One of the most common question we’re asked is “why should I hire an attorney to fight my traffic ticket, can’t I just go take care of it myself?” First, it is true that you don’t have to hire an attorney for a traffic ticket (don’t say “I told you so” yet), the reality is you should hire an attorney for your traffic violation matter.
In New York, a traffic violation can have a significant impact on you in a number of ways. New York uses a point system to keep track of your driving. Any conviction, meaning pleading guilty to a charge or being found guilty in court can lead to points against your license. If you accumulate 11 points on your license within an 18 month period, New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license.
Points lead to increased insurance premiums which you can pay over an extended period of time. Moreover New York has other hidden fines and penalties that a lot of drivers are not aware of. New York’s Driver Responsibility Assessment program allows the DMV to assess separate fines for a period of 3 years after 6 points have accumulated on a license. The DMV assessment starts at $300 total for the first 6 points and $75 additional for each point after 6.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer When I Can Get My Own Deal With The Prosecutor?
The main reason why you want to hire a lawyer is to get the best outcome in your case and avoid increased, fines, penalties and possible license suspension. Some traffic offenses in New York can result even in a permanent criminal record.
A lawyer first knows how to navigate the legal system and make sure that you get the best results in your case. Hiring an attorney means that you have an advocate that has the ability to take your matter to trial and win you a possible dismissal. An attorney’s ability to take a matter to trial and thoroughly question the prosecutor’s evidence and cross examine the police officer, puts an attorney at a distinct advantage when it comes to negotiating a plea bargain.
Drivers who attempt to make a deal with the prosecutor on their own do not realize that a prosecutor’s goal is to get a conviction. The prosecutor may drop your ticket down one or two points and you may take the deal not knowing that the case could have been dismissed altogether or a better plea bargain could have been negotiated.