Attorneys and Traffic Tickets
Just like anything else, EVERYONE seems to have an opinion as to whether or not you need an attorney when you get a traffic ticket. Like everything else, most of these opinions are far too black and white and ignore the nuances that one should consider in this issue.
Should you hire an attorney for your traffic ticket? I don’t know for sure, but here are some things you should consider in making that decision:
- What’s the cost of hiring an attorney v. missing time from work (more likely than not at least 1/2 a day, and maybe more)?
- Is it even feasible for you to get to the courthouse? Is it in your hometown, or is it 300 miles away?
- Do you understand what you’re charged with? Do you understand what the ADA would have to prove in order for you to be found guilty? Do you understand what “prove” means in the context of criminal court?
- If you’re interested in a plea deal where you plead to a lesser offense, do you understand what that plea will do to you? Do you understand what that looks like in comparison to what a guilty plea on the actual charge would do to you?
- If you’re thinking of a PJC, do you know what PJC stands for? Do you know the effect a PJC has on a plea? Do you know if you and/or your household has a limit on PJCs used? Do you know if DMV and insurance companies see PJCs differently? If you don’t know a great answer for each of those questions, you have no business using a PJC.
Don’t get me wrong: There are certain circumstances in which it makes total sense for you to represent yourself on a traffic ticket, or even just pay it off. But unless you are really, truly confident in that decision, meaning you can answer all of those questions satisfactorily and in a way that supports your decision, then maybe you should reconsider.
If you get a ticket, call a lawyer you trust and get some qualified advice. Call me at 919-929-2992.
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