When you have a traffic ticket the natural inclination is to pay it and
move on. However, just a basic small speeding can costs you thousands
depending on the court, the kind of car you drive, and your insurance
company. Although the state of CA decides the basic fine, it depends on
the county how much you will actually pay. Always consult a traffic lawyer
before you make a decision you can't take back.
Realistically, you may not save very much on your fine by hiring a lawyer,
but your fine is just the beginning of your costs and penalties. With
a conviction, your “good driver” discount with the insurance
company is gone for a minimum of three years, though you may be able to
attend traffic school or a defensive driving course to eliminate the points
and your insurance company need not know. However, not all moving violations
are eligible for traffic school. DUI, Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV),
and misdemeanors are not, and if you have attended during the last 18
months you are not eligible. You can find a traffic school at
Therefore, if you are not eligible for traffic school, your next best bet
is to hire legal representation in the form of an expert traffic lawyer.
I mean sure, you could take your chances with cousin Vinnie the divorce
lawyer, but believe it or not, you will probably have just as much knowledge
about traffic court as Vinnie.
Here are the five top reasons you should hire a traffic lawyer:
5. To Get Charges Reduced or Dismissed
Even when you are guilty of the motor vehicle code violation you have been
charged with and there is no way of getting it dismissed, CA fines can
be very expensive and you shouldn’t have to bear the entire fine.
Traffic lawyers know the technicalities and procedural flaws that can
get a charge reduced or dismissed because they are in traffic court nearly
every day. They know what arguments are working and which prosecutors
will accept a reduced charge. They see the same law enforcement (LE) officers
that wrote your ticket and the judge who can recommend traffic school.
4. Avoid License Suspensions
Not every infraction that has a suspension tied to it needs to end in a
suspended license. A traffic lawyer can argue for probation rather than
suspension, particularly for first-time offenders. Of course, a probation
requires you to drive extremely carefully, but it’s better than walking.
3. Avoid Points and Higher Insurance Premiums
Even when you currently do not have any blemishes on your driving record,
just giving in and paying the fine or attending traffic school may not
be the right decision. You may have a minor infraction this time, but
who knows what your next offense will be. The longer you can keep a clean
record and that “good driver” discount with the insurance
agency the better.
Granted, it would not make sense to pay a lawyer to fight a red-light ticket
when your picture and video clearly showed you did it, but when you add
a charge of Failure to Appear (FTA) your fine probably just topped $1000
unless you were incarcerated, hospitalized, deported, or military on active
duty out of the state. Whatever the charge, you should consult a traffic
court lawyer before finalizing a decision.
2. Turn Jail Time into Probation
In most cases, a traffic ticket infraction will not put you behind bars,
but a misdemeanor or felony conviction will almost certainly require some
jail time unless you can get it changed to probation. Judges know that
everyone makes mistakes and a first-time offender should not have to spend
time in jail because of it. The thing is can you convince the judge of
that? Will the prosecutor even listen to you about a plea bargain? Yes,
we all know that is the way it should happen, but realistically a traffic
court defender knows what has been happening in court and can convince
the judge you deserve a break. Not to mention, the prosecutor will more
readily deal with an attorney on a plea deal, if one is required.
1. A Traffic Lawyer Can Handle Your Court Appearance
A traffic lawyer can go to court instead of you and might be able to get
your charges reduced or dismissed, avoid a license suspension, avoid points
and higher insurance premiums, or turn jail/prison time into probation.
Although your traffic ticket may state, court appearance required, it does
not mean that you must attend. In fact, if you hire a professional traffic
ticket defense team like Bigger & Harman, you can go to work as if
nothing happened. However, if you are a commercial driver you are still
required to inform “your employer within 30 days of your conviction”
even when the conviction was in your private vehicle. Therefore, if the
case is dismissed, you never have to tell the boss!
When you need help fighting a ticket in LA, Shafter, Lamont, Bakersfield,
or anywhere in the SoCal area, call the law office of Bigger & Harman,
661-349-9300. Or, send us an email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.