How Do I Know if I Need a Traffic Ticket Attorney?

Whether you were caught speeding, driving recklessly or have a warrant due to too many unpaid traffic tickets, you might need a traffic ticket attorney. Many people who receive tickets choose to fight them in court on their own. For more serious offenses, however, an attorney can help you navigate the legal system, negotiate your punishment down and maybe even get the ticket dismissed.

Here’s how to tell if you need a traffic law attorney.

What kind of ticket did you get?

If this is your first traffic ticket ever, it might seem like the end of the world. For the most part, however, people ticketed for relatively minor offenses for the first time may want to represent themselves. Courts tend to be more forgiving of first-time offenders, as long as that first offense wasn’t something like a DWI with children in the car. If you know you can’t beat the ticket, and you have the option of attending traffic school to reduce penalties, you probably don’t need a lawyer.

When the charge is serious, you should work with a traffic law attorney. DWI, reckless driving, warrants due to unpaid tickets, excessive speeding, hit-and-run accidents, driving without a license or insurance, driving on an expired or suspended license and habitual offenses are best left to licensed attorneys. If you’re a commercial driver, that’s another reason to work with a lawyer—your job could be at stake.

Fighting serious charges

If your traffic ticket is serious, an attorney can help. First, a lawyer provides legal advice: they’ll know the best course of action to take, how to file the appropriate paperwork and your full range of options. They’re also familiar with traffic court and the judges themselves, so they’ll have a much better idea of how to present an effective defense.

Second, a traffic ticket attorney can help negotiate the penalties down significantly—or perhaps get them dismissed altogether. When you’re facing serious traffic charges, you’ll want to avoid serious consequences as much as possible.

Finally, a traffic law attorney knows how to present an effective defense at trial. Defendants representing themselves don’t necessarily know how to use the law to mount a defense. Even if “I didn’t realize how fast I was going” is the truth, it’s not a legal defense. Your attorney will know how to handle the charges so you get a fair result.

Working with a traffic law attorney

For most people, one of the biggest bars to hiring an attorney is the cost. A traffic ticket attorney may charge an hourly fee if you’ll be going to court, but many will charge lower flat fees for situations in which only paperwork is involved. Make sure you inquire with your attorney about what they charge and when, so you can make an informed decision—but remember, if you’re facing a serious charge, hiring a lawyer is the best way to get a fair outcome.

If you need a traffic or DWI attorney, call Maynard & Joyce, LLC today to arrange a consultation.