Legal Law

A Good Ticket or Popcorn Lawyer – Can Both Bring a Smile to Your Face?

How much does it cost to go to the cinema nowadays? If you like a good legal drama, for about the cost of a bucket of popcorn and a large soda, you can see a good ticket lawyer defend you in court. It may not be a convincing plot, but the happy ending will be real and it will be yours, not some Hollywood screenwriter’s fantasy.

But can a good ticket lawyer really deliver? The short answer is yes, because like all good lawyers they know how to argue the technicalities that put the rest of us to sleep. They also know how to recognize tickets that won’t be dismissed. When a ticket meets the letter of a particular state’s transportation code, penal code, and criminal procedure code, unless the subpoena officer does not appear to testify, a dismissal is likely not expected. Those fines are almost always paid, with a defendant agreeing to take deferred adjudication and pay a fine and some court costs. As long as the deferral period is completed without incident and the fine and costs are paid, the fine will never appear on a driving record. Even in these circumstances, a good ticket lawyer can help reduce the fines and shorten the deferral period.

If your driving record so far is not good, a good ticket attorney is a great resource. When you receive a ticket for a traffic violation (usually a violation of a state transportation code provision or a county or city ordinance), you enter what can feel like a Kafkaesque nightmare; the traffic court of the local municipality or county. The kind of place where you get stuck in a circular waiting pattern as you go from one employee to another. While it may seem like a bureaucratic maze, for a good ticket attorney, traffic court is a negotiator’s paradise.

The city and county prosecutors are not going to share this with you, but they are very willing to negotiate with your attorney. Most people cited for traffic violations do not realize this and choose to pay their fines rather than hire a lawyer to contest them. As a consequence, these law-abiding citizens pay more fines and longer probationary periods.

Simply turning around and paying without making a fuss can have more serious negative consequences: it’s a conviction on your driving record. The consequential costs caused by such a conviction can quickly snowball and dwarf any immediate financial damage. One more ticket can result in increased insurance premiums, suspension of your driver’s license, and state-imposed surcharges. If you are a trucker with a CDL, it can even cost you your livelihood.

If you are in a position where you are wondering if hiring a ticket attorney is a good idea, you should probably hire one.

A good ticket attorney can effectively communicate with the city, county, and state apparatus on your behalf. A lawyer knows the vocabulary and can speak the language. Your attorney’s trump card is the ability to litigate, to take your case before a judge and jury. That creates a great incentive to settle with you; after all, no prosecutor wants to spend their time prosecuting traffic ticket cases. This influence that a good ticket attorney can exert over a prosecutor is hard to pass up, particularly when the cost of this type of legal representation is relatively low.

So why do lawyers do it?

Don’t be too surprised if they tell you it’s the fastest way they’ve found to bring a smile of genuine gratitude to their customers’ faces.