Traffic tickets can impact drivers in numerous ways for multiple years. We’re talking steep fines, car insurance rate hikes and more. It’s no wonder seeing flashing lights in the rearview mirror brings some motorists to tears. But getting pulled over doesn’t always have to sting so painfully—especially if you hire a traffic ticket attorney. Keep reading for more on when it’s wise to call a lawyer.
Civil Traffic Violations
Getting caught speeding or running a red light stinks. For one, you’ll certainly be late to whatever engagement that had you flooring it. Secondly, the penalties and fees usually aren’t easy to swallow. You could be looking at a couple hundred dollars in fines, points added to your driving record and an increase in your auto insurance rates.
For a moving violation as common as driving 15 over the speed limit or failing to signal, why hire a traffic ticket attorney? Because it might take someone well versed in your state’s traffic laws and court system to help you walk away unscathed. Think about it. Going before a court judge to state your case or contest your traffic ticket might not be something you regularly tackle. A lawyer used to navigating the legal system might be the difference between a blemished or a clean driving record.
Criminal Traffic Violations
For charges as serious as a DUI or reckless driving, don’t mess around; consult a legal professional as soon as possible. We suggest this because the stakes are high—heavy fines, driver’s license suspension or revocation, jail time, etc. Also, depending on your actions during the pullover, a lawyer might be able to find a way around a harsh conviction. Perhaps the officer conducted an illegal search, or maybe you refused a breath or blood test. Talk to an attorney to go over the facts of your case and see whether legal representation is your best bet.
Far, Far Away
Some traffic violations require a court appearance—even if that means a four-hour trek back to the little town hosting the speed trap you fell into. Or let’s say you can’t break away from work to handle your traffic ticket in person. Enter the hired help. In some cases you can have a legal representative stand in for you on your court date. Check with your specific county court on whether having a lawyer stand in for you is an option.
Still feeling unsure about hiring an attorney? Not to worry; you have plenty of options which include the chance to discuss your case for free. Most lawyers offer a free consultation to determine whether it’s in your favor (and theirs) to work together. Often times they’ll even tell you how they believe you’re case will play out based on solid court experience. During this consultation, you’ll also get a feel for how you might like working with them and whether you feel confident in their expertise. If you dislike the first attorney, try another. The more info you can gather up front, the better the decision you’ll make down the road.
Share your experience or leave a comment below. To find a traffic ticket attorney in your state or learn more about handling your citation, check out DMV.ORG’s traffic ticket guide. You can also connect with us and our driving community on Facebook. Don’t stay in the dark about hiring a lawyer; get answers that could get you off the hook!