Facing Criminal Charges? Learn About Your Options Here

Determining When Your Need A Lawyer For Traffic Court

by Theresa Hoffman

If you receive a ticket that requires you to appear in court for a motor vehicle offense, you may want to hire a lawyer to come to court with you. Depending on what the ticket is for, you could be facing severe fines or even time in jail, so having an experienced lawyer there to help you may be critical. 

Severity of the Crime

One of the most common determining factors when it comes to deciding on whether you need to have a lawyer for your court appearance is the crime you are accused of. If the police officer charged you with endangering other people, the court might look at that very different than if you have a simple speeding ticket that is just a few miles an hour over the speed limit. 

In most cases, if you are going to be facing charges for the offense, you will know long before your court date and have the chance to get a lawyer to help you. Talk to your lawyer about the case and the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop so they can figure out the best defense for you. 

Multiple Offenses

If you are charged with numerous offenses as a result of the same traffic stop, getting a lawyer involved can often help. The lawyer can talk to the prosecuting attorney, and in many cases, they can get some of the charges dropped. Most of the time, the prosecutor will drop the most minor charges and keep the more severe ones. You will still have to go to court, but with any luck, the potential fines or jail time will be lower, and if your lawyer can present a good defense, you may come away without jail time at all. 

Repeat Offenses

If you have been charged with reckless driving and have a history of reckless driving convictions, having a lawyer in court with you is essential. The potential for jail time as a repeat or habitual offender is very high, so you will need to mount the best defense possible. 

In most cases like this, your lawyer is more likely to be working to reduce the time you will serve, not get you out of it. The judge is unlikely to let you go without time if you already have convictions for the same offense. It is possible, with a good lawyer, to get by with some fines, but you should still plan on them being significant fines. To learn more, contact a firm like Tolbert & Tolbert, LLP.