16 Mistakes to Avoid After a Traffic Violation in Colorado

August 28, 2023

This article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Every case is different. Consult a licensed professional in your state. Viewing this website or its content does not create an attorney-client relationship with Lyda Law Firm or any of its lawyers.

Traffic violations are a part of life for many drivers. Whether it's speeding, running a red light, or forgetting to signal, it's easy to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. But how you respond after receiving a ticket can have a significant impact on the penalties you face. In this guide, we'll explore common mistakes to avoid after a traffic violation in Colorado.

Mistake 1:

Ignoring the Ticket

Ignoring a traffic ticket is the worst thing you can do. In Colorado, failing to respond to a citation can result in a default judgment against you and could even lead to a bench warrant for your arrest.

Mistake 2:

Automatically Paying the Fine

Paying the fine right away may seem like the quickest way to deal with the ticket, but it's essentially admitting guilt. It could lead to points against your license and higher insurance premiums.

Mistake 3:

Not Consulting a Lawyer

Traffic offenses may seem minor, but the consequences can be more significant than you think. Consulting with an attorney can provide you with valuable insights into how to handle the citation, possibly even getting it dismissed or reduced.

Mistake 4:

Representing Yourself in Court

While it's your right to represent yourself, the legal system is complex. Without a thorough understanding of Colorado traffic laws, you risk missing essential points that could help your case.

Mistake 5:

Not Knowing Your Rights

Most people aren't aware that they have rights during a traffic stop, such as the right to remain silent and the right to refuse a search of their vehicle. Knowing your rights can be essential in how the case against you is built.

Mistake 6:

Admitting Guilt at the Scene

Many make the mistake of admitting fault at the scene of the violation. Any admission can be used against you later. Simply comply with the officer's requests and maintain your right to remain silent when necessary.

Mistake 7:

Not Documenting the Scene

If possible, take photographs of the scene, road signs, and any other relevant factors. These could be crucial in contesting the ticket.

Mistake 8:

Ignoring Witnesses

If someone was with you at the time of the violation, their testimony could be valuable. Collect their contact information, so your attorney can reach out to them later.

Mistake 9:

Not Checking the Citation for Errors

Review your ticket carefully. Any errors, like the wrong statute cited or incorrect vehicle information, can be grounds for dismissing the citation.

Mistake 10:

Forgetting to Check Your Driving Record

Your driving record plays a crucial role in the penalties you face. Knowing what's on your record can help you and your attorney build a more effective defense.

Mistake 11:

Not Being Aware of Court Procedures

Navigating the court system can be a labyrinth for the uninitiated. Failing to follow court procedures, missing deadlines, or not being prepared can seriously affect your case. Research beforehand or consult an attorney to guide you.

Mistake 12:

Ignoring Potential Defenses

Many traffic violations have possible defenses that can either lessen your penalties or get the ticket dismissed. Discuss these options with your attorney to ensure you're not overlooking any.

Mistake 13:

Failing to Negotiate

Believe it or not, there’s room for negotiation in many traffic cases. An experienced attorney can often negotiate reduced fines, lesser charges, or alternative penalties like traffic school.

Mistake 14:

Thinking All Traffic Tickets are the Same

Not all traffic violations are created equal. The severity of the offense, your driving history, and other factors all contribute to the penalties you'll face. Understand the nuances to build a stronger defense.

Mistake 15:

Making Emotional Decisions

A traffic ticket can be frustrating and infuriating. However, letting your emotions dictate your actions can be detrimental. Stick to the facts and seek professional advice.

Mistake 16:

Forgetting the Impact on Insurance

Traffic violations often lead to higher insurance premiums. Keep this long-term cost in mind when deciding how to handle your traffic ticket.


Traffic violations are common, but mistakes in how you handle them can have long-lasting repercussions. From increased fines to a negative impact on your driving record and insurance premiums, the stakes are higher than you might think. By avoiding these common mistakes and consulting with a legal professional, you're setting yourself up for the best possible outcome.

At Lyda Law Firm, we're committed to helping Colorado drivers navigate the complexities of traffic law. Reach out to us to ensure you're making the right moves after a traffic violation.

In-person meetings by appointment only.

If you have legal insurance, please call 844.844.LYDA (844.844.5932)



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