Go to the first hearing and ask for defensive driving. They HAVE to offer it to you as choice. The money you’d spend on court costs and the defensive driving will likely equal close to but not as much as the ticket would have, and you won’t have a ticket conviction. Send in proof of completion. Case dismissed. Never worry about it again.
If for some reason defensive driving is not offered, ask for deferred adjudication. It’s essentially the same thing – you agree not to get into trouble again, and if you don’t get any more violations in 6 or so months, the ticket is dismissed. Pay the Court costs, and go.
Otherwise, you CAN set it to trial
, but it's just not worth it - you'd have to come back 2 more times, and if you lose (likely), a record and a large fine await you. Of course you CAN hire an attorney to fight it for you, and they MAY dismiss it on a procedural error or by the officer not showing up, but you’d end up paying the attorney MORE that you would pay the for a program that would keep the ticket off your record anyways. Practicality over principle here makes more sense. Traffic tickets are a cash cow for counties and municipalities – it’s not about fairness here; it’s about revenue for them.
Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up information.
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