This is a question a lot of people have…how much does it cost, on average, for a lawyer to take my speeding ticket case?
With over 1K records in our system, we were able to do some basic statistics and try to come up with an answer to this question:
A typical lawyer fee to handle a traffic ticket or moving violation will range from around $50 to $250, with the average about $155. Each state and county varies. For example, in North Carolina, the average lawyer fee is around $130. In Texas, the average lawyer fee is around $112, and in New York the average is around $315.
There are some variations to this
Keep in mind that these are averages, and that each case has its own unique circumstances that can also affect the price. Speeds that are really high or driving that is especially bad (like C&R) will generally cost you more because:
- a) the consequences are more serious, and
- b) the lawyer may have to reach deeper into his bag of tricks to help you, and/or
- c) the lawyer may have to go to court multiple times to find the right combination of good judge and good DA and good vibes etc.
Also note the numbers presented above are the costs associated with the lawyer fee only. In most cases you will also have to pay for court costs and fines. Note as well that in heavily-populated urban areas, like NYC for example, the cost for these cases tends to be higher simply because EVERYTHING costs more there!
“Compliance” offenses can be done for free in many cases
Now that being said, there are some non-speeding cases in which you can really save a lot of money (and may not even need a lawyer). For instance, in NC (and maybe this is true in other states) there are some offenses which are so-called “compliance” offenses. “Compliance offense” means the offense is one where the prosecutor is really more interested in seeing that you've fixed the problem rather than prosecuting you for it. Some good examples (and not all are considered “compliance offenses” in all counties in NC) are these:
- Expired registration
- headlight or other equipment violation
- tint too dark
- expired driver's license
- simple fender-bender where your insurance has paid the other guy
The list goes on. If you go to court with some proof that you have fixed the problem, more often than not the DA will simply dismiss the charge (and you don't even need a lawyer). In some counties even “heavier stuff” might be considered a “compliance violation”. Driving with revoked license, driving with no insurance, driving with a revoked plate, that kind of stuff. There too you might find that you can go to court with some proof that you've handled whatever the problem was and the DA just may dismiss it.
If that's true, and you can spare the time to get the whatever proof you are going to show the DA, and also spend the time to go to court, then WHY THE HELL PAY A LAWYER? Just go and see if the DA will dismiss the offense completely. If he won't then just ask for a continuance and then -maybe- it's time to think about getting a lawyer.