Is rescheduling a court date for a traffic ticket allowed?

That depends on both your state and the court handling your traffic ticket, but most courts are fairly understanding when it comes to scheduling conflicts.

Rescheduling Traffic Ticket Court Dates

Keep these five tips in mind as you’re trying to find out about a court date extension.

1. Take a look at your ticket.

Most tickets have a phone number you can call to speak with someone about court specifics such as pleading guilty without an official court appearance, what to expect if you do plan to appear, and policies on rescheduling.

2. Be clear about the nature of your ticket.

Your court might be lenient when it comes to rescheduling minor traffic violations (think parking violations, not coming to a full stop at a stop sign, turning a U-turn where a sign clearly states you aren’t allowed to), but it might not be so merciful for more serious speeding tickets.

When you call your court, be sure to tell the clerk which kind of traffic ticket you have.

3. Get exact details about how to reschedule.

Some courts require you to complete a form to request a new hearing date; others, like some courts in Illinois, go so far as to suggest you hire an attorney to request a continuance.

Not all states are as formal, though; some accept phone calls, and others are even less formal. Certain small town courts in West Virginia, for example, hold traffic violation hearings twice a month. If you can’t make it to the soonest hearing, a quick phone call to confirm you can attend the second hearing is sufficient.

4. Be quick about it.

Many courts are understanding, but they still have rules. In New York State, for example, you can reschedule a court date but only if the Traffic Violations Bureau receives your request at least 10 days before your original hearing is scheduled. There are courts in Wisconsin that also require drivers to request an extension at least 10 days ahead of time.

5. Plan accordingly.

The court might allow you to reschedule, but it might also allow you to reschedule for a certain time period only. For example, some courts in Florida will give you a two-week extension (and you must reschedule 30 days before your original hearing). If this is the case with your court, be sure to keep your schedule open.

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