Tennessee Traffic Tickets / Citations

Tennessee traffic tickets, including speeding tickets and other citations, may be issued instead of arresting a defendant for minor driving violations. Speeding tickets, traffic citations and other Tennessee traffic tickets and related violations are usually heard in either General Sessions Court (e.g. Fourth Division of the Knox County, Tennessee General Sessions Court) or Municipal Court (e.g. Knoxville Municipal Court, also referred to as Knoxville City Court).

Although most Tennessee traffic tickets are classified as a Class C misdemeanor (e.g. Tennessee Speeding Ticket), other violations carry more severe penalties and are classified as a Class B misdemeanor (e.g. Tennessee Reckless Driving) or even a Class A misdemeanor (e.g. Tennessee Reckless Endangerment). The following are general consequences which may occur if you are convicted of, or fail to satisfy (pay or otherwise appear in court), a Tennessee traffic citation:

If you are licensed in a state other than Tennessee, Tennessee will report all convictions for Tennessee traffic tickets or citations, including speeding tickets, to your home state. Therefore, you should consult the Department of Safety or the equivalent agency in your home state or a traffic attorney in your home state to determine the exact consequences your Tennessee traffic ticket or Tennessee speeding citation may have on the status of your driver's license. For instance, in some states, your driver's license could be suspended if you are convicted of excessive speeding (i.e. 15+ or 20+ MPH over the posted speed limit).

Mr. Oberman and Mrs. Compher-Rice can often assist you with resolving a Tennessee speeding citation, Tennessee traffic ticket or other Tennessee traffic citation in such a way that many of these consequences may be avoided. The facts, law, and circumstances of each Tennessee traffic ticket case vary; therefore, it is important for persons in need of a Tennessee traffic lawyer to meet individually with a lawyer to obtain specific advice about traffic courts in Tennessee. The information contained on this website regarding Tennessee speeding citations, Tennessee traffic tickets and other Tennessee traffic citations is no substitute for individual legal consultation.

Frequently Asked Tennessee Traffic Ticket Questions:

Shouldn't I just pay the Tennessee traffic ticket?

No. If you pay a Tennessee speeding ticket or other Tennessee traffic ticket, you will automatically be convicted of the offense and face the consequences of such conviction, such as adding Driver Improvement Points to your driving history. In a worst case scenario, this could result in the loss of your driver’s license; and at the very least result in increased automobile insurance or car insurance coverage costs.

What information will I need to provide when I contact your office in Knoxville, Tennessee about my Tennessee traffic citation?

The color (usually either pink, green or yellow) of the Tennessee traffic ticket (this helps us determine to which Tennessee traffic court you have been cited);

The Tennessee traffic ticket number (located in the upper right-hand corner of the traffic citation);

Date of traffic citation (usually located toward the bottom of the traffic ticket);

Date to appear in Tennessee Traffic Court (usually located toward bottom of the traffic citation or speeding ticket, just below the date of the traffic ticket);

Name of the Tennessee police officer (if legible); and

The charges listed on the Tennessee traffic ticket (usually located in the middle of a traffic citation in the narrative section).


Will my home state find out about my Tennessee traffic or speeding ticket conviction?

Yes. Any Tennessee traffic conviction will be reported by the Tennessee Department of Safety to your home state.

Won’t my Tennessee traffic ticket be automatically dismissed if I complete driving school?

No. Tennessee traffic tickets are dismissed only when the facts and circumstances justify the same (usually when the prosecution believes it will have difficulty winning the case). This is determined on an individual basis. The disposition of every case must be ruled upon by the Tennessee Traffic Court Judge.

Isn't it less expensive for me to just pay the traffic ticket rather than hire a Tennessee traffic lawyer or speeding ticket attorney?

No. In the long run, it is often more expensive to pay the traffic citation because of the future increases in automobile insurance premiums and other consequences (e.g. loss of license), especially in cases involving a speeding ticket.

Am I required to personally appear in Tennessee Traffic Court on the scheduled court date?

Maybe not. Depending on the facts of your traffic citation, your Tennessee traffic attorney may be able to appear in court on your behalf or postpone your case to a date more convenient for you.

Tennessee Department of SafetyAssigned Points for Traffic Violations

If you accumulate twelve (12) or more points within a one (1) year period, the Tennessee Department of Safety may suspend your Tennessee driver's license. If you are a Tennessee licensee, you are entitled to a hearing before your driver's license is suspended; however, you must request your hearing within a specific period of time. Mr. Oberman and Mrs. Compher-Rice can often assist you in avoiding Tennessee driver's license suspension. Your best chance of not suffering these consequences is to immediately contact our law office in Knoxville, Tennessee. The greater the delay in our involvement, the more difficult it is for us to assist you. For more information on Tennessee driver's license suspension and point assignments, visit the Tennessee Department of Safety website.

 Note: The following list does not include all traffic violations. If your offense is not listed, visit the Tennessee Department of Safety website.

Tennessee Speeding Tickets

Speed not Indicated 3

Speeding 1-5 MPH over the speed limit 1

Speeding 6-15 MPH over the speed limit 3

Speeding 16-25 MPH over the speed limit 4

Speeding 26-35 MPH over the speed limit 5

Speeding 36-45 MPH over the speed limit 6

Speeding 46+ over limit 8

Speed Less than Posted Minimum 3

Tennessee Speeding Tickets in Construction Zone

Speed not Indicated 4

1-5 MPH over speed limit 2

6-15 MPH over speed limit 4

16-25 MPH over speed limit 5

26-35 MPH over speed limit 6

36+ MPH over speed limit 8

Contributing to Occurrence of Accidents in Tennessee

Property Damage Only 3

Bodily Injury 4

Resulting in Another's Death 8

Leaving the Scene of Accident (property damage only) 5

Failure to Report Accident (property damage only) 4

Other Tennessee Traffic Offense Point Assignments

Reckless Driving 6

Reckless Endangerment 8

Improper Passing 4

Failure to Obey Traffic Signal 4

Driving Wrong Way 4

Following Too Closely 3

Failure to Yield 4

Improper Turn 4

Failure to Signal 3

Careless or Negligent Driving 4

Violation of License Restrictions 6

Miscellaneous Tennessee Traffic Violations 3

Operating Without License in Possession 2

Operating Without Being Licensed 3

Driving While License Cancelled, Suspended or Revoked 8

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Board Certified in DUI Defense: Steve Oberman is the only lawyer in Tennessee to be recognized as a Certified Specialist in the area of DUI Defense Law by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization, and by the National College for DUI Defense, Inc.

Don’t Hire Us To Plead Guilty as Charged: We are interested in actively defending those accused of DUI—not pleading you guilty as charged.

Personalized Attention for Our Clients: Steve and Sara limit the number of cases they select to ensure our clients receive the special attention they deserve.

We Use a Team Approach with Every Case: Although you hire only one lawyer as lead counsel, our lawyers and investigator collaborate together on defense strategies for each case.

Highest Peer Review Ratings: Martindale-Hubbell® has bestowed the firm with the highest rating for law firms. Both Steve and Sara have achieved the 10.0 (Superb) rating from www.avvo.com. Steve has been selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer® in the area of DUI/DWI defense since 2006, while Sara has been named a "Rising Star" by Mid-South Super Lawyers® in the area of DUI/DWI defense.

Our Practice is Devoted to DUI or Related Cases: Because the severe consequences one faces when accused of driving under the influence and due to the complexities inherent in defending DUI cases, our practice is focused on this particular area of the law.

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