Why Not Just Pay Your Ticket | Charlotte Traffic Ticket Lawyers
Paying is the Same as Pleading Guilty. If you are thinking of just paying off a ticket, be sure to think through your decision. In very rare situations, this may be the best solution. But, in almost every case, this is not a prudent move. Here’s why. When you simply pay a ticket, you are actually pleading guilty to the charge in the eyes of the law and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.
There are usually options available in most cases that can result in less harsh consequences and/or fewer points on your record. One option is a dismissal. This is not commonly given, but sometimes there are particular circumstances where the Assistant District Attorney will consider dismissing your charge. For example, if the charging officer is no longer available or employed by the police department, the State will have to dismiss, because they have no prosecuting witness. Also, in cases where someone does not have their proof of insurance on them when stopped, the case may be dropped if you can show you had active liability insurance at the time you were given the citation.
Another more common potential solution is to plead down to a lesser offense. This means that a person pleads guilty to a charge that has less implications for a person’s record, license points, insurance points, and/or fines. Such an approach is fairly typical as the State wants to motivate you to resolve your case without a trial. Assistant District Attorneys are normally sympathetic with someone who has a clean record. They want to move files as well; so many cases are handled every day that they do not have the time to fully prosecute each case. If you are reasonable, they will almost always respond in kind. Lawyers who are forthright and take appropriate positions can get cases resolved quickly and improve your outcome. Attorneys who take unreasonable positions simply slow the process and are generally not effective. In some cases where the facts are on your side, you may have to try your case to get the result you are seeking. Of course, it is difficult to say how any trial will turn out. But, after counsel, the choice is always yours – the client.
Even if you do not hire a lawyer, you may still be interested in contesting a ticket. Here is what you can expect. Listen to the instructions of the Assistant District Attorneys. When your case is called, you go up and speak with the prosecutor. You can attempt to negotiate a resolution to your case or ask for a trial. Your first trial will be heard in front of a District Court Judge. Your case can also be continued once, either at your request or the State may ask for a new court date if the officer is not available. This means that you leave court and come back on a new court date. You will have to show up to court each time your case is continued and given a new court date.
If you hire an attorney, the process will be very different. For most traffic tickets, you do not have to make an appearance in court at all. Your attorney will appear on your behalf. This is one of the advantages of hiring an attorney; you do not have to take time off of work and potentially spend half of your day sitting in court waiting for your case to be reached. You can authorize the attorney to handle your case in the way that he or she determines is best. After the ticket is resolved, your attorney will let you know what the outcome is and what fines and court costs are owed. Obviously, you can do this yourself, but having a traffic attorney handle it for you is a real advantage for the reasons outlined above. The attorney’s fee is minimal and is worth you not having to deal with the court, the traffic, and your time wasted while waiting to be heard.
If you have any questions about your traffic ticket, you can call traffic ticket attorney Anthony Wayne directly at 704-960-9097 or email Anthony@RJRlaw.com to discuss your potential options. We would be honored to help you with this legal matter. Whatever you decide to do, consider your best move carefully before you simply plead guilty or pay off a ticket. Depending on the facts of your case, there is a good chance that you can get a better deal. Call us now. If we cannot help you, we will tell you. But usually, we can be of benefit and negotiate a lesser charge to protect your driving record and insurance rates.