fee to be paid.

Depending on the court handling the case, the traffic offender may have options of paying the ticket online, via mail, over the phone, and in person. The required information is obtainable by contacting the court ahead with the compiled data on courts in the state by the Colorado Judicial branch.

When Paying by Mail;

  • The offender should make sure to mail the payment to the right court named on the ticket,
  • A copy of the citation should be included with the payment. If the citation is and court date should be included.
  • The offender should not mail cash. The individual can make cash payments in person at the court.

If the issuing officer wrote “court” where the fine amount should be, then the ticket is officially a summons to appear in a traffic court.

Can You Pay Colorado Traffic Tickets Online?

Yes, colorado traffic tickets can be paid online. However, this solely depends on if the designated court offers such a service.

How Do I Pay a Ticket Online in Colorado?

Several counties in Colorado provide online ticket payment services to traffic offenders.

  • The offender need only visit Colorado State Judicial Online Payment Process,
  • Search for the county where the ticket was issued, and
  • Input ticket or citation and follow the instructions given.

This process may vary depending on the court. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles(DMV) also offers traffic offenders online payment services.

What is the Colorado Traffic Ticketing System?

The State of Colorado uses a traffic ticketing point system to determine the penalties of a traffic ticket. This system assigns points to every traffic violation based on their severity. If an offender accrues a certain number of points within a certain period and depending on his/her age, the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend the driver’s license

The Colorado Point Values include;

  • Speeding (driving 5 - 9 MPH over the limit): 1 point
  • Failure to yield right-of-way: 3 points
  • Improper passing: 4 points
  • Refusing to show proof of insurance: 4 points
  • Speeding (driving 10 - 19 MPH over the limit): 4 points
  • Careless driving: 4 points
  • Speeding (driving 20 - 39 MPH over the limit): 6 points
  • Reckless driving: 8 points
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: 12 points
  • Speed contests: 12 points
  • Evading a law enforcement official: 12 points
  • Speeding ( driving 40+ MPH over the limit): 12 points
  • Leaving an accident scene: 12 points

The following DMV points may trigger a suspension;

Adult drivers about 21 years of age and older:

  • 12 points in the 12 months, or
  • 18 points in 24 months.

Minor drivers between ages 18 to 20:

  • 9 points within 12 months period of time,
  • 12 points within 24 months, or
  • 14 points or more.

Minor drivers under the age of 18:

  • 6 points in 12 months, or
  • 7 points before turning 18.

It is important to note that any charge involving a traffic offender exceeding the limit by 25 mph will be automatically considered reckless driving and a traffic “offense” carrying the potential of jail time and substantial fines.

How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Colorado?

Generally, a road user is advised to obtain information on traffic tickets from the presiding traffic court in their area of residence. In addition, visiting the local DMV office to run searches using the driver’s license number will provide information on the inquirer’s traffic citation history.

Periodically monitoring a driving record could inform an individual of any pending traffic tickets. An un-resolved traffic ticket could adversely affect an individual’s driving privileges, especially car insurance rates.

The individual may also purchase a non-certified copy of his/her Colorado motor vehicle record to find out about pending tickets.

For certified copies, a written request with the following information should be mailed to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles;

  • Individual’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Driver license number
  • Signature
  • Photocopy of driver photo ID with signature
  • Check for the requested copies, $2.60 (for a non-certified copy), or $3.20 (for a certified copy).

Requests may be mailed to:

Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles

1881 Pierce St.

Lakewood, CO 80214.

How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Colorado?

If a traffic offender loses a traffic ticket, it is advisable to contact the presiding traffic court where the citation was originally issued, especially if the citation required a court appearance.

The court clerk will require the driver’s license number and license plate information to find the citation history. The inquirer may also contact the troop office that issued the ticket. Although, this may only be helpful if the citation was issued within the last fourteen days and requires court appearance. If it has been more than 14 days, the inquirer may contact the Colorado DMV at (303)–205–5610. If it were a citation mandating a court appearance, the DMV would have no record of it.

How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Colorado?

Depending on the severity of the traffic violation, a traffic ticket stays on an individual’s driving record in Colorado for 5–10 years from the date of the conviction. Also, demerit points in the state are not permanent, and they only impact the offender’s driving privileges for 24 months. However, after they have been deleted, the citation remains on the individual’s driving record.

Is a Summon Worse Than a Ticket in Colorado?

A summons is usually more serious than a ticket despite their similarities. A ticket simply contains the fine amount payable to the traffic court or the Colorado DMV. However, a summons is usually issued after a repeat or severe offense that requires the offender to appear in court where the penalty may be decided to be a substantial fine or even jail time.

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