Should I hire an attorney for a traffic ticket? 60 Answers as of July 08, 2013

It's my first ticket ever. I'm 27 and today I was caught speeding. 80 in a 55. I plan to hire a lawyer but what am I looking at when I go to court? Is there a way they can drop the speed? Will I lose my license? Can I get a lesser consequence since this is my first offense ever?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
With speeding issues, usually a person is charged with a civil infraction. However, if a person is charged with reckless driving, that's' a misdemeanor charge punishable by jail time. It depends on the circumstances. A lot of driving offenses carry possible license sanctions including points or additional costs. It's worth the investment in a lawyer to help defend against these types of matters.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/7/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Armand Fried
An experienced lawyer can almost always negotiate a lower sentence, and often (but no guarantee) have the ticket reduced to a parking ticket rather than moving violation which would cause your insurance rates to go higher. You would pay a fine and have no points or record of a moving violation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/1/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
With an attorney, the case can often be worked out so that maybe you get something that does not add points to your driving record and cost you more in insurance.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/26/2011
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Often times just bringing an attorney with you lets the judge know how serious you are about challenging the ticket, which they often take into account. However, be advised that not all attorney handle traffic tickets and the cost can be high. In fact, I do not handle speeding tickets for the exact reason that the fee that I have to charge for opening a case and going to court is more that I would like to charge for something as minor as a ticket. However, despite it being a minor issue, it still takes a half a day of court time to defend a ticket. It is no less time that I spend on criminal charges that are more significant. So be cautious and seek out an attorney who advertises that they handle speeding tickets. They probably have found a way to keep the fee down by putting several claims on for the same day or some other way of managing their court time to your benefit.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 10/25/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You may be able to get reduced to a leesser speed or maybe even a non speed offense but you should hire an attorney as you stated.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/25/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Going 25 mph over the speed limit should be a four-point infraction. If it is your first offense they will almost assuredly offer you something less to plead to. Don't get any ideas about getting no points because that's probably not going to happen, even if it is your first offense. My guess is that they will offer you a two-point infraction unless something is really wrong about the case. Make sure you request a formal hearing within 14 days or else you will get defaulted. While it's not necessary to hire an attorney, it's not a bad idea, especially if it's out of the area for you as an attorney can appear on your behalf and accept or reject offers with your consent.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    If you hire a lawyer, they will speak to the prosecutor about your options. Because you were greater than 20 miles over the speed limit, the case is more difficult to resolve. Having no other traffic violations in your history generally does help your situation. The consequences depend on where the citation was received.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    An attorney would be able to answer all of your questions. It is unlikely that they will totally drop the ticket; however, they may let you plead to a lesser speed. If this is your first offense, there would be points added to your driving record but it is not likely you would see any licensing sanction at this time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    You are facing a 4-point ticket. You could have been charged with careless or even reckless. In a situation like yours, I suggest hiring an attorney who practices in the area where you received the ticket. If they are familiar with the Court and the Prosecutor and the Judge, then the attorney can tell you with some accuracy what choices you will face in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    You can and should. Traffic ticket lawyers are usually pretty cheap and they know how to keep this off your record. Of just go to Court, set it for a jury trial. Then you have to come back for the trial. If the cop doesn't show, they will dismiss it. If the cop shows, ask for deferred adjudication probation. On the other hand, you can always just ask for deferred adjudication probation at the initial setting. Whatever you do, don't just pay it and take the hit.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Depending upon your level of cooperation and remorse, a good lawyer could likely get the points removed and possibly a very low fine.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    Based on the limited info you have provided, I do not believe you will likely lose your license. But, I would need more info. Plus, a judge can always suspend your license as a condition of probation. You may also be charged as a super speeder. It might be possible to get the ticket reduced through negotiations. On the other hand, you may have a defense to the charge. I would suggest that you consult directly with a lawyer who practices regularly in the court where you will you be answering to the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    It is probably not cost effective if it is your only ticket and your driving privilege is not endangered. Most criminal defense lawyers will give you a free initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Depends on what you are charged with. If reckless driving, then yes, hire lawyer. For infraction, unless you have commercial license or will lose your license on points, probably not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
