No matter how careful a person drives, it would be tough to find someone who’s never received a traffic ticket.
For those who rarely get pulled over and even those who can’t seem to avoid the police, it’s common for people to simply plead guilty and pay their tickets out-of-court. However, pleading guilty can become a regretful mistake because of the harmful consequences.
Here are some reasons you should consider hiring a traffic law attorney:
1. Keep your record clean
If you plead guilty to a moving violation, the points and conviction will be added to your driving record and will remain there for at least three years—perhaps longer, depending on the nature of the violation. Some traffic and criminal convictions remain on your driving record forever. A traffic attorney can negotiate with the prosecuting attorney and get your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation. This will prevent the points and conviction.
2. Save money
At a minimum, points on your driving record will cause an increase in your automobile insurance rates. It’s a fact. Call your insurance agent and ask. Many insurance companies typically increase monthly premium payments 10% to 20% for each point added to your driving record. A traffic law attorney can ensure that a ticket is not added to your driving record.
3. Prevent a suspended license
In some cases, your privilege to drive may be in jeopardy because of too many points, missing a court date, or failing to maintain automobile insurance. A variety of criminal offenses could suspend or revoke your privilege to drive, such as a DWI, Abuse and Lose, Zero Tolerance, Minor in Possession, and some misdemeanor and felony charges. You may not even be aware that some violations add points to your driving record. Consider a ticket for “failing to dim or operate (turn-on) your headlights at night.” If you plead guilty to this violation, the Missouri Department of Revenue will add two points and the conviction to your driving record! A traffic law attorney can help avoid the suspension of your driving privilege.
4. Save time
Fighting a ticket takes a lot of time, and generally there’s a low chance of winning at trial. If you want to fight a ticket, you’ll have to appear at night court at least two times and spend several hours at each session (sometimes more). Some courts require your appearance in court simply to plead guilty. In virtually all courts, a traffic attorney can handle the court date without the need for you to appear. Isn’t your time more valuable than sitting in a crowded and uncomfortable court room?
5. Attorneys know your rights
If you’re injured and need stitches, do you visit the emergency room or get your mom’s sewing kit and patch your own wound? A: emergency room. When you need legal help, would you rather muddle through the legal system totally unaware of legal procedures, rules, and evidence or would you prefer to hire a professional who knows your rights and how to apply the law? A: hire a lawyer. There’s an old saying that goes like this, “a person who represent himself has a fool for a client.”
6. The cost is reasonable
For the vast majority of tickets, the cost of hiring a traffic attorney is very reasonable. At the Traffic Law Headquarters, the attorney’s fee for most minor tickets is only $45! For that minimal amount, you save time by avoiding inconvenient court appearances; you avoid points on your driving record and prevent higher automobile insurance costs; you keep your driving record clean, and in some cases avoid the suspension of your driving privilege or loss of employment for those folks who have commercial licenses. The minimal cost of hiring a traffic attorney far outweighs the costs of pleading guilty.