Lots of folks ask me if they “really need” to get a traffic ticket lawyer to handle their traffic citation or speeding citation (or whatever). The easy answer is “yes” of course, but then in some cases you end up paying for legal services that you really don't need. Let's look at this.
It's all about cost/benefit analysis
The first step to determining if you should get a traffic lawyer to handle your case for you is figuring out what the worst result could be in your case. It's not a guarantee that if you elect to handle your ticket yourself that the very worst will happen, but in order to make a really informed decision you deserve to know what you're up against. The worst case may be different for everyone and may depend on your charges, your prior record, the state you're in, and whether there are special consequences for you because of who you are. Are you or do you want to be a school bus driver? Do you have a CDL? Have you had a bunch of stuff on your record before? Were you pissy with the cop? Was your driving crazy as hell? All of these things and many more play into the “what's the worst that can happen” consideration.
Sorry to say it folks, but the only way to get an idea of really what will happen to you in the worst case scenario is to contact a lawyer. Admittedly this is sometimes a pain in the ass. It is a sad truth that many lawyers are hard to get on the phone, hard to get to respond to emails etc etc. We have alleviated a lot of that with the BernieSez.com platform. With BernieSez you can post your case and pretty quickly get contacted by several attorneys who can answer your questions. If they are reluctant to “give away secrets” or just to have a frank discussion about your case so you can know what the worst case scenario is, move on to the next guy. There are a ton of traffic ticket lawyers in the world. No need to waste time on some guy who wants to play hide the ball until you pay him. Giving folks free advice in a consult over the phone is in my book the best way to gain a rep as being a good-natured lawyer who places service above the almighty dollar. This is really a lot of the inspiration for BernieSez.com.
Ok. Now that you have talked to this lawyer and you know the worst that can happen, think about it. How much “cost” is there for you if you elect to handle it yourself vs pay a lawyer? Can you just pay the ticket on line or in the courthouse? Mail in a payment? If that's an option it may be attractive, especially if you don't have to pay a lawyer to do that for you. You just saved his fee, which may be a few hundred bucks or more. But remember, “just paying the ticket” is the same as pleading guilty, and then come all those consequences you just talked to the lawyer about. Also, remember that you'll have to take time out of your day to do this. Going to the courthouse may take hours and there's no guarantee you can get it done on the first try. Online may be an option but even if it seems easy to get on line and whip out a credit card and pay, you will have to deal with the fallout if something goes sideways (you thought you paid but it didn't go through etc). If you have a lawyer, that's his (or her) problem. Moreover he or she is generally in a better position to see that your case is handled without any such issues. Traffic lawyers are experienced and are in the damn courthouse every day dealing with the DA's, the judges, the cops, and all of the bureaucracy that goes on.
Talk to a traffic lawyer. Tell him all about you and the case. Tell him about your record. Tell him about what you think you need. Have a full and frank discussion. If you use the BernieSez.com site we hope you will find it very easy to accomplish all this without having to pay much or anything. That's why we built it. In the end I hope you'll find this: It really does take much less time and effort and even money to hire a legal professional to handle your case rather than to try and get up to speed on all the fine points of law and try and do it yourself. Lots of folks think that “just paying the ticket” is a solution. Indeed, in some cases that's true, but you're gonna have to do some leg work to find out if that's true for you.
My famous example: your leg is broken. Should you read up on how to set it yourself or go see the Doc? Maybe you do it yourself you're ok, but then maybe not. Won't you feel better knowing you have a pro on the case? Find a lawyer to talk to about your case now. It's easy and simple.