Whether or not to hire a lawyer to represent you in traffic court is a question many people ask. It is natural to assume that since you will be in a court-room situation, that you should hire a lawyer to speak on your behalf. However, before you do so, there are several elements to consider.
The first thing to remember is that a lawyer will cost you money – sometimes, a LOT of money. Unless you are on the brink of losing your license, landing in jail and/or the fine you received is exorbitant, the money you spend hiring a lawyer might wipe out any gains you may have seen by simply representing yourself in traffic court.
The second thing to consider is this: even though you hire a lawyer, there is no guarantee that you will win your case. Should you lose your bid to fight your traffic ticket, then not only will you have to pay for your ticket and the court fees but you will also have to pay for your lawyer’s legal fees.
The third thing to consider before hiring a lawyer to help you fight a traffic ticket is this – since most people contest tickets by themselves, most lawyers do not have much experience fighting such cases and the input that they might offer may not be enough to warrant their legal fees. In other words, they might know only slightly more than you.
So, for most people hiring a lawyer to help them contest a traffic ticket in court is really not worth the money. However, in some instances hiring a lawyer is not only a good idea but also a necessity. If you have racked up several speeding tickets and are on the verge of losing your license, then retaining the services of a good traffic lawyer will help you to perhaps lessen the charges against you. Another good reason for hiring a lawyer would be if you are contesting a traffic ticket in a different state or province from the one in which you reside. Unless you are able to be at every court date that is set, it is best to hire a lawyer who can be there on your behalf.
So, there you have it. Unless you are in a really unfavourable position where you stand to lose your licence, face jail time or the prospect of covering an exorbitant fine, then you really do not need the expertise of a lawyer to contest your traffic ticket. Save the money you would otherwise spend on legal counsel to better inform yourself on what you should do to win your case.
The best advice for people who are representing themselves in traffic court is to come prepared. Have pictures of the place where you got your ticket. Prepare notes with a detailed timeline of the events in question. Offer up possible reasons for why the police officer in charge might have misinterpreted the facts as they occurred and be prepared to answer any question the judge might throw at you. As long as you are prepared, you will be able to represent yourself in traffic court as well as any lawyer could.