In a lot of states traffic offenses are still misdemeanors which can carry jail time for not paying, i.e. you could be arrested at your next traffic stop and forced to pay up. If you demand a jury trial they will often lower it to a civil infraction and then tell you that they don't do jury trials for infractions. You can't be deprived of liberty for an infraction although they may still be able to suspend your license if you don't pay, a decision which you can also appeal. If you go pro se and study up you can drag the case out for a long time. Challenge jurisdiction, file a bunch of motions etc. You can hope the officer won't show up at trial and possibly get the case dismissed. If you really aren't guilty, do whatever you can to get a fair trial or get the case dismissed. In most places they can't charge you court costs for your defense if you claim you are indigent i.e. not a millionaire that can afford to hire a team of lawyers to defend a traffic case. If the judge finds you guilty at a bench trial appeal the decision within 10 days. Then you can appeal all the way to your state's Supreme Court. Somewhere along the way they'll figure it's not worth their time for a $100 traffic ticket.