Whatever your previous belief about hiring a traffic attorney to resolve your ticket, this article will at least enlighten you about the possible benefits even if it does not change your mind. So many drivers are convinced that hiring a traffic attorney will do them no good or cost more than paying the fine and increased auto insurance premiums. In fact, around 95 percent of them choose to pay the fine. This notion is the exact opposite of reality.
#1 — Court Appearance by the Traffic Attorney, Not You
When you hire a traffic attorney, they can do everything for you, including making your court appearance. Even when there is a mandatory court appearance ordered, such as for speeding 100+ mph and others. Typically, there are two court appearances required if you challenge your traffic ticket. The first court date is the arraignment, at which time you or your attorney will enter a plea. Pleading not guilty often requires a second court date.
Unlike a doctor’s appointment where you might wait past your appointment time, in court there is no appointment time. Your name could get called anytime between 8 am and 5 pm. Unless you elect night court, which is only available in large municipalities, generally twice a month. Therefore, if you choose not to hire an attorney when you dispute a ticket, you could miss two days of work.
#2 — Great Chance of Dismissal or Avoiding the Point with a Traffic Attorney
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) website, of those who hired a traffic attorney to dispute their traffic ticket, 95 percent got a dismissal or reduced charge. Of course, courts and circumstances vary. But your traffic attorney will do everything necessary to secure a dismissal or reduced penalty. This frequently includes pleading guilty, with your permission, to a no-point violation. With a plea bargain such as this, you will still pay a fine, but no points will be assessed by the DMV so that your insurance will not know about the violation and your premiums will not go up.
#3 — Possibly Avoid Points & Increased Premiums
Often, a traffic attorney will advise a first time offender with minor infractions to pay the fine and accept Traffic Violators School (TVS). In rare cases, when there is not a good chance of winning, accepting TVS and paying the fine will save you money. However, you should always discuss this with a traffic attorney because it is not “cut and dry.” Some instances dictate challenging even a first-time violation, so speak with an attorney.
Likewise, when you hire a traffic attorney and dispute a ticket rather than pay the fine, you could avoid points and higher premiums. However, when you pay the fine, you are guilty. If this is a second offense within 18 months and you already used TVS, you cannot use it again. In another scenario, if you received back to back tickets within a short timeframe, TVS will not help because you can only mask one ticket.
Therefore, your insurance company will take your “good driver’s discount” and put you in a higher risk category, which will raise your premiums. For the average Californian, that is a $500 annual increase or $1500 for the three years the conviction will remain on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR), plus the fine. Certainly, a traffic attorney will cost much less than $2000.
#4 — Possibly Avoid Suspension at a DMV NOTS Hearing
Chances are, if you always use a traffic attorney, you will never face a driving privilege suspension. However, if you believed like many of your contemporaries and did not hire one, you might find yourself facing a suspension and probation for too many Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 12810, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, authorizes the DMV to assess NOTS points for traffic violation convictions and at-fault accidents.
A conviction for a minor infraction or at-fault finding of more than 0% responsibility for an auto accident gets assessed one NOTS point, while major infractions (speeding 100+ mph), misdemeanors (leaving the scene of an accident with property damage), or felony (leaving the scene of an accident with injuries) convictions get assessed two NOTS points.
When a driver accumulates four points in a one-year period, six within two, or eight within three years, the DMV sends an Order of Suspension and Probation to the driver. The driver may dispute the validity of any of those points by requesting a DMV NOTS Hearing within ten days. If no request is received or the driver is unsuccessful in removing enough points to stay the decision, their six-month suspension and concurrent 12-month probation start 34 days after the order gets mailed.
Also, an initial report submitted by law enforcement officers (LEO) naming you responsible for an accident or collision can get disproved with credible evidence or proof presented by an experienced and knowledgeable traffic attorney or the driver during a DMV hearing.
Although the DMV and CA law do not require a driver to bring representation, it makes sense to hire a traffic attorney to go with you or represent you at the hearing. Traffic attorneys spend the majority of their time in traffic court when they are not in the office writing requests for dismissal or reduced charges. Who knows the CA Vehicle Code better than a traffic attorney or has a better chance of getting points removed?
Realize the Benefit of a Bakersfield Traffic Attorney to Resolve Your Ticket
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you need to resolve a traffic ticket or appear at a DMV Hearing to avoid suspension of your driving privileges. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We defend the rights of California drivers in traffic court. The best chance you have of getting a traffic ticket dismissed, receiving reduced charges, or getting a driving privilege suspension overturned is by hiring a local traffic attorney.
Send us an email, email@example.com.
CVC 12810, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses
The DMV NOTS Portal
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) website