Most speeding and moving violations are not considered criminal offenses. Rather, they are only infractions. A speeding or moving violation will carry a fine, affect your ability to get a driver's license, or raise your car insurance rates, but will likely not result in jail time or other criminal punishments.
The laws for speeding and moving violations vary widely by states, counties, and cities, making it important to be informed of local laws. Typical Speeding and moving violations include:
- Failure to yield
- Failing to stop or signal
- Dangerous left turn
- Failure to obey traffic lights
- Invalid registration sticker
- Reckless Driving
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Traffic Ticket?
A lawyer can assist you in winning a traffic ticket case in three basic ways:
- Offer Advice: Contesting a traffic ticket is not the end goal, winning is. A lawyer will listen to the facts of the situation before analyzing your legal position. The term “legal position” how the ticket can resolve in your favor. Receiving advice will help determine how to proceed with contesting the traffic ticket.
- Negotiate a Resolution: If the ticket itself is serious or the driver is facing serious consequences, a lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting agency.
- Represent the Client in Traffic Court: A lawyer will present a well-organized, more effective defense than a driver could present on his own.
- Dismiss the Ticket: A traffic ticket lawyer can argue in your favor and get the ticket dismissed.
What are My Options When Issued a Speeding or Moving Violation?
A ticket typically will include a court date and time, and possibly the amount of the fine. Accepting a ticket is not the same as accepting responsibility.
Often times, a traffic court will offer the option of attending a driving program or traffic school. When the program is complete, the speeding or moving violation is removed from ones record.
After you have received a violation, your options include:
- Admit Responsibility: Admitting responsibility for the speeding or moving violation is generally done by entering a plea of no contest. This technically is not admitting or denying responsibility, but simply paying a fine.
- Contest the ticket: Challenging the Officer’s observations by contesting the facts presented. If you have witness statements, photos of the area, and diagrams of where your car was in relation to the officer’s, your case will be stronger.
- Hire a Traffic Ticket Lawyer: If you believe you did not commit the violation, you can hire a traffic lawyer to get the ticket dismissed.
- Attend Traffic School: Pay the traffic ticket and attend traffic school. If eligible, when you attend traffic school you would not get any traffic penalty points against your driving record. This as a result will help you keep clean driving record and low insurance premiums.
How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Cost?
Many traffic violation lawyers will charge an hourly rate to represent you in court to fight your ticket. The amount that they will charge you depends on how severity the speeding and moving violation is and how hard the case will be for them.
When the traffic ticket is a smaller issue with less paperwork, the traffic ticket lawyer will charge you a flat rate. Rates will vary based on the difficulty of your case and the location where you got your ticket.
It’s important to keep in mind that a lawyer is not typically needed for traffic court. They’re only needed for a more serious, repeat violation that can result in a serious penalty.
Why Should I Fight a Speeding and Moving Violation?
Many speeding and moving violations are worth fighting against because of the following reasons:
- The violation penalty is very expensive
- Your driving record will be blemished
- Your insurance premiums will go up
- Your license will get suspended with another point
- Your job requires a clean driving record
All of these above reasons will be a good reason of why to fight your speeding and moving violation either by yourself or hiring a experienced traffic lawyer. Although it may be expensive to hire a lawyer, sometimes the money spent would be worth it in the long run if there are severe consequences that could result from a speeding and moving violation conviction.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have a traffic citation and are considering challenging it in court, consulting a criminal lawyer can be indispensable. Traffic tickets can be expensive and they may even raise your insurance rates or affect points on your license. An experienced lawyer will be able to explain your rights, help build your case, and represent your best interests in court.