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3 Ways a Traffic Lawyer Can Help Reduce the Costs of Your Speeding Ticket

Getting a speeding ticket can be a nightmare. A few minutes of impatience on the highway can suddenly mean weeks or months of frustration with fines, points on your license, and even higher insurance rates. A ticket will stay on your record for years, and multiple tickets and points on your license will make insurance prohibitively expensive. At the time, it may seem easier to accept the punishment and deal with the consequences, but contesting the ticket can help you avoid or reduce both the immediate fines and the long-term costs. 

When you consider all the long-term financial consequences of a speeding ticket and how they all add up, it becomes apparent very quickly how worthwhile it is to find a lawyer to help fight for you and reduce these penalties. Lawyers specialized in dealing with speeding tickets and other traffic violations and crimes know all the details of how the law works and how best to navigate the system. They’re well-equipped to help you beat the ticket or at least reduce the penalties. 

Traffic attorneys have the kind of expertise you won’t be able to acquire just by studying up and being on your best behavior in front of the judge. They can also show up in court for you so that you can continue going about your life and not stress over the situation. Some attorneys may even waive their cost if they’re unable to get your penalty lowered or dismissed. Here are a few ways a traffic lawyer may be able to help you mitigate the costs of your ticket directly. 

Arrange a Plea Bargain 

An experienced lawyer representing you can negotiate with the judge and the attorney representing the prosecution to try to reduce your penalties. The other parties involved want to make things as smooth as possible and avoid drawing out the case, so it may be possible to make a deal with them through a plea bargain. 

A plea bargain is an arrangement where you agree to plead guilty and not contest a ticket or criminal charge in exchange for a promise of a reduced penalty. This can mean a lesser fine, fewer points on your license, and even possibly a lesser charge to go on your record. 

“Just making the effort to advocate for yourself and seek representation is half the battle,” says David McKenzie, founding partner of McKenzie Law Firm. “Most courts will show some flexibility if you take contesting the ticket seriously.”  

If it’s your first time getting a ticket or you have mitigating circumstances you can use to explain why you were speeding at the time, you might be able to use that to fight the ticket effectively. Succeeding in getting the ticket dismissed or at least reducing the number of points you get on your license will mean less immediate consequences for repeat offenses in the future and less or no effect on your insurance premiums.  

Ask for Alternative Penalties

An attorney who is willing to show up and negotiate for you can also ask for other alternate penalties, as opposed to fines and license points. These options can be relatively easy compared to the long-lasting costs of a ticket on your record. It’s possible the lawyer will already have established relationships with the judge and other attorneys, which will help them to secure you a good deal as well. 

One common alternative disciplinary measure, especially for first-time offenders in traffic court, is attending traffic school. You would have to attend a regular driving class for a short period of time to show that you’re taking your driving seriously. This way your ticket could be dismissed, you wouldn’t have to pay the fine, and you wouldn’t get any points on your license. In some areas, taking a class at traffic school can even let you remove previously accumulated points from your license and lower your insurance premiums overall. You might even be able to take the class online! 

You might also be able to get your ticket or other penalties reduced or dismissed by agreeing to a period of unsupervised probation. This means you wouldn’t have to meet with a probation officer, but you would still have certain restrictions on your behavior and driving for a period of a few months or years. If they find out that you’ve violated those conditions or they catch you for another traffic violation or crime, then the consequences will be more severe than they would have been otherwise.  

Get the Ticket Dismissed

Sometimes it’s not even necessary to enter a plea bargain or agree to an alternate penalty for your ticket. A smart lawyer may be able to get your ticket entirely dismissed and removed from the record right from the start. If they show up in court representing you enough times and keep the case going, the police representative might eventually fail to appear. In that case, the ticket would be dismissed because the witness substantiating it would no longer be present. 

This can also happen if you can present evidence that suggests you weren’t speeding or that you were only speeding to follow the flow of traffic. A good explanation for why you were driving that way can also serve to get your ticket dismissed. Your lawyer will discuss the event with you and help you figure out if you have a valid defense.

Fight Your Case

The traffic court system counts on most people simply paying their tickets and moving on. If you show up and do your best to contest it, or if you hire a lawyer to show up in your place, you are already setting yourself apart from the majority. The judge may be likely to respond favorably to any arguments or offers your attorney lays out. That’s why it’s key to stand up for yourself and find a veteran attorney who knows how to advocate for you and take care of your ticket in the courtroom. 

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