Getting a traffic ticket is never pleasant. Any time you get a ticket, you’re left with the option of paying it off or fighting it in traffic court. Below are a few factors to consider when deciding which path to take.
Look at the Circumstances
The first step towards deciding whether or not to contest a ticket is looking at the circumstances of the ticket. If you were clearly in the wrong and the attending officer has clear and compelling evidence that you broke the law, pleading anything other than guilty might be a futile effort. If you think there’s any chance that you didn’t violate a traffic law, though, choosing to get representation and to fight the ticket could be in your best interest.
Consider the Costs
How much is this ticket going to cost you if you plead guilty? Don’t just think about what you’re going to pay the court, but also what you’re going to have to pay in increased insurance rates. Weigh that against the cost of representation and the cost of going to court for the day in order to figure out what’s going to cost you more at the end of the day. If the long-term fiscal consequences of the ticket don’t outweigh the short-term costs, you might want to reconsider fighting the ticket.
Think About the Consequences
Some traffic violations carry with them major consequences. You may not just be facing a fine – you could end up losing your license. Some traffic violations can also impact your job options, especially if you drive for a living. If you are in a career field that’s going to be impacted by getting a ticket, you should almost always work with an attorney to fight the charge.
Consult Your Lawyer
Finally, make sure to consult with a traffic ticket attorney to discuss your next steps. Most attorneys will be incredibly honest with you about what they think you should do. If your case looks like it’s doomed from the start, your attorney will work with you to find options other than going to court. A brief consultation can give you a great deal of information, so talk to your attorney as soon as you get your ticket.
Not every ticket is worth fighting. When they are, though, you need excellent representation. If you do choose to go to court, make sure you work with a lawyer who can give you your best chance of success.