In Texas the process for dismissing a normal moving violation is simple, and typically can be handled personally. The system is designed to process a significant amount of these tickets. If the offense is more serious you should, of course, consult with an attorney. What we’re addressing here is the very common situation where someone is representing themselves and choosing between defensive driving and deferred disposition, likely after pleading “no contest”.
Choosing Deferred Disposition or Deferred Adjudication
Choosing deferred disposition allows you to pay to defer, or delay, the ruling. When accepting this option the court will establish rules that you are to abide by, which if completed will result in a dismissal. If you successfully complete the process then your record will stay clean and it will be like the ticket never happened. However, if you violate the terms you will be found guilty and the conviction go on your record.
Deferred disposition is an excellent choice for drivers who are confident they won’t be pulled over for another violation during the period set by the court. For instance, if this was your first ticket in 5 years you’d probably be confident you will go the required the 90 (or otherwise specified) number of days without another violation. Deferred disposition involves a larger fine, but you are able to skip the process of taking a 6 hour driver safety class.
Choosing Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is the most common choice for Texas drivers. In the past this was a frustrating process, since the course was held in-person and was required to be at least 6 hours long. That process was simplified over 20 years ago when online courses were approved. Nowadays, you have dozens of online courses that are TDLR/TEA-approved for ticket dismissal at any court in Texas.
Defensive Driving has been the preferred option of dismissal for decades with good reason. Most importantly, it removes the risk associated with choosing deferred disposition. You don’t want to be worried for the 90-day probation period that you may receive another ticket and have your dismissal revoked. Additionally, insurance companies and legislators agree that defensive driving (Driver Safety Courses) promote better driving habits and make you a safer driver. The lessons you learn in defensive driving courses are real, and designed specifically to help keep you safe. There are actual tips and tricks that could make the difference between life or death, and that’s not hyperbole. The stakes are that high when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Which Is Right For You
Ultimately, the choice is yours. While we would suggest defensive driving for your first offense, it’s tough to argue with the convenience of the “deferred”-options. At TexasDriver.com, our goal is to promote safer driving habits. Deferred adjudication will not make you a safer driver, because it’s just paying a fine. Defensive driving will actively remind you of better driving habits WHILE ALSO dismissing your traffic ticket, and potentially providing an insurance discount. In our mind, it’s a no-brainer; but the power is with you to choose.