One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to plead guilty just because you don’t think you can fight it. This scenario is seen all the time in traffic court. People get tickets every day and either plead guilty and pay a fine through the issued ticket or show up to court and are issued a fine by the Magistrate. Worse yet, some traffic violations carry a license suspension if you are found guilty.
I think people don’t bother fighting traffic offenses for two reasons.
First, people don’t think they are able to fight a traffic offense. People think that just because they were stopped for speeding, they can’t fight it, so why try. But, this is completely untrue. It is true that an officer will have proof that you were speeding or that you ran a stop sign, so it is difficult to prove that you were not, and “get you off.” But, if you confess to a traffic offense, you may be issued “points” by the court or automatically lose your license based on the offense. For example, if you are caught exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph in a work zone, your license will be suspended for 15 days.
Often times, an attorney is able to convince the court to reduce the traffic offense to a lessor offense that carries a lower fine, less or no points, or no license suspension. It is very important not to just lay down and admit guilt.
The second reason that people don’t bother fighting a traffic ticket is because they do not think they can afford an attorney. Why pay for an attorney when the fine is only a couple hundred dollars? Sure, if the fine is only $150.00, you may be better off paying the fine than paying an attorney. However, $150.00 is about the price of a speeding ticket for 5-10 mph over the speed limit. If you are facing a license suspension, you are going to lose a lot more money than what it might cost to have an attorney come to defend your case and eliminate that license suspension.
In my practice, I deliberately keep my fees low for people facing a traffic offense. As a traffic attorney, I do this so that I am able to provide the benefits of a private attorney to those who don’t think they can afford representation.
So, next time you get a ticket, DON’T simply confess guilt and pay a fine or lose your license. DO call my law office and ask to speak with me. I will come to court on your behalf and do everything I can to reduce or eliminate your charge. You may actually be surprised at just what you can afford.