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Quite honestly, you should generally dispute most traffic citations. The reason for disputing them is not necessarily to avoid paying anything, although sometimes the officer will not show up and the case will be dismissed, but to seek to reduce the charge and thus the fine and number of points on your license (if your state has points).
When you go to court and plead not guilty (do not plead guilty right away or you cannot negotiate), you ask to have a conference with the prosecutor. Then when with the prosecutor you can explain your situation and you are a college student and are just looking to avoid the points and insurance increase. Many times they will reduce the charge to an equipment violation OR they will agree to a deferred adjudication, meaning that you pay the fine and if you get no more tickets in 6 or 12 months this ticket is dismissed and it is never reported on your driving record. You have to ask them for one of those types of deals and do not be afraid to beg for a deal and as traffic court is just a money maker for the cities, most every prosecutor will make some type of deal for you, which you would not get if you simply plead guilty.
If you want to use a lawyer to negotiate, they generally charge about $350 for traffic cases and sometimes it is worth that just to avoid the insurance increases and you can find one locally at the same site used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org
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