Ticket vs. Citation

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Difference between Ticket and Citation

Tickets and citations are some of the most dreaded and downright annoying things that any driver will ever come across. Most people will receive at least one of these in their lifetimes, so it is important to know some information about them. In this article, we provide that information.

Definition

Tickets and citations are virtually interchangeable from a legal standpoint, in that they are legal documents issued in response to a violation involving a vehicle. In the event of the violation of a parking ordinance for example, the law enforcement officer will usually hand the offender a citation. When the offense occurs on the road, the motorist is given a notice in the form of a ticket. These tickets come in two forms: moving violation tickets or parking violation tickets. An example of a moving violation is going above the speed limit, while parking violations typically fall under the category of non-moving violations. Tickets are also referred to as parking citations, notices of illegal parking, or parking tickets.

How You Get Them

Some of the more common parking violations that can get you a ticket or a citation include failure to put money into a parking meter, leaving a vehicle unattended in a crosswalk, and parking in front of a fire hydrant. You could also get tickets or citations for parking in a handicapped space if you or any of your passengers aren't handicapped, or for parking in a fire lane. Citations may also be issued for parking a vehicle with expired registration or expired inspection.

In some areas, a traffic ticket is essentially a notice that a penalty such as a fine will have to be paid by the vehicle’s owner or driver. Failing to pay this fine may result in prosecution or civil recovery measures. In other cases, tickets merely serve as summons to appear in traffic court.

What Next?

Upon being issued a ticket or a citation, the recipient has the option to appear in court in order to appeal his case. However, it is interesting to note that up to 60 % of cases in which the ticket holder disputed the charges are dismissed. Furthermore, a significant number of ticket holders opt not to appear in court, and instead appeal their case through letters, by phone or online. In the event that the court rules against the driver however, he will have to pay the necessary fine, which may be done via credit card. If you wish to pay the fine in person, you have the option of paying in cashier's checks, money orders or cash.

Similarities and Differences

Ticket

  • Virtually interchangeable with citations from a legal standpoint
  • Comes in two forms: moving violation tickets or parking violation tickets

Citation

  • May be referred to as parking citations, notices of illegal parking, or parking tickets
  • May be issued for parking a vehicle with expired registration or expired inspection
  • Recipient has the option to appear in court in order to appeal

 
 

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