How much does it cost to go to the cinema these days? If you enjoy good legal drama, for about the cost of a bucket of movie popcorn and a large soda, you can have a good criminal defense attorney watch you in court. It may not be a compelling plot, but the happy ending will be real and it will be yours, not some Hollywood screenwriter’s imagination.
But can a good ticket attorney really deliver? The short answer is yes, because like any good lawyer, they know how to argue the technicalities that put the rest of us to sleep. They also know how to recognize the tickets that are not rejected. If a ticket meets the letter of a particular state’s transportation statute, penal code, and criminal procedure code, dismissal is unlikely to be on the cards unless the citing officer fails to show up to testify. These tickets are almost always issued with a defendant agreeing to a deferred decision and to pay a fine and some court costs. As long as the deferral has passed without incident and the fine and costs have been paid, the ticket will never appear on a ticket. But even in these circumstances, a good ticket attorney can help reduce fines and shorten the grace period.
If you don’t have a great driving record to date, a good criminal attorney is a great resource. When you get a ticket for a moving violation (usually a state traffic violation or a local or regional ordinance), you are entering what can seem like a Kafkaesque nightmare; the traffic court of the local municipality or county. The kind of place where you get stuck in a circular queue as you move from vendor to vendor. While it may seem like a bureaucratic maze, the traffic court is a negotiator’s paradise for a good criminal defense attorney.
City and county prosecutors won’t tell you this, but they are very willing to negotiate with your attorney. Most people who are subpoenaed for traffic offenses don’t realize this and choose to pay for their tickets rather than hire an attorney to contest them. As a result, law-abiding citizens pay more fines and receive longer probation periods.
Simply turning around and paying without fuss can have more serious negative consequences: It’s a conviction on your ticket. The consequential costs of such a conviction can quickly snowball and overshadow any immediate financial damage. One ticket too many can lead to increased insurance premiums, driver license suspension and government surcharges. If you’re a trucker with a CDL, it can even cost you your livelihood.
If you’re in a position where you’re wondering if hiring a ticket attorney is a good idea, you should probably hire one.
A good ticket attorney can communicate effectively with the city, county, and state apparatus on your behalf. A lawyer knows the vocabulary and can speak the language. Your attorney’s trump card is the ability to litigate – to try your case before a judge and jury. This creates a huge incentive to come to an agreement with you – after all, no prosecutor wants to spend his time dealing with speeding tickets. This leverage that a good ticket attorney can have over a prosecutor is hard to overlook, especially when the cost of this type of legal representation is relatively low.
Why are the lawyers doing this?
Don’t be too surprised if they tell you that this is the quickest way they’ve found to put a smile of genuine gratitude on their customers’ faces.