What will happen in court?
November 28, 2009 3:09 PM   Subscribe

I got my first ticket ahh! What will happen?

Today I got a ticket, for expired tags, licenses and insurance. They all expired within the last month but I've been having a very rough time personally and financially (not very smart at all financially, i know). The cop only told me to make sure I had all of them renewed by the court date and then he let me go, thankfully. I do not have any police record, never have had a ticket before. What will happen in court? My friend said they would suspend my license, make me pay a fine and send me to classes. Is this true? If so around how much will the fine be?

If it helps at all I live in Louisville, KY.
posted by lwclec072 to Law & Government (12 answers total)
Response by poster: correction: not expired within the last month, but within the last few months, tags and license expired in August and insurance expired in October.
posted by lwclec072 at 3:11 PM on November 28, 2009

If you have it all done by the court date, nothing.
posted by Rubbstone at 3:14 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

It would be more helpful if you would post the actual names of what you were given a ticket for (ex: in Texas, driving without liability insurance is "failure to maintain financial responsibility" or something like that). Your ticket(s) should say this. If you google your actual offenses yourself, you will probably find a lot of helpful information.
The fine schedules are usually listed on the back of the tickets (at least in Texas), but if for some reason they aren't, you should be able to call the court.

This document
should be a little helpful. It does say that your license can be suspended for failure to maintain insurance, but it doesn't specify if that's after the first offense or if more is required. This website should be able to give you more info if you search it.
posted by ishotjr at 3:23 PM on November 28, 2009

Also, not to be a bummer, but those tickets for not having auto insurance are usually pretty steep because uninsured motorists are a huge problem. I would be very surprised if they didn't allow people to set up payment plans.
If you are having a hard time paying for auto insurance, you should shop around for minimum liability coverage insurance only, or only have very minimal collision coverage for your own car. Looks like in KY the minimum is $25k/$50k injury and $10k property damage.
posted by ishotjr at 3:29 PM on November 28, 2009

If the ticket ends up being more than you can afford to pay (they don't have payment plans here in California so that's often the case), then you should go to court on the court date and ask to do community service - they may have a list of non-profits where you can do volunteer hours and work off the ticket.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:35 PM on November 28, 2009

It might be different in Kentucky, but in my experience, if you renew your tags and insurance by the court date you'll get off with a warning.
posted by maniactown at 3:52 PM on November 28, 2009

Response by poster: I read the back of the ticket, didn't think about that before, strangely enough. But I will call the circuit court clerk's office and find out about everything, I'm pretty sure they will be able to tell me what I need to know as far as the fines and such.

posted by lwclec072 at 3:57 PM on November 28, 2009

The cop only told me to make sure I had all of them renewed by the court date

Get them all renewed before the court date. Go to the court date. The officer will possibly try to talk to you before your case is called, and verify you have everything in order. If you do, then odds are the officer will ask the judge to drop the case when it is called. And you're done.

Can't guarantee this, but that's what I've heard, though not in Kentucky.
posted by inigo2 at 3:58 PM on November 28, 2009

I've had expired tags here in California. It was what we call a "fix-it" ticket: fix the problem, maybe pay a fine, and move on. Expired insurance may be a bigger deal but I doubt they'll do anything all that nasty.
posted by chairface at 10:50 PM on November 28, 2009

I doubt they'll suspend your license for these tickets, usually that's for things like speeding excessively, or not paying tickets. Get thing things taken care of and likely you'll just have to pay a fine. It could be expensive. Definitely pay the fine though or you could get into more trouble. If you can't afford it ask your parents/friends to help you out.
posted by delmoi at 2:41 AM on November 29, 2009

i'm surprised you'd get a fix-it for lapsed insurance . around here they will tow your car on the spot if you're pulled over without proof of insurance.
posted by swbarrett at 7:38 AM on November 29, 2009

just chiming in from NY - i've gotten a ticket for expired registration and inspection (not at same time though). Both times I immediately got the car registered/inspected and brought the proof to my court date. Both times the judge dismissed the ticket with a "be more careful next time" warning.

Most importantly, it goes without saying, but look and act respectful in court!
posted by silverstatue at 11:43 AM on December 1, 2009

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