Sometimes, however infrequent it is, you might be on the receiving end of a speeding ticket. While some of you may just bite the bullet, there are a lot of us that would want to contest the validity of the charge. While you do not need to hire an expensive lawyer to argue your case, they do have more of a chance of lowering the fine, and he or she may even be able to get the case dismissed altogether. Let’s look at some of the steps it takes and benefits there are to hiring a lawyer to fight your speeding ticket.
Things to Consider in Hiring a Lawyer for a Speeding Ticket
1. Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?
As mentioned, it is not necessary, but it could be a great help to your case to hire a lawyer. Most people hire lawyers for more serious accusations rather than just a speeding ticket. However, those who are wrongfully accused may hire a lawyer to either get the case thrown out, lower the penalties, or even seek compensation.
2. How Much Does It Cost?
Unless you have a lawyer on retainer, they typically charge an hourly rate. This could really add up if the case takes a while to resolve. For smaller issues, you could be charged at a flat rate. The price of the lawyer depends on the lawyer themselves and the difficulty of your case. Either way, get ready for a setback.
3. How a Lawyer Can Help You
- Negotiate – Lawyers are master negotiators since it’s a big part of their job. For more serious cases, your lawyer could cut your jail time in half or even get you off on probation/community service. For traffic tickets, it’s more likely that they will try to get the case thrown out or a reduced fine.
- Consultation – Some lawyers offer a consultation at a reduced or even free price (if you have benefits). They can give you an honest and unbiased opinion about your case, and analyze several different approaches and outcomes for you to make an informed final decision.
- Representation – Lastly, they and you can decide to move forward with the case, in which they will represent you in a court of law.
4. How Do I Find a Lawyer?
A local attorney is always the best option for small cases such as speeding tickets. Those who specialize in traffic or other related fields of law or work regularly with cases such as yours are also the ones who should be considered first.
Make sure you do all the necessary vetting and research before you hire a lawyer. They might also try to convince you to purchase a legal plan at a reduced rate. Make sure you read between the lines and all the fine print to make sure the legal plan includes representing you in court.
5. Extra Tips Before Hiring a Lawyer
Just as you should do with any other service or product that requires a lot of cash up front, you need to make sure you are doing your part to ensure your money is put to good use. Follow these extra tips to make sure you make the best decision.
- Take your time – Always take your time. Not many good decisions in life are made in a hurry. It takes a while to process your case, so take the time to do some research.
- Familiarize yourself with your offense – Once you know exactly what you are being charged with, you can better construct an action plan for court.
- Experience matters – Just from a statistics standpoint, a more experienced lawyer will do a better job at getting you out of trouble.
- Don’t pay anything but a consultation fee at first – Don’t jump the gun and offer up anything but a consultation fee. Chances are you might need to consult more than one lawyer and evaluate their approaches and how you feel, you don’t want to exhaust your budget before then.
- Go local – A lawyer who is familiar with the local system is best.
- Get involved – Many people just leave it up to the lawyer to do his or her job. However, being thoroughly involved in your case gives you a heads up when you feel like it’s going in a direction that is not in your favor. Giving you the chance to readily pull the plug. After all, it’s your fate and you have the final say.
6. What about Public Defenders?
If money is tight, you could request a court-appointed attorney. However, this usually only applies if jail time is imminent or very likely. Situations in which could afford you a public defender could be if you are from a low-income household, you are unemployed, or there is proof you do not have enough money to afford your own lawyer.
7. Going Another Way
There may come a time when you feel your lawyer and you have not seen eye to eye for a while. In this case, it may be the time to go another way aka firing your lawyer. Do not feel bad about this. You call the shots, it’s your case, and if you feel as if he or she doesn’t have your best interest at heart, you are totally in the right to ask them to leave. In such cases, do your best to research the offense and then apply tips in avoiding speeding tickets when you’re back on the road.
After all we have been through, we still don’t know if it’s worth it. So how do you know for sure it’s worth it to hire a lawyer? Maybe biting the bullet and taking the hit for the ticket would be a better option. A few things to ask yourself is: Can I handle the points on my license? Would it cost me more money in the long run? Can I cover the increased insurance? Answering these questions could give you a clearer view. We will say that if your answers to these questions are a resounding “yes”, then generally, hiring a lawyer would probably cost you a great deal more for just a speeding ticket. If you have to appear before a court, you can help your case without a lawyer. Just know the right things to say in court to make your case better.