    You can hire one if you can afford one but you may be able to do it on your own if you know how you want to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    An attorney might be able to assist you in getting the Court to allow you to go to driving school as this is your first ever offense. If so, and you successfully complete driving school, the ticket can be dismissed and will not be on your driving record. You would not lose your driving license for a first time ever speeding ticket.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Your ticket is a major speeding violation which a lawyer can have reduced. Many people represent themselves in traffic court in Denver and usually get a fair break with a good driving record.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Everything can be worked out if you have a clean record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You can expect to receive a period of supervision for your speeding ticket, perhaps with traffic safety school. This will not affect your driving record, assuming you receive no other movers while on the supervision. I am assuming you are in Illinois, if in other states, I imagine your attorney can work out some kind of deal with the prosecutor for a reducer in the speed you are alleged to have been doing.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    Yes you should hire a lawyer. You might be able to lower the charge, but a lawyer will get it down more.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of James Bordonaro
    Law Office of James Bordonaro | James Albert Bordonaro
    I don't think you'll get much slack for being a first time offender because you were well over the limit. However, if the attorney knows the prosecutor he should be able to get the speed down somewhat.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/22/2011
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    You may want to consider hiring a Defense Attorney. More than 20mph over the speed limit in Arizona is considered a Criminal Offense. Meaning that it will not just be a Civil "Traffic Ticket"- if you plead or are found guilty then you will have a Misdemeanor criminal charge on your record. You will have been convicted of a crime- sometimes prosecutors are not clear when explaining that to people. Sometimes Defense Attorneys are successful in getting prosecutors to drop the speed listed down to below 20mph over. It looks like in yours they would need to drop it 6mph and then it would be a Civil ticket again. There is definitely some leeway in the negotiations. Do not just accept pleading guilty, too much is at stake if you have a clean record. Also you will likely face a license suspension. It doesn't sound like a circumstance where they will completely revoke your license though. Motor vehicles has a different standard than the court system.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    If your driving record is squeaky clean, you do not need a lawyer. Your best bet is to show up for your initial appearance and ask the prosecutor to drop the ticket to an 11-15mph over, or at least a 16-20, and then plead guilty. If you are eligible, take the class.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    There are a lot of factors that must be considered. Where the offense occurred since the prosecutor will be different, was there an accident?, etc. You should certainly seek representation even if just to consult and see what can happen and what your options are. There is a good chance with good representation you will get a lesser consequence.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you going more than 25 miles over the limit it is a traffic misdemeanor and you could get 8 points and lose your license for a year. Your insurance can increase dramatically and you will have a record forever. You should retain a good criminal attorney and negotiate a flat fee so that you pay less than if you leave it up to him to charge you whatever he claims in his hourly rate. Google attorneys under "Traffic lawyer NYC" or whatever the city or town is and call 5 lawyers. Ask for a flat rate and choose the best one who is willing to handle the case for around $300-$500. My fee is usually $300 for each appearance, and it should only take one appearance, but sometimes the case has to go to trial and this could involve more appearances.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    It depends where you got the ticket and how they're prosecuted. In most courts you can almost always get the charges reduced but in others there is no plea bargaining at all. It's just the luck of the draw.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    While an attorney tends to cost more than just paying the ticket, people do hire lawyers on traffic matters mainly because they are concerned about having the violation on their record either because DMV may suspend/restrict the person's driving license or because their job depends on having a "clean" record. If this I'd your situation, then you should hire an attorney. If you don't hire a lawyer, it is possible to negotiate a lower charge or fine with the police officer or ask the court for a reduced fine.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    What you should do is go to court and request traffic school. This will keep the ticket off you public record and will not affect your insurance. This is less than paying an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Billam & Henderson, LLC
