Janelle Cooper

The Infraction Deferral Program available in St. Joseph County can offer significant monetary benefits. But do you qualify?

Types of Tickets Accepted: 

Generally, speeding tickets of all ranges are accepted under the program.  For reference, a traffic ticket for speeding 0-15 miles per hour (mph) over the limit carries two (2) points; 15-25 mph over the limit carries four (4) points, and a traffic ticket for speeding 25 mph over the legal limit carries six (6) points. Disregarding traffic control devices and stop signs carry eight (8) points each and are also permitted within the program. The program coordinator may include a driver improvement course as a term of the program depending upon the traffic violation.

Process:

After a speeding ticket is issued, it must either be paid or a court date must be scheduled within thirty (30) days.  If the driver fails to do either the court may issue a Failure to Appear, which will result in a driver’s license suspension until they appear before the court. 

The first step is to set a court date by calling the court identified on your ticket.  Next, email the Infraction Deferral Program Coordinator at deferral@stjoepros.org requesting consideration to be admitted to the program.

Entering into the Infraction Deferral Program early and returning the signed Agreement to the Prosecutor’s Office within seven (7) days of your scheduled court date, will enable you to avoid your court date. Keep in mind, applying for the program does not guarantee acceptance.

Types of Tickets Excluded:

The program will not accept the following traffic citations:

  • Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicle;
  • Railroad Crossing Violations;
  • Passing a School Bus;
  • No Insurance;
  • Driving While Suspended (infraction); or
  • Work Zone Violations when workers are present. 

The theme associated with the offenses above is safety.  Although all traffic violations may jeopardize the community’s safety, these in particular pose a significant risk to children, emergency personnel and road workers.

Persons Excluded From the Program:

This program is not available to:

  • Individuals with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) (i.e. large truck drivers);
  • Drivers currently enrolled in another County’s Infraction Deferral program;
  • Persons who have participated in the program twice before; or
  • Habitual Traffic Violators (HTV) (this is a criminal conviction designation which carries 10 year to lifetime suspensions). 

Walkerton Town Court and Other Counties:

Walkerton Town Court operates under its own jurisdiction, however, the Infraction Deferral Program is still available.  Any traffic citation designated to Walkerton Court must be initially processed through Walkerton Town Court. Upon acceptance into the Infraction Deferral Program, the ticket will be transferred to St. Joseph County Superior Court and handled as set forth above. 

Infraction Deferral Programs are also offered on a county by county basis across the beautiful State of Indiana.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

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