You can receive a traffic ticket for numerous reasons, but the offenses can vary from minor to severe depending on the incident. Smaller violations, such as speeding or rolling through a stop sign, may result in a fine that’s not worth any fuss and can simply be paid. More serious ones, however, like a DUI or leaving the scene of an accident, can result in much harsher penalties including a revoked license or jail time.
In these cases, you’ll likely want to fight your ticket in court in hopes of at least reducing the penalties, if not getting the ticket tossed out altogether. You then have the option of defending yourself or hiring an attorney. The more complex your infraction, the more complicated your defense. Below are reasons that hiring an attorney can be more advantageous than defending yourself in court.
Knowing the Law
Laws can be incredibly intricate, complex and packed full of jargon, making them hard to break down into easily understandable terms. An attorney eliminates the possibility of failing to recognize each aspect of the law you’ve broken and can determine whether you have a legitimate defense capable of winning.
Defending yourself in court can be a stressful endeavor, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the procedures involved or have never done it before. Seeing as this is literally his or her job, a lawyer will competently represent your case before a judge and against a prosecutor. If you don’t have enough money to hire a lawyer to represent you, you can request a public defender.
Alternative or Reduced Penalties
In the case of a serious offense, having an attorney gives you the upper hand in possibly obtaining leniency in your penalties. These can include getting the cost of the fine reduced or replacing revoked points with an alternative, such as attending a traffic course. In some cases, a lawyer can get your ticket thrown out entirely, particularly if you have a clean driving record.
Believe it or not, it may be cheaper, in the long run, to hire an attorney to reduce your fines and charges than to pay the fine up front. Paying a fine means admitting guilt and receiving a conviction on your record. Consider other consequences outside the fine itself, such as a spike in insurance premiums or a suspended license. You may find that these costs outweigh the cost of hiring an attorney.
No matter how serious the offense, it never hurts to seek an attorney’s consultation if you’re thinking about contesting your ticket. Hiring one can save time, stress and money that are better spent elsewhere.