    Billam & Henderson, LLC | Courtney Taylor Henderson
    A speeding ticket in Kansas will be a fine. The fine is based upon the mph over the posted speed limit. Often, the prosecutor will amend the ticket to a non-moving violation at a higher cost to you. The non-moving violation will keep the ticket off of your driving record. The prosecutor will have guidelines and 80/55 may be over the amendment guidelines in some jurisdictions in Kansas. It will vary by court. It would benefit you to speak with an attorney in the area of the ticket to find out the amendment policy and to discuss your driving record to determine the effect it may have on your license.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    This depends on the court. Ask a local attorney to see about the judges rules.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If you hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney in your area, your attorney will be able to fight to have your ticket reduced (preferably to a non-moving violation) or dismissed. This will prevent the ticket from accruing points against your driver's license which would cause your insurance premiums to increase. Generally an attorney can handle everything related to the ticket without you needing to appear in court.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    You might qualify for traffic school which would keep the case off your driving record. Very few attorneys are hired to defend speeding tickets because the lawyer's fee is generally way higher than the fine.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    A lot of your questions depend upon where the offense occurred (what municipality?). You probably will not lose your license.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC | Ronald Aronds
    This is a four point ticket. With an attorney there is a likelihood that this can be dropped to a zero point ticket, no loss of license. However, the fine on a zero point ticket can be quite high and that is something a lawyer needs to discuss with you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If this is a first ticket and it is not criminal, i.e. Reckless Driving, you can enter what is called a Deferred Finding. Basically, you pay a fine and the court puts the ticket in a file. As long as you don't have another moving violation within a year, the ticket will be dismissed. As far as losing your license, you would have to have a DUI or Reckless Driving conviction arise out of this case. Assuming you are only cited for speeding, there wouldn't be any licensing consequences. However, your insurance will probably go up and if you accumulate enough tickets, your license will be suspended and you don't want to go there. As long as you can get a deferral, there's really no reason to hire an attorney. However, if you want to fight the ticket, an attorney may be able to find a way to defeat it.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Your lawyer can get the speed reduced, at the very least.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    It never hurts to hire an attorney to represent you in court, but I wouldn't say it is absolutely necessary. If this is your first ticket, it means you don't have any points on your license yet. With your speeding ticket, you would receive 6 points on your license. You need at least 11 points to lose your license. The main impact this will have on you will be financially: the fine will be several hundred dollars, and your car insurance rates will increase. So in the long term it may be financially worth it to hire an attorney to try and get the charge brought down, rather than paying higher car insurance for a long time.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Typically, it is not efficient to hire an attorney to represent you on a traffic ticket. Most fines on traffic tickets run in the $200-600 range. To hire an attorney might cost you $800-3,000. One example of someone who could justify the costs are individuals who drive for a living. Professional drivers can justify spending that kind of money to address the legal issues because an unchallenged citation for speeding might cost these individuals their job.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Retaining private counsel to defend you against your traffic violation is a good idea if you can afford it. There is a way to have the cop reduce the charge. The Judge can even dismiss your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need an attorney to go to court and set the matter for trial. If the cop doesn't show up, you win. If the cop does show up, the attorney can try and negotiate a reduction with the Judge. Judges are much more willing to make deals with attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Having an attorney for any criminal offense is not a bad idea. But on a first offense there are sometimes options available to keep the charge off your record, and not to lose your license. A conviction of a speed that much over the legal limit could result in a license revocation, but a prosecutor may be willing to reduce the speed and fine amount.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC | Matthew T. Martin
    An alternative disposition is possible. However, I suggest you contact an attorney to discuss the particulars of your case. An attorney can help answer your specific questions, clarify the relevant facts, explain court procedures and discuss possible defenses. In general and depending on where the citation was issued, you will likely have an opportunity to discuss the case prior to setting the matter for a court trial. A court trial will require testimony from the law enforcement agent as well as any other relevant witness.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Neil M. Kerstein
