You knew you were in trouble the moment the officer pulled you over – then came the ticket. Now you’re looking at fines and insurance hikes you can’t afford, points on your license and maybe even time before a judge. When you’re looking at a traffic ticket in Maricopa County, you might be left asking how you can get out of this mess.

And defensive driving school might be the answer. Attending the course could bypass the courts collecting fines, assigning points to your license and handing down a conviction. Though it may seem like the perfect solution, some limitations could keep you from reaping the benefits of some extra time in the classroom.

Meeting the grade

There are a few specific guidelines you’ll need to remember if you want to dismiss your ticket:

  • Qualifying: If your charge doesn’t make the grade because it involved injuries or fatalities, or the infraction is too severe, you may not be able to change the outcome by attending a course. You can check your violation ahead of time to determine if the offense itself is eligible.
  • Counting: You can usually only have one violation dismissed at a time, regardless of how many charges appear on your slate. For the remaining offenses, you’ll likely need to continue through the court system by paying fines or showing up in court.
  • Timing: Defensive driving is generally only an option once a year. You’ll likely have to wait another 12 months before it becomes a viable option again, counting from the date of your ticket. You may also have to make sure you’ve completed your class a week before your court date, otherwise you might have to request more time from the judge.

Educating yourself on spending some time in the classroom could change the way your ticket plays out. Understand where your violation falls on the books, and on the calendar, and you might open a whole new option for dealing with your ticket.