Often times, hiring an attorney may not seem worth while for something as seemingly benign as a traffic violation. However, whether you’ve been arrested for a DUI, driving without insurance, or any other traffic violation, an attorney may be able to help reduce your sentence or fine, or even clear your case. Depending on your case, it may be best to consider hiring an attorney so that you don’t have to do it alone.
There are numerous traffic violations that you may find yourself charged with. These vary greatly, but can be separated into two categories: moving and non-moving. Moving violations are those which occur while your vehicle is being driven. The most common examples of moving violations include speeding, failing to signal and texting while driving. Non-moving violations are those which occur not as a result of you driving your vehicle. Examples of these include parking in a no-parking zone, not paying for a parking meter and having expired tags. Minor non-moving violations may result in a warning or a small fine. You can choose to pay the fine or fight the charge by making an appearance in Court.
For more severe non-moving violations, such as outstanding or unpaid fines and for moving violations, you may want to consider making an appearance in Court. These charges may result in much larger fines and other consequences. In Florida, a point system is used to keep track of your violation(s). For example, driving anywhere between 1 and 15 mph over the speed limit would result in 3 points added to your driver’s license; if you cause an accident as a result of speeding, you would then have 6 points added your driver’s license.
If you are arrested for a moving violation, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), then an experienced attorney may be able to help you fight your case in Court.
Gathering points on your Florida Driver’s License has its consequences. Earning 12 points within 12 months would result in the suspension of your license for 30 days. 24 points within 36 months would result in the suspension of your license for 1 year. Additionally, gathering points could increase your insurance premium, require additional insurance coverage or result in higher state surcharges.
In some cases, depending on the severity of your violation, a conviction on your record could cost you your job. Your traffic violation may not be as simple as paying a fine. If you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, being convicted could cause change your life forever and cause you a lot of stress for years to come.
Though there is no guarantee that your charges will be reduced or dropped completely, hiring an attorney who is experienced in dealing with traffic violations may be able to help.
This means that you could prevent points from being added to your license, which might be the difference between your license being suspended or not, and keep your insurance premium from increasing.
If you’ve been fined and charged with a traffic violation, you may find yourself asking whether or not it is worth it to hire an attorney given the cost, or if you’d be better of simply paying the fine. If you get a minor non-moving violation, it might be easiest and least expensive to simply pay the fine and not hire an attorney. If you get a ticket for speeding or driving without a seat-belt, most people would simply pay the ticket as the cost of an attorney may dissuade from fighting the ticket. But remember, paying the ticket means admitting guilt of the traffic violation.
Depending on what the violation is, accepting this guilt and allowing your record to have the conviction on it may end up continuing to cost you in the future because your insurance premiums may rise. On the other hand, if you do decide to go to court, some traffic violation cases can be dropped all together. If, for example, the officer who gave the ticket does not show up, or if you pay the fees and agree to unsupervised probation, then the violation might not even go on your record.
It is important to keep in mind that although an attorney may be able to help you understand your rights and give you advice about what your next steps should be after getting a traffic violation, your case will not always be dropped and your fines/sentencing may not be reduced. If you have been given a traffic violation, there is almost always some sort of evidence against you. This being said, the Judge may not rule in your favor and you may still have to pay a fine. There is no guarantee that an attorney will clear your name. However, if there is anything that can be done in your favor, hiring an attorney gives you the best chance to not only find out what you can do, but help you do it.
Hiring an attorney for a traffic violation (if the violation is moderate to severe) can give you a better chance at winning your case and keeping your license, your job, and your life in tact.