Do You Need an Attorney to Fight a Traffic Violation?
Feb. 5, 2024
As a traffic law attorney, my biased answer to this question is a big YES. But, truthfully, the need for a traffic attorney depends on a few factors, including the severity of the violation, your driving record, and the potential consequences.
With an experienced lawyer in your corner, such as me, Michael Kuzma Attorney at Law, you increase your chances of a favorable outcome, but there are certain situations where the need for representation is greater than others.
When Do You Definitely Need a Traffic Ticket Attorney?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it largely depends on your specific situation. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the stakes of your case, the greater the need for an attorney. However, there are certain circumstances where hiring an attorney should be non-negotiable:
Commercial Drivers: If you're a commercial driver and your livelihood depends on your driving record, then it is highly recommended that you seek the help of an attorney. A traffic violation on your record can result in higher insurance rates or even suspension of your commercial driver's license.
Habitual Traffic Offenses: If you are a habitual offender, you are at greater risk of losing your license.
Outstanding Warrants for Unpaid Tickets: Ignoring tickets can lead to arrest warrants. If you are in this situation, reach out to me immediately. I can assist you in resolving these matters and avoiding further complications.
Driving Uninsured: Driving without insurance is a serious offense that can result in hefty fines and the suspension of your license. I can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Driving With a Revoked or Suspended License: If you've been caught driving with a revoked or suspended license, you need legal help. I can assist you in understanding your options for reinstatement and potential defense strategies.
Hit and Run Accidents: Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it is a serious offense. If you are facing charges for a hit and run, it's important to have an attorney on your side to protect your rights and defend against potential penalties.
Reckless Driving: If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to seek legal representation. This charge can result in substantial fines and even jail time, so having an attorney by your side can help mitigate the consequences.
Arrest Warrants for Unpaid Traffic Violations: Similar to outstanding warrants for unpaid tickets, arrest warrants for unpaid traffic violations require immediate legal attention.
DUI: Driving under the influence is a serious offense, but it still falls under the umbrella of traffic violations. If convicted, your life can be greatly impacted by penalties such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help minimize the consequences.
Benefits of Hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney
Apart from helping you navigate through specific traffic violations, hiring an attorney comes with a host of benefits:
Legal knowledge: As a traffic ticket attorney, I have in-depth knowledge of traffic laws and court procedures. I can provide expert advice and guidance throughout the legal process.
Court representation: Having professional representation in court can increase your chances of a favorable outcome. I can present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf.
Negotiation skills: I'm a skilled negotiator and am often able to secure plea bargains or reduced charges on your behalf.
Peace of mind: Life is busy enough. Are you sure you want to add gathering evidence and building a defense into your schedule? Knowing that you have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney handling your case can provide peace of mind during a stressful legal process.
Cost-effectiveness: While hiring an attorney may involve upfront costs, it can be cost-effective for you in the long run. I can potentially save you money by reducing fines, preventing license suspension, and avoiding increased insurance premiums.
When You Might Not Need a Traffic Ticket Attorney
While there are numerous benefits to hiring an attorney, there are also situations where you might not need one. For lesser violations like parking tickets or minor speeding offenses, you may choose to handle these on your own. However, if you're uncertain about your situation or the potential consequences, don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation.
Common Defenses for Traffic Violations
As a traffic ticket attorney, I have extensive experience in defending numerous types of traffic violations. Some common defenses include:
Questioning the Officer's Subjective Judgment
One approach I frequently use in court is to question the officer's subjective judgment. For example, if you were ticketed for unsafe lane changes or following too closely, I would look into the officer's reasoning behind the decision. By questioning their perspective and interpretation of events, we can create reasonable doubt about whether the violation occurred.
Disputing the Officer's Observation
Another common strategy is disputing the officer's observation, especially in cases like speeding or red light violations. It's possible that the officer's view was obstructed or they made an error in identifying your vehicle among others. In such cases, I'll work to highlight these possibilities and introduce doubt about the accuracy of the officer's observation.
Challenging Traffic Control Devices
At times, traffic control devices like red lights or stop signs may not be visible due to overgrown trees or poor lighting. If you were ticketed because of such circumstances, I would challenge the legality of the ticket by arguing that the traffic control device was not properly visible.
Proving "Mistake of Fact"
In some situations, I can argue that you made a "mistake of fact;" you misunderstood a situation leading to an unintentional violation. For instance, if you made an illegal turn because the 'No Turns' sign was vandalized or obscured, it could be argued that you made a reasonable mistake. Courts can be lenient in such cases.
Remember, while these strategies can be effective, in more serious cases, it's essential to have an experienced traffic attorney by your side to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Reach Out for Help
Whether you need an attorney to fight a traffic violation depends on your specific circumstances. If you're facing any kind of traffic violation in New York State, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help you understand your options and make the best possible decision. Remember, you don't have to face this alone—I'm here to help. Reach out to Michael Kuzma Attorney at Law.