Oftentimes, drivers who receive a traffic ticket will opt to represent themselves in court when it comes to challenge it. In some cases, this can unfortunately lead to devastating consequences for a driver. For instance, the driver may be missing significant details about the law or may have misremembered the events leading up to a ticket, which can hurt the outcome of their case.
While you do not necessarily need to hire a lawyer to help you fight a traffic ticket, a lawyer does know the law and thus will know the arguments to use in order to get a traffic ticket fine reduced or completely dismissed. Depending on the circumstances, this means that you could pay less or possibly nothing for a traffic ticket.
In addition, it also means that your auto insurance rates will stay the same and that you will not receive extra points on your driver’s license.
How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Cost?
The rate at which a lawyer bills a driver for handling a traffic ticket matter will depend on a number of factors, such as what the traffic ticket is for, if they were charged with a crime in addition to the traffic ticket, the rate of traffic ticket lawyers in a particular jurisdiction, and the method that a specific law firm or lawyer uses to bill their clients.
For example, when a traffic violation results in a minor traffic citation with little to no legal paperwork, then a traffic ticket lawyer will most likely charge a driver a flat rate to handle their case. On the other hand, if a traffic violation involves a more serious matter and possibly a criminal charge, then a traffic ticket lawyer will potentially bill a driver by imposing an hourly rate. This is especially true in cases where a lawyer has to represent a driver in court.
As a general rule of thumb, however, legal fees for a traffic ticket lawyer will vary in accordance with the nature of a driver’s case and on the location in which a traffic ticket was issued.
When Do You Need a Lawyer for a Traffic Ticket?
Just because a driver receives a traffic ticket, does not necessarily mean that they will need to hire a lawyer to represent them in order to challenge the ticket. However, having a lawyer can give a driver certain extra benefits, such as obtaining expert legal advice. In general, the more serious that a traffic violation is, the more useful it might be to retain the services of a traffic ticket lawyer.
A lawyer can also be useful for a driver who received a ticket in a city or state that is not in the location wherein they normally reside. For instance, if a driver gets a ticket in a state that is far away from where they actually live, then they can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to appear in court on their behalf.
In addition, a driver should absolutely consider hiring a lawyer if they have been charged with a misdemeanor, felony, or DUI offense in connection with a traffic ticket. Basically, a driver should retain legal counsel any time they have been charged with and thus can be convicted of a traffic crime that may result in jail time.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Traffic Ticket?
In general, there are four main ways that a lawyer can assist a driver in winning or resolving an issue related to a traffic ticket matter. The four primary legal services that a lawyer can provide in connection with a traffic ticket include the following:
- A lawyer can offer legal advice: A lawyer can provide legal advice about the traffic laws, including which ones are applicable to the facts of a driver’s traffic ticket case. This advice can be very valuable for a driver since it will likely not only determine how to proceed with contesting their traffic ticket, but will also likely dictate the outcome of their case.
- A lawyer can represent a driver in traffic court: A driver can hire a lawyer to represent them in traffic court. As previously discussed, while this may not always be necessary for a traffic ticket case, a lawyer can present a well-organized and more effective argument than a driver without legal knowledge could on their own.
- A lawyer can help get a traffic citation dismissed: In some instances, a lawyer can help get a driver’s traffic ticket entirely dismissed. However, if a case is more serious, then a lawyer can at least help to get the fines associated with a driver’s traffic ticket reduced.
- A lawyer can negotiate on a driver’s behalf: If a traffic ticket is issued in connection with a serious crime or a driver is facing serious consequences for receiving a certain type of traffic citation, a lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution on the driver’s behalf for reduced penalties.
What Should I Know about Hiring a Lawyer for a Traffic Ticket?
The following is a list of useful tips for drivers who are thinking about hiring a lawyer to challenge a traffic citation or to defend them against charges in connection with a traffic ticket, such as:
- Do not rush the hiring process: While it is true that a driver will likely need to find a lawyer rather quickly if they intend to challenge a traffic ticket, it is also important that a driver does not rush the process. A driver should not force themselves to hire a lawyer whom they would not feel comfortable working with or trusting to properly handle their case.
- Enlisting the legal services of a local attorney is key: A driver should strive to hire a lawyer who practices law in their jurisdiction. Oftentimes, using the legal services of a local attorney is a driver’s best option. The reason for this is because a local lawyer will already be familiar with the laws in the area and also will most likely be acquainted with the other players involved in a driver’s case, such as the presiding judge or the law enforcement officer who issued the ticket.
- Be wary of legal fee schedules with reduced billing rates: In some instances, prepaid legal services will permit a driver to hire a lawyer at a reduced rate. However, this does not necessarily mean that the lawyer who is assigned to their case will be knowledgeable about traffic violation issues, the related legal procedures, or anything else involving a traffic court. Additionally, sometimes these types of lawyers are only assigned to provide legal advice to drivers, but not to represent them in traffic court.
Do I Need a Lawyer for my Traffic Ticket?
Generally speaking, receiving a traffic ticket can be a costly event that not only affects your finances, but may also increase your monthly auto insurance rate as well as can lead to accruing extra points on your driver’s license. Thus, if you have received a traffic citation for violating the traffic laws in your jurisdiction, then it may be in your best interest to hire a local traffic ticket lawyer if you intend to challenge it in court.
A lawyer who has experience in handling cases involving traffic law violations will be able to inform you of your legal rights under the traffic laws in your jurisdiction. Your lawyer will also be able to discuss your options regarding a legal defense and can assist you in building a strong case. In addition, if you are summoned to appear before a judge in criminal or traffic court, your lawyer will be able to provide legal representation as well.