Janelle Cooper

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office offers an excellent program allowing people facing certain traffic citations to earn a dismissal of their ticket.   

If admitted into the Infraction Deferral Program, the State of Indiana will agree to defer prosecution of the traffic citation for 6 months from the date you make the agreement.  If the program is successfully completed, the traffic citation will be dismissed. 

To successfully complete the program, an enrollee must:

  1. Avoid committing any traffic, ordinance, misdemeanor or felony violations during the 6 month program;
  2. Pay $192.50 within 30 days of enrollment in the program;
  3. Notify the program coordinator of any address change within 7 days; and
  4. Fully comply with any special conditions which may be part of the agreement. 

Is the Program Worth the Money?

Paying a traffic ticket includes both court costs and a fine.  In St. Joseph County, infraction court costs are around $133.50.  The fines associated with the ticket can vary based on the violation.  Although unlikely, Indiana law authorizes fines for Class A Infractions to be as high as $10,000.  Typically, fines range between $15 to $50 for offenses covered under the program.

Thus, the amount owed on the ticket may cost less money than the $192.50 required to enroll in the Infraction Deferral Program. If you pay the ticket, you are pleading guilty and the points associated with the ticket will be applied to your driving record.  Accruing points on your driving license typically leads to increased car insurance costs and potentially a suspension after multiple tickets.  When you consider the possibility of increased insurance rates, you will likely find the benefits of the Infraction Deferral Program are worth the $10-$50 difference in cost. 

If the enrollee is unsuccessful he or she may be required to pay the original court costs and fine associated with ticket, in addition to the program fee.

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