This is great advice. It's been my policy for 10 years. Every ticket, every citation, every time. No exceptions. (If you have the possibility of jail time, all bets are off, get a lawyer).
And if you get a criminal citation (as opposed to a civil infraction), you are entitled by the Sixth Amendment to a jury trial. When arraigned, you will be asked to sign a jury trial waiver (In most states). Decline, and at every opportunity, opt for a Jury Trial.
For the general community, here are five tips that I try to follow.
1. On your Court date, take the entire day off from work. Often these matters are scheduled early in the day, like 8AM, but that's mostly a scam. It will take a good chunk of the day. The system is rigged to pressure you - financially - into settling. That's how they win. Even if your time is early in the day, pack a nice little lunch and bring it with you. Charge your phone, bring headphones, and a paperback book. Wear comfortable clothes that show you are READY AND WILLING to sit and wait all day.
2. When you show up, the clerk or judge will call in everyone and have them watch a video or hear a description of your rights. They ask you if you understand. They can't move on until they get past this step. Raise your hand and ask a question. Tell the judge or clerk you couldn't hear the video or speech. Ask a question about what they say. Ask if this is the right place for divorce court. If you break the ice, several others will probably ask a few questions. Remember, this is a factory. They want to process you as quickly as possible.
3. In a lot of States, you will have an initial appearance where you enter a plea. In many States, the Judge essentially pushes every into meeting the prosecuting attorney. You basically don't enter a plea, you say "negotiations" or "mediation". When it's your turn, tell the judge or clerk you plead innocent, and would like to have your trial. Do not request mediation or a meeting with the lawyer - this is a scam to take your time. The attorney makes a huge list and then calls people in for 5 minutes where they offer something or try to get you to plead guilty. If you do, you don't have to go back into the Court in most cases. That's the hook they use to get you to settle and pay the fine. Do not say anything to the attorney or clerk other than the fact that you would like your day in court, and would like to call witnesses. If it's a criminal citation, remind them you want a jury trial.
4. Once you demand a trial, you'll probably have to go back into Court, and then re-affirm your plea. The purpose of this session is for the prosecutor to ask for a stay of the trial. The Judge will ask you to agree. Firmly and politely tell them that State is the one bringing the case, it is your right to a speedy trial, and that more time will not change anything. You must specifically ask for the case to be dismissed for failure to prosecute in a timely manner. On the first Court date, you will probably be denied. In my experience it's about 25% chance you'll get your case dismissed by the judge. Typically they will grant an extension. Then the date will be brought up - if it's a long ways out - more than a few weeks - ask the judge for closer date. Ask if you can come back after lunch. Ask if you can come back tomorrow. The prosecutor will object. Ask if you can come back in 7 days. Ask why they need so much time to prepare such a simple case.
5. Once you come back, the whole thing repeats. The prosecutor knows that most times people don't come back for future dates. They simply give up. Don't give up. You'll lose and maybe end up with warrant. As soon as they pickup your file and see this is the second court date, they'll probably offer to file your case. This is like winning, but if you get another ticket in a short period of time you basically lose automatically. Don't agree to this either. Re-iterate you want a trial, or you'll accept dismissal. The attorney will now use big time pressure. He or she will try to tell you that it will be worse on you if you loose after going to trial. In most states this isn't true, and suggesting it is a serious offense. They will tell you how difficult it will be for them to get the cop to come to court, it will cost the State a lot of money, etc. Remind them you'll accept a dismissal. My experience is this is a 50% chance the prosecutor gives it up right here. If not, they have to go the judge and make a case, or ask for a new date. On the 2nd time through, you'll have a much better chance of winning a dismissal.