    Law Office of Neil M. Kerstein | Neil M. Kerstein
    On the back of your ticket, there are instructions for appealing your ticket before a Clerk Magistrate. You will not lose your license for a first offense. After your hearing, the Clerk Magistrate can reduce your fine.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani
    Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani | Steven Pisani
    In Colorado you can accumulate up to 12 points in a 12 month period or 18 points in a 24 month period before a license suspension hearing will be ordered. A charge of 20mph+ over the limit is a 6 point violation. An experienced traffic defense attorney can reduce the points and fine on these tickets and preserve your driving privilege.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Pascher Law Firm
    Pascher Law Firm | Sonia Pascher
    Your retaining of a lawyer depends on a myriad of factors that have not been addressed in your question. For example, how many miles do you typically drive? Do you have a commercial license? Have you been to traffic school before? It seems like this is a first offense, and the judge may grant traffic school, even though you may not be eligible for ityou were driving over 20mph over the posted speed limit. An experienced attorney will like to know which court you are supposed to appear at, the agency that issued the citation and even, the name of the officer. Depending on those answers it is possible to get a reduction to a non-moving violation, or even a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    This is the way to handle your traffic ticket: Enter a "Not Guilty" plea. Get a court trial date. Go to court half-hour early the day of the court trial. See the officer who gave you the ticket. Ask him to speak to you for a minute, which routinely happens. Ask him if he'll agree to reduce the charges to a no-point violation. If he won't - or the court won't agree to change the charge - ask the officer to agree to a reduced speed. Less than 25mph above the speed limit and you can go to traffic school. Once completed submit proof to the court and the ticket stays off your record permanently.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    This is exactly what our office does - traffic ticket defense.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Where were you pulled over? If this took place in NYC, there is no plea bargaining in NYC Traffic Court so it's plead guilty or go to trial. Regardless of where it is, a regular in traffic court can help minimize the damage.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    It all depends, the circumstances will really make a difference. A lawyer may help getting speed reduced, you may be able to do it on your own. Court can suspend license for up to 30 days for good cause.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Baner and Baner
    Baner and Baner | Jonathan Baner
    I regularly handle speeding tickets, and generally the reason is that as an attorney I have the potential to get the ticket dismissed moreso than may otherwise be possible. I do this by examining the circumstances, the police report, the ticket, the equipment used, etc. You're generally looking at a fine + higher insurance rates. The higher insurance rates normally are worth the expense of an attorney (I charge $200 if in my area, and I think that the going rate for attorneys in western Washington are probably in the $150-400 range for speeding tickets).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    I hate to tell someone not to hire a lawyer, but if there's an amount to pay on the ticket, you can just pay it. More speeding tickets will eventually risk your license, but not one, assuming you don't have a commercial driver's license. You'd pay a lawyer more than the cost of the ticket. It can't hurt to consult with a lawyer who does traffic cases. The consultation will probably be free or cheap, a few hundred dollars. This is mostly about money, so you want to know the cost of trial and the possible increase in your insurance rates compared with the cost of just paying the ticket. It's probably wise to just pay.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    With that speed, I would say yes, hire an attorney. At 25mph over the speed limit you could lose your license not to mention an excessive fine. A lawyer has a better chance to defuse the negative consequences that you are facing. Your lawyer may get the speed reduced, may get a plea to a lessor point-violation offense, or possibly even reducing it to a parking ticket. It depends on your lawyer, the prosecutor, and the court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    You should really speak to an attorney how will have questions for you and then will be able to give you a good analysis.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/21/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The answers to your questions are Yes, it is possible. The prosecutor in the case is the one who has the power and authority to modify the charge or not. There may be a diversion available or an amendment of the charge, both would serve to protect your driving record and insurance costs. An attorney could be helpful in that many have a working relationship with the prosecutors and may be able to convince them to offer something less that the current charge, however just hiring an attorney does not guarantee a favorable outcome. You can approach the prosecutor on your own if you desire, the choice is yours. Obviously hiring an attorney would increase the end cost of the ticket, but you need to evaluate those options.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/21/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney