Do I Need a Lawyer for a Traffic Ticket?
Why You Need Representation for a Traffic Ticket
Do you really always need a lawyer for a traffic ticket? From a practical perspective, the definitive answer is probably. It is shocking how many completely misunderstood issues surrounding how speeding and stop sign cases there are. To start with, every county has its own rules.
In fact, different prosecutors each adhere to their own personal guidelines. Short of going to court every day and observing each prosecutor, the defense attorneys, and the judges there is likely no way to build up enough institutional knowledge to know whether you are handling your case in the best possible way.
PJCs (a prayer for judgment continued) can be great, but, used improperly, they can be quite harmful. Even when their use isn’t harmful, sometimes they are not required. Since you only get one prayer for judgment every three years per insurance policy and two every five years for DMV purposes, you want to be very careful not to waste them. A good traffic lawyer knows when to use them and when not to use them. For example, in cases where a client has a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, a PJC on a speeding case does absolutely nothing to benefit the client. Our lawyers are extremely stingy with our clients PJCs.
Once one case is handled incorrectly, driver’s license problems tend to snowball. It can be complicated for even the best traffic lawyer to fix traffic violations at that point. It can also be very expensive.
Having a good traffic lawyer from the beginning will likely save you time and money. It will also likely prevent anything unexpected from happening to your driving privileges. For example, lots of police officers will tell the people that they have ticketed that they can simply pay off their ticket through the mail. Some people follow that advice. Well, if that ticket was for 15 mph or more over the speed limit, the hapless soul who mailed in that ticket will be quite surprised when they find out the DMV will revoke their driver’s license for 60 days.
Here is the transcript to our video on whether you need a lawyer for a speeding ticket:
Howard A. Kurtz, Partner
The question is why you need a lawyer for a simple traffic ticket. Well, even in something as simple as traffic ticket, you have a lot at stake. If handled improperly, your insurance could go up by leaps and bounds for a full three years. Worse yet you could make a whopper of a mistake and end up getting your own license revoked. And unless you handle traffic tickets every day it is extremely unlikely that you will know how to handle a particular ticket under a particular set of circumstances. To start with, unlike many other counties, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office does not reduce speeding tickets to improper equipment. Some people believe that a prayer for judgment or PJC is like duct tape for a traffic ticket; they think it can fix anything. It can’t. Sometimes you can’t get them when you really need them and other times you get them when you really didn’t want one in the first place. It’s a coin toss as to which is worse. Either way, one mistake will cost you a lot of money to fix. Only a good traffic attorney who does the homework and checks your driving record carefully will know.
Seth A. Blum, Partner
The most common mistake that people make is simply mailing in a check and paying a ticket off. Lots of people don’t realize that is the same thing as pleading guilty. You may not realize it when you’re mailing in a check, but this will come back to bite you when it’s time to write another check to your insurance company. The cost of an attorney is likely to be a whole lot less than the increase in insurance premiums.
If you’ve got a traffic ticket and you have questions, call us, we can help.
Our traffic lawyers help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: Rolesville, Wake Forest, Fuquay-Varina, New Hope, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Zebulon, Apex, Wendell, Knightdale and Garner.