Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Traffic Ticket?

There comes the point in your life when an officer tickets you for a moving violation.

A moving violation is committed when a vehicle in motion violates a traffic law. The most common moving violations include driving past the speed limit, running a red light, making an illegal u-turn, not signaling, not stopping for a school bus or pedestrian, not using seat belt, driving in a carpool lane, etc.

Some serious offenses, meanwhile, include reckless driving, driving under the influence, driving without a license, racing on a public street, and refusing to stop for an officer.

Millions of traffic tickets are issued annually with an average fine of $150, which can go up to $2,000, depending on the state the violation took place.

When served with a traffic ticket, the driver has four options to resolve the issue:

  1. not to go to court and just pay the fine
  2. attend driving school
  3. plead guilty during an arraignment, or
  4. request a traffic court trial.

To save the trouble of going to driving school or to court, some drivers opt just to pay the fine and move on.

Little do they know that choosing to settle the penalty has its disadvantages. You get to pay the maximum fine, and the violation goes on to your driving record, which will be used by insurance companies to increase your insurance premiums.

In some states, judges reduce fines for drivers who come to court and plead guilty to a traffic violation. However, the offense will still go on record.

To prevent having your traffic violation taint your record and raise your insurance rates, attending driving school is a good option. But driving schools are expensive because you will shoulder the cost of your driving school course, the court fees and the fine.

Another option is to challenge your traffic citation in court. You’re lucky if the issuing officer does not show up on the trial date because the court will usually dismiss your ticket.

But if you intend actually to contest your ticket, hiring a lawyer could be worth the attorney’s fee, which amounts almost the same as your fine.

What do traffic lawyers do?

A traffic ticket lawyer specializes in traffic laws, which means he/she knows the law very well and has a long list experience in defending his/her client in challenging basic and/or serious violations. This also means he/she has already developed relationships with prosecutors, police officers, and judges, which could bode well in your case.

When hiring a traffic lawyer, he/she can give you advice on your situation, negotiate a resolution with the prosecutor, represent you in court, and possibly, get your ticket dismissed.

How to hire traffic lawyers

If you’ve decided to tap a lawyer, take your time in hiring one. You need someone who will be able to explain your rights, help you in your case, and represent you in court.

Choose a local lawyer because they are already familiar with the people possibly handling your case. Also, consider the length of their experience as well as their success rate in handling cases similar to yours.


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