What To Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket?
You just received a traffic ticket. What should you do? Should you pay it? should you hire an attorney to fight it? Should you try to represent yourself? These are all good questions. In my opinion, having practiced for over 35 years, the worst thing you can do is pay the ticket. Why? Because not only are you paying the full price of the ticket, which is usually a lot of money, but you are going to receive points on your license if you pay it. That is the thing you are trying to avoid at all costs. If you receive points your insurance company will find out and will raise your insurance rates. I repeat. DON'T pay the ticket. that is the worst choice you can make. Should you represent yourself? I would advise no. Why? Because there are many different reasons why the ticket can be dismissed and you will pay nothing but it takes a trained attorney to know these reasons. There are many reasons why the ticket on its face is defective and can be dismissed.
Additionally, even if the ticket can not be dismissed and has to go to trial, many times the officer will not show up and therefore the ticket will be dismissed or the officer will snot recall the incident and the ticket will be dismissed. Additionally, if the ticket arose from an accident, in order for you to be found guilty the person you had the accident with must show up for trial and my experience has been that at least 50% of the time the person does not show up and therefore the ticket is dismissed. Another good reason why it is smart to hire an attorney is for convenience. You will not have to show up in court for the pre-trial conference and then again for the trial. The attorney will do everything for you. You won't have to miss two days of work.
Another good reason why you should fight the ticket and not pay it is because of the Coronavirus the judges have been instructed to lower the amounts the person has to pay if they are found guilty and are given a year to pay it. So the worst case scenario is you will pay far less that the amount on the ticket and you will have a year to pay it.What if you have a suspended license because you failed to appear in court for an old ticket? As the attorney I can move the court to set aside the court suspension. That will allow you to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and pay $60.00 to get your license re-instated and then we can have your old ticket re-set for trial.
What if you have an outstanding bench warrant? This is serious because if you are stopped by the police they can put you in jail. As the attorney I can file a motion to set aside the bench warrant and have your case re-set for trial.