Do You Need A Lawyer For A Traffic Violation?
With the amount of time the average person spends driving, getting a traffic ticket is inevitable. But not all violations are equal, so hiring a traffic lawyer for every infraction is not always necessary.
Knowing this, when do you actually call one?
This article discusses the considerations when facing a traffic violation, the potential risks of representing yourself, and how a lawyer can help you.
Things To Consider
A traffic attorney protecting your livelihood is always best if you’re a commercial driver. Law firms like Sexner and Associates LLC have 30 years of experience guiding people through the best courses of action to resolve traffic infractions.
In contrast, minor infractions like parking tickets and driving with a busted taillight may not justify hiring a lawyer for non-professional drivers. In most cases, common sense will allow you to weigh the seriousness of the situation.
Here are other things to consider in seeking legal help for traffic infractions.
1. Severity Of The Traffic Violation
You may need to go to traffic court when facing a major violation, such as reckless driving, operating a vehicle under the influence, or going 50mph above the speed limit. For instances like these, it would be wise to hire a traffic lawyer to help you navigate the intricacies of the law.
For example, one DUI or multiple reckless driving violations on your record often lead to higher insurance premiums. One study estimates a potential increase of 22% in the insurance quotes of those with reckless driving infractions. This is a problem that traffic lawyers can help you avoid.
2. Your Driving Record
A stark record of violations endangers your driving eligibility. Fortunately, a lawyer could help you resolve some (if not all) of them.
For instance, if a speeding ticket pushes you over the 12-point limit for license suspension, a lawyer can help explain the circumstances surrounding the record to give you more leeway for keeping your license.
Let’s take a look at a practical example. A speeding ticket in Wisconsin levies a three-point deduction to your license. Meanwhile, being convicted of driving more than 20mph over the limit raises the penalty to six points. Your driver’s license could be suspended if you reach 12 points over 12 months.
To fix that, a traffic attorney can help you gather evidence and build an argument indicating you’re not as guilty of the violations as you are deemed to be.
3. Legal Costs
In instances like those above, hiring a traffic lawyer is a no-brainer. While the costs may be higher than the ticket, avoiding the repercussions makes the legal fees worth it.
Here are a few things to remember regarding lawyer fees.
- There are no standard attorneys’ fees: A lawyer’s experience, reputation, and the scale of the legal issue contribute to how much they can charge.
- You often get what you pay for: An affordable, albeit less experienced, lawyer may make you lose out on negotiations more than an expensive but savvy one.
Before entering into an agreement with an attorney, clarify payment details to avoid potential disputes.
Benefits Of Hiring a Lawyer For A Traffic Violation
Here are other ways lawyers can help with your traffic violation record.
1. They Can Go To Traffic Court For You
Resolving tickets usually requires going to court at least twice. A traffic attorney can make those appearances on your behalf. This can be helpful if you have essential commitments on the dates of those scheduled appearances.
In addition to saving time and effort, traffic court judges may be more inclined to listen to a lawyer. Since the latter has more knowledge of the ins and outs of traffic legislation, they can identify loopholes and exceptions to help lessen the degree of your violations. This goes a long way in helping you keep your license longer.
2. You Get Informed Legal Advice
Even if you think you’ve done no wrong, your lack of legal knowledge could hurt you if you represent yourself in traffic court.
Unlike vehicular accidents, there are no stark distinctions on how much damage you’ve done. Traffic lawyers can guide you through all these little nuances to keep your argument solid.
3. They Can Negotiate The Best Arrangements
More serious driving offenses often leave little room for negotiation. It’s a good thing that a traffic lawyer’s familiarity with court intricacies can still secure good deals for you. Even if you still face fines and penalties, their expertise can significantly lighten them.
Know Your Options
While most minor traffic violations won’t require legal assistance, you must remain mindful of your driving record. Multiple minor violations over a short period lead to significant point deductions, risking your driver’s license.
Meanwhile, major traffic violations will involve traffic courts. This is where having a lawyer brings a distinct advantage, as legal knowledge and local familiarity with the courts help you get the best results possible.