29 May 20 Tips: Do I Need an Attorney for my Traffic Ticket?
20 Tips: Do I Need an Attorney for my Traffic Ticket?
When you decide to contest your traffic ticket, and you should in most cases given the consequences of pleading guilty as outlined at ny-defense.com, you will have the choice to either go it alone or hire an attorney. Most people who decide to contest their traffic tickets represent themselves in traffic court, which brings up the question, is it worth it to hire a traffic attorney? This article will look to highlight factors you might want to consider before making the call on whether you need an attorney for your traffic ticket or not.
Traffic ticket costs
Before you decide whether or not you need an attorney, you should consider the fact that there are far more costs associated with a New York traffic ticket than you may think. They include:
The fine associated with a traffic ticket is the one expense that most people are aware of. The fines for a traffic ticket can run from just $45 to as much as $600, depending on the violation. Cell phone tickets and serious speeding tickets, both of which are handled by ny-defense.com, are among the costliest.
Anyone found guilty of a traffic violation in New York, and most other states must pay a state surcharge. This will cost $88 or $93 depending on where the violation occurred. This surcharge is charged per violation, which means that anyone who receives multiple tickets in one traffic stop will have to cover a surcharge for each one.
The Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee is another cost worth considering. When a driver reaches six points on his/her license as a result of traffic ticket convictions, he/she is required to pay this fee. DRA costs start at $300. Each point over 6 costs an additional $75. The DRA is in addition to the fine and surcharge and is paid directly by the DMV.
Increase in auto insurance premiums
Often, the most expensive (and most often overlooked) expense is the increase in one’s auto insurance premiums that can result from a New York traffic ticket conviction as covered at ny-defense.com. The exact impact depends on several factors, including the violation in question, past driving history, age, income, and more.
Risk of a suspended license
In New York, a driver who accrues 11 points on their license can have their driving privileges suspended. This applies even to those who are licenses to drive in another state. When you have your license suspended, not only do you lose your right to legally drive, but you will also have to pay a fee to have it reinstated.
Risk of a revocation
Also, in New York, a person can have their license revoked if they are convicted of three or more speeding (or two work zone speeding) tickets within 18 months as revealed in discussions on the same at. In addition to being unable to legally drive while the license is revoked, you will also have to pay a fee to have it reinstated as articulated at ny-defense.com.
Loss of employment
Those who rely on their driver’s license to earn a living (including taxi and Uber drivers and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders) can put their jobs at risk by paying a traffic ticket in New York. Even those who need to drive to commute to and from work can end up losing their jobs because of suspension or revocation of their driving privileges.
The cost of time
Some brave drivers often consider fighting the ticket themselves in court. This bold endeavor is often futile and will also consume a great deal of one’s time only to have very little chance of success according to ny-defense.com. You will likely spend the better part of a day at the courthouses as going to court means a lot of waiting. This means taking the time off work or finding a babysitter or daycare for your kids.
When you consider all these costs and the fact that the odds of beating a traffic ticket on your own is very slim, you begin to see why you need an attorney for your traffic ticket.
DUIs and other serious charges
There are some major differences between minor traffic violations (like speeding or running a stop sign) and more serious driving-related crimes like driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving. Such charges are misdemeanors and come with possible jail time and a criminal record, which means fighting them without legal representation typically isn’t a good idea given the consequences that come with a conviction.
Costs of hiring a traffic attorney
Some people tend to go it alone because of the cost of hiring an attorney.
Perhaps the only drawback of hiring a traffic attorney to help you contest your traffic ticket is the cost. Given that attorneys charge a range of fees for their services, in many cases, the cost of hiring an attorney can be about the same amount as or more than the amount of the traffic ticket fine. This is why some find themselves asking what the point of hiring an attorney is.
Factors governing how much attorneys charge
The exact cost of hiring an attorney to fight a NY traffic ticket will vary depending on the number of tickets issued during the traffic stop, the severity of the violation, the jurisdiction where the ticket was issued, among others as outlined at ny-defense.com. In addition, like in any profession, fees will vary based on the experience level and ratings of the attorney, as well as the amount of time the attorney anticipates spending on the case.
The average cost of hiring a NY traffic lawyer
In general, most New York traffic lawyers charge an average of $500 for s single ticket case, which of course will vary based on the factors discussed in the previous point. Some low-budget lawyers charge as little as $250 per case and very experienced ones charge upwards of $800 for a simple traffic ticket. However, always remember that you get what you pay for when hiring a traffic lawyer, and the price you pay can determine the quality of what you get.
Helpful legal benefits
When talking about the costs of hiring an attorney for your traffic ticket, it is important to remember that some people have legal plans through their employers or union memberships that pay all or a portion of legal fees. If you can get an attorney you are happy with this way, it can be a good option.
Benefits of hiring a traffic attorney
Hiring a traffic attorney comes with several benefits that, in many cases, can more than justify the expense. They include:
An attorney can attend court on your behalf
If you decide to fight a traffic ticket, you will generally have to go to court at least twice. However, if you hire an attorney like ny-defense.com, you typically won’t have to go to court at all. Depending on the situation, your attorney can represent you in court without you being present, which means that you don’t have to take time off work to attend court.
Informed legal advice
One of the main issues with representing yourself is the lack of experience and legal knowledge. The average person just doesn’t know what the best courses of action are in any given case. An experienced traffic attorney on the other hand will have the best idea of what tactics and options are available for obtaining good results. additionally, attorneys are familiar with the tendencies of the different judges and sometimes of the law enforcement officers who write tickets and can use this knowledge to decide how best to defend you against a ticket.
Negotiating plea bargains
Negotiations and plea bargaining can also come into play in traffic cases. Except for traffic tickets offered in NYC, most courts in other parts of the state allow for plea bargaining. This means that a good traffic attorney, like ny-defense.com, can negotiate a moving violation ticket down to a non-moving violation, for example, helping you avoid points being added to your license.
Traffic court trials
Traffic lawyers with lots of trial experience are also far more likely to win at trial than the average Jane or Joe. This is another reason you might want to consider hiring one, as attorneys have knowledge of the law and what to focus on at trial.
These are some of the benefits that having a lawyer brings, hence why you should consider hiring one.
Circumstances where you may not need an attorney
Not all circumstances require you to hire an attorney as there are some where hiring one clearly isn’t worth the expense. For example, if you are eligible for traffic school and don’t have a reasonable chance of beating your ticket, it is probably best to forgo hiring an attorney, especially since you can generally sign up for traffic school without even going to court.
Circumstances where hiring an attorney could be critical
There are some circumstances, however, where the consequences of a traffic ticket conviction can be quite severe. Drivers who find themselves in this situation will want to seriously consider hiring an attorney like ny-defense.com. They include:
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders drive for a living and are subject to stricter rules than other drivers. Under these rules, certain traffic violations can lead to CDL revocation. This makes the stakes in traffic court for commercial drivers extremely high, and with so much on the line, it makes sense to hire an attorney.
Drivers with lots of tickets
Finally, as already mentioned, getting multiple tickets within a short period can lead to license suspension. For drivers in such a situation, beating a ticket could make all the difference. Therefore, to increase their chances of winning in traffic court, hiring an attorney might be the best course of action.
If you need to talk to a lawyer after being handed a traffic ticket, then always remember that ny-defense.com has got your back, and don’t hesitate to reach out.