We know it happens, but do you know the rights you have when it does? Read this article and be educated on the rights you have when you get pulled over!

When Can and Can't I Dismiss a Traffic Ticket in Texas?

So...you got a traffic ticket. Don’t panic just yet. It happens to millions of people every year. And in some cases, you can actually get a ticket in Texas dismissed!

We’re going to walk through when you can and can’t dismiss your ticket. But before we begin, we’d like to make a disclaimer: Never, ever ignore a traffic ticket. Failing to pay a ticket could lead to a warrant for your arrest, and your Texas drivers license renewal can be denied.

Now, let’s see if you can get your ticket dismissed.

First, Know Your Plea Options

Once you get a traffic ticket, the first thing you must do is understand your plea options: You can plead: 

  • Guilty

  • Not guilty 

  • No contest (Nolo Contendre)

If you choose to plead guilty or no contest, you must pay the ticket on or before your court date. If you decide to plead not guilty, however, you can fight it. You can plead not guilty for any traffic offense and defend yourself at a trial where the ticket may be dismissed.

When a Traffic Ticket in Texas Can Be Dismissed

The court will usually send you a notice to indicate whether or not you’re able to have your ticket dismissed. The ticket itself may also provide dismissal instructions. If you don’t receive a notice or see instructions, check with the court where the ticket was issued.

In general, here are the requirements for being able to dismiss a traffic ticket in Texas:

  • You were not driving a commercial vehicle when you received the traffic ticket.

  • You haven't taken a court-ordered defensive driving course in Texas in the 12 months prior to receiving your ticket.

  • You have a valid Texas driver's license.

The severity of the ticket also plays a role. Typically, only lower-level offenses have the possibility of dismissal. Tickets that can be dismissed include:

  • No drivers license

  • No proof of insurance

  • Expired drivers license

  • Expired vehicle inspection

  • Expired vehicle registration

  • Altered license plate

  • Defective equipment

In order to get the ticket dismissed you’ll have to provide compliance documents on or before the date of your scheduled court hearing (if one is required). One thing to note is that you may still have to pay a dismissal fee.

When a Traffic Ticket in Texas Can’t Be Dismissed

Dismissal is basically giving drivers a one-time pass for minor offenses. But some offenses are just too unsafe to excuse even once. You won’t be able to dismiss a ticket if you were doing the following:

  • Speeding at 25 MPH or more over the speed limit

  • Driving at 95 MPH or faster

  • Passing a school bus

  • Failing to stay and provide information and assistance after involvement in a vehicular accident

  • Violating rules in a construction zone with workers present

  • Fleeing from the police

Other serious violations (up to the discretion of the police officer and the court) will also prevent you from being able to dismiss a ticket.

Getting a Ticket Dismissed With Defensive Driving School

You may also be able to get the incident removed from your driving record by taking a Texas defensive driving course online. Many of the most common offenses, such as speeding less than 24 miles over the speed limit, are eligible for this option.

Before you take one of our defensive driving courses, you must do the following:

  • Request permission from the court to take a defensive driving course.

  • Pay all required court fees.

  • Submit the payment, the ticket, your driver’s license and proof of insurance to the court.

Once you get that all taken care of, you can sign up for defensive driving. Now you’ve got work to do. You must complete the following steps in order for the court to accept your completion of defensive driving:

  1. Sign up for Texas defensive driving with a state-approved education provider.

  2. Complete the 6-hour defensive driving course.

  3. Wait for your certificate to arrive in the mail.

  4. Sign your certificate when you receive it.

  5. Turn in your certificate to your court in person or by mail. Some courts may require a type 3A driver record in addition to the certificate.

Once everything is reviewed by the court you should receive a dismissal, and your record will be clear of the ticket.

Skip The Classroom and Take Your Drivers Ed Course Online with Aceable!

Find Your Course Now

*This article was updated on 7/27/2020