It’s important to keep your traffic record clean. It can affect both your personal and your driving record, as well as add to your car insurance costs. Avoiding tickets also saves you hundreds of dollars or more. But how do you know when to fight it? The truth is, the NMA (National Motorist Association) recommends that you show up to court to hash it out in court.
But what of the cost of the lawyer? most attorneys will charge anywhere from $250 to $400 (flat fee) to just appear in court once. This doesn’t factor in any other court fees that may apply. In that regard, it’s more fiscally responsible to hire a lawyer to fight tickets only if your fines add up to over $1,000. Breaking this rule is fine, however, if there’s even the slightest possibility that you may see some jail time.
So, who should go to court to fight tickets?
Commercial drivers should always fight any and all traffic tickets. This is due to the fact that any sort of moving violation can put their career in jeopardy.
Being very young or very old is another good reason to fight traffic tickets. From huge jumps in insurance premiums to potentially having your license suspended or even revoked, these demographics run bigger risks when faced with tickets.
Even without a lawyer, going to court to fight a ticket in person will give you a huge advantage. This is due to the fact that most courts are extraordinarily crowded, many having hundreds of cases each day. It makes prosecutors much more likely to negotiate a deal.
Showing up in person can have added benefits, as well, depending on the state in which you live. For example, in MD if a witness for a case an officer didn’t see doesn’t show up, the ticket is automatically dismissed.
If you’re uncertain about the impact one little ticket can make, the average policyholder’s premium can go up by a whopping 22%. That means it’s usually worth fighting, just for all the money you’ll save on your insurance premiums. Things like speeding in school and construction zones come with some of the highest increases.
The average cost of a ticket is between $135 – $150, and a staggering 5% or less of people actually contest their tickets. This is shocking, given that the increase in premiums can last between 3 – 5 years. And if you get a second conviction during that time, they can increase another 15% – 20%.
So is it worth fighting a ticket? Absolutely. Should you hire a traffic lawyer? It really depends. Are you facing jail time, even if it’s unlikely? Are you looking at paying $1,000 or more? Are there some extenuating circumstances that would lead you to want an attorney? Then you should definitely consider hiring an attorney.
If you think you may need an attorney fill out the form to the right. Attorney Tom Pyles has more than 25 years of experience handling traffic defense cases and can help you. Fill out the form and someone from the team will reach out to you as soon as possible.