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Why You Should Always Discuss Your Traffic Ticket with a Traffic Attorney

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Basically, there are four things you could do when you receive a traffic ticket. You could pay the fine, you could pay the fine and accept traffic violator’s school (TVS), you could challenge the ticket and represent yourself, or you could talk with a traffic ticket attorney.

You’re probably thinking, of course, they’re going to tell me to hire an attorney. Well, hiring an attorney is not always the right choice. However, it is still the best choice to consult an attorney before doing any of the others.

What Happens When You Pay the Traffic Ticket?

The obvious answer is you won’t have to worry about it anymore. But that isn’t the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When you pay the fine without selecting to attend TVS, when your auto insurance company discovers the violation, they will take away your “good driver’s discount” if you still have one. Keeping that discount is the reason most attend, it isn’t to learn more about defensive driving.

Accepting TVS when you get a traffic ticket allows the DMV to mark your ticket as confidential. That means your auto insurance will not get notified, nor will they see the ticket. You will, however, have to plead guilty to the offense, whether you are guilty or not. You will have to pay the fine, pay the county for the privilege of attending, and the DMV a filing fee to put your TVS completion certificate in your motor vehicle driving record (MVR). They will post your fine for free, in any case.

By the way, you must plead guilty and pay the fine before you can attend, you must pay the TVS tuition, and complete the course before the court-ordered completion date. Also, keep a copy of your certificate in case the DMV or school misplaces it.

What happens if you don’t complete it on time or don’t attend? Your ticket will not be confidential, and when your insurance comes up for renewal, the insurance company will see your conviction, drop your discount, and put you in a higher risk category.

Losing their good driver’s discount costs the average Californian $392 per year for a minimum of three years, plus the increased risk makes their new premium about $500 per year more; that’s about $1,500 for the three years a minor infraction will stay on their MVR.

These Facts Make Attending TVS Logical When You Have a Traffic Ticket

However, it doesn’t always make sense. Let’s say you have a traffic ticket and then get another before you can attend TVS. In this case, it would not make sense to pay to participate in TVS because the insurance company will take your discount and raise your insurance regardless if you attend or not. What’s more, there are some instances where you should not take it regardless. That’s why you should always consult a traffic ticket attorney before you decide.

In many cases, a traffic ticket attorney can get a dismissal on technicalities or get a reduced, no-point conviction. You will still pay the fine, but since there are no negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points, there’s no raise to your premium.

Challenge the Ticket & Represent Yourself

You should never represent yourself in court. Even lawyers from another area of law hire a traffic ticket attorney to represent them. Traffic court is different from any other courtroom you will ever experience.

There are dozens of tickets to resolve in one day. Therefore, each case gets about ten minutes. Traffic attorneys resolve many before they even get to court. The first thing they’ll do is request a dismissal. Depending on the merits of the state’s case, the judge could dismiss the case for procedural reasons.

If the court is particularly busy or the judge believes the driver made an error in judgment, the judge could accept a guilty plea to a lesser offense that does not have NOTS points. You will still pay the fine, but not the increased insurance. Therefore, it is best to consult an attorney each time you get a ticket.

Challenging the Traffic Ticket

Many people think that it will cost more to hire an attorney than it would to pay the fine. That is typically true; however, the fine is not the most substantial expense. As stated above, the rise in your insurance will cost around $1,500, plus the usual penalty for a minor infraction is about $240-250. Not many traffic attorneys charge $1,750 plus. In fact, most offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation. That means it won’t cost you anything to get advice about a traffic ticket that could cost you almost $2,000.

Contact a Local Traffic Ticket Attorney

Call Bigger & Harman, APC, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We only accept traffic ticket cases. Although we handle lots of California drivers in traffic courts, we are Bakersfield Traffic Attorneys. We also assist drivers who have received an “Order of Suspension/Probation” from the DMV. We can go to a DMV NOTS Hearing to get tickets removed from your MVR to help you avoid a suspension.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf