Should I hire a lawyer for my traffic ticket?

  • Irvin Rakhlin
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Hiring a lawyer to fight your traffic ticket

Many people assume that because they are not required to have a lawyer to help fight a traffic ticket, they do not need to hire one. However, having legal representation to fight a traffic ticket can be extremely beneficial. Aside from the obvious benefit of avoiding the fine listed on the ticket, being found not responsible can: save you costly insurance surcharges, can prevent you from losing your license for having too many moving violations within a certain period of time, and can save your job if driving is something you do for work.

An attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in traffic cases can help tremendously to review in detail the ticket(s) that you were issued, listen to and review all of the facts of the case, and retrieve and review your driving record to determine what the best course of action for your particular situation will be.

A knowledgeable attorney could be a huge asset

The attorney you hire should be able to inform you of all of the potential consequences of your ticket and appropriate strategy to avoid any negative consequences that could effect your driving record. Hiring an attorney to fight your traffic ticket may even afford you the chance to avoid personally appearing in court. If you are unable to attend court, there is a possibility that your attorney could represent you in your absence. Generally, this option will only be available to out of state residents.

The first step in a ticket appeal in Massachusetts is a clerk magistrate’s hearing where your counsel will have the opportunity to try and convince a clerk of court to dismiss the ticket before the case ever gets in front of a judge. Many clerk’s are reasonable people who will take into account the various factors that may have resulted in a ticket, and they can be convinced to give the motorist a break, particularly to those with minimal traffic infractions on their records.

If however, the clerk chooses to uphold the ticket, then you have one more chance to beat the ticket—a hearing before a Judge. At this hearing, the actual officer who issued the ticket must appear. This gives your counsel a chance to discuss your ticket and any other circumstances with the officer prior to appearing before a judge. If the officer is unwilling to negotiate down the ticket, then your counsel needs to make a thoughtful, persuasive, and compelling argument to the Court why the ticket should be tossed out. Sometimes this involves damaging cross-examination of the officer, and in other cases it involves explanation of the circumstances that led to the traffic stop.

Appealing your ticket

If you do end up choosing to appeal your ticket, which is almost always the best course, you need an experienced and skilled attorney by your side if you hope to achieve a positive result. Furthermore, just having counsel at your side, likely means that your case will be called before any defendants who are unrepresented. Therefore, by hiring an attorney you can save many painful hours of wait time at the Courthouse, a nice collateral benefit.

If you are seeking legal representation for a traffic ticket, Attorney Irvin Rakhlin is an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who will give you the best chance at success.

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