There is nothing worse than driving, and you hear that infamous siren and see those red and blue lights. You may be asking yourself, “Was I speeding?”, “Are my taillights out?”, “Did I hit someone?” In any event, you know a ticket might be in your future. You are not in the best of situations, and now you are considering how you will handle a traffic conviction. At this point, we come to the question; When Should I Hire a Traffic Lawyer?
There are many conditions where having an attorney present for a particular case will depend on the specific circumstances. The top reasons you should hire a traffic lawyer are the following: The benefits you gain with informed legal advice. The flexibility you obtain with legal negotiations. The lawful advantage you gain in traffic court trials. Last but not least, The convenience you get when your lawyer goes to court for you.
Do You Need to Hire a Traffic Lawyer for Driving Offenses?
Driving offenses typically fall into four legal categories: infractions, minor misdemeanors, first-degree misdemeanors, and criminal offenses. Infractions, typically referring to a parking ticket, will cost you a fine or points on your license. First-degree misdemeanors, such as driving intoxicated, can result in jail time and a suspension of your driver’s license. Criminal offenses, referring to the death or injury of another person, can also result in jail time.
As you can see, there is a big difference between minor traffic violations and more severe driving-related crimes. You might be able to fight a speeding ticket without a traffic lawyer but fighting off a severe allegation without an attorney is probably not a good plan.
What Are My Advantages?
Informed Legal Advice
Informed Legal Advice is the best option when you do not know the best course of action is in your given case. The average individual lacks the critical legal knowledge and skills to represent themselves in a court of law. An experienced traffic lawyer will have the best recommendation of what strategies and opportunities are available for obtaining the best results.
Having a traffic lawyer on your side is beneficial in more than just the legal knowledge you gain. Traffic lawyers who devote a lot of their time in court become very familiar with the officers that come and go and even the judges who make the final decisions. Having this social understanding with all the legal participants will be beneficial in deciding how to defend against a traffic conviction.
Increased Chances of Favorable Outcomes
Negotiations in the courtroom can be critical in shaping the results of your case. Even though it is more common in higher-level criminal cases, negotiations and the opportunity of a plea bargain can be relevant to severe traffic cases. For example, a traffic lawyer can discuss getting a moving violation ticket down to a non-moving violation. This verdict can be the difference between traffic violation points within a conviction or not.
Traffic Lawyers May Help You Win a Trial
Traffic court trials can be very intimidating for the average individual who does not have countless hours of trial experience. Having a traffic lawyer in court vs. yourself can be the difference in winning the trial. Traffic lawyers are far more likely to win a trial because they have the courtroom experience and legal knowledge not to misrepresent the case.
It can be easy for the ordinary individual in a courtroom to get off track or lose focus during the trial. For example, an individual trying to battle their case in court might represent themselves in a defense argument that is not an actual legal defense.
Traffic Lawyers Can Go to Court for You
Traffic Lawyers can go to court for you instead of you having to be there physically. When you get a traffic violation and decide to fight the ticket, there are typically two court proceedings you must get yourself to. Having an attorney can give you the convenience of not having to step one foot in a courtroom. Your traffic lawyer will be the one representing you.
What Is the Disadvantage?
The only disadvantage of obtaining an attorney is the financial expense. Traffic Lawyers charge a range of fees for a range of different circumstances. But in the end, the financial charge of hiring an attorney will most likely be the same amount or maybe even more than the amount of the ticket itself.
Some individuals may have legal plans through their union associations or employers that cover legal fees, or at least a portion of them.
When Is It Crucial to Hire a Traffic Lawyer?
Hiring an attorney for some individuals has several benefits that justify the financial loss for their specific case. The outcome of a traffic ticket conviction can be quite severe and impactful for some drivers. Drivers who find themselves in this position will need to consider hiring an attorney.
Drivers who hold their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are subjected to higher driving standards with firmer guidelines than other drivers out there. These regulations can cause certain traffic violations to lead to a revocation of their CDL. With your career on the line, it would be sensible to hire an attorney in this circumstance.
Drivers Who Have a Lot of Tickets
Multiple traffic convictions can lead to the suspension of your license and cause you higher insurance rates. As a driver who has several tickets in a short amount of time, another one can lead to a license suspension or termination. In this position, legal negotiations and winning your case are critical in keeping your license.
A Traffic Lawyer is utilized for these most common criminal traffic violations.
- Failure to Reinstate License
- Driving Without a License
- Assured Clear Distance Ahead
- Driving Too Slowly
- Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign
- Failure to Stop for a School Bus
- Lane Violations
- Following Too Closely
- Starting and Backing Without Safety
- Eluding and Fleeing
- Multiple Speeding Tickets
- Speeding Tickets
- Traffic Control Device Violation
- Failure to Control
- Failure to Turn
- Failure to Yield
- Turning at Intersections
- One-Way Roads
- Hit & Run/Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Driving on a Suspended License
- Unsafe Operation
- Fictitious License
- Odometer Fraud
- Auto Theft
- Texting While Driving
A Traffic Lawyer is highly recommended for these criminal traffic violations.
- Vehicular Assault
- Vehicular Homicide/Murder
- Third OVI/ DUI
- Motor Vehicle Grand Theft
- Reckless Driving/Operation
When You Might Not Need an Attorney
There are a lot of situations and circumstances where a Traffic Lawyer is not needed to be obtained for your case, and it probably is not worth the financial charges.
If you are eligible for traffic school, you can sign up for this program independently and without a lawyer. Typically, in this case, you sign up for a traffic school without even going to court.
An infraction is not as severe as a misdemeanor for legal charges, and they typically do not involve traffic lawyers. For example, a parking ticket is usually an infraction. Minor infractions generally involve paying a fine. However, in some circumstances, multiple parking tickets obtained in a short period can be served as a Class C misdemeanor. Many of these differ from state to state, so it would be wise to refer to your state’s legal motorist code for more specifics.
So, Traffic Laws are Not the Same in Every State?
No. Traffic laws are decided by each state. It is crucial always to be aware of your specific state laws to prevent suspension, restriction, or revocation of your driver’s license.
A professional freelance writer from Ohio who covers a wide range of topics, but specializes in business, law, and psychology. With over a decade of clinical experience in the field, Jessica is backed by a master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Find out more about Jessica’s background and reach out directly at jdobrien.net