It can be very stressful to receive a traffic ticket in North Carolina. The consequences of a traffic violation, such as speeding or running a red light, can be long-lasting and include points on your driving record and increased insurance costs. Some traffic offenses are charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses and are punished harshly in Mecklenburg County.
You should not treat your traffic violation lightly and pay the ticket. You would be pleading guilty to the offense. Instead, you need to hire an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to advise you of your rights and defend you in court.
Benefits of Hiring a Charlotte Traffic Ticket Lawyer
You will increase the likelihood of achieving the best outcome in your traffic ticket case if you have a skilled traffic ticket attorney representing you. Here are nine ways a lawyer can assist you.
1. Understanding of the Law
A skilled traffic ticket lawyer will understand the North Carolina laws that apply to your case. This knowledge is especially crucial if you have been arrested for reckless driving, hit and run, drag racing, or other misdemeanor or felony traffic law violations.
They will also know traffic court procedures when you must attend a mandatory court hearing to resolve your ticket. Understanding court procedures will help your attorney advise you.
2. Knowing How a Ticket Can Affect Your Driving Record
If you are found guilty of committing a traffic offense, points will be assessed against your driving record. If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could suspend or revoke your driver's license. Your insurance premiums will also significantly increase if you have points on your driving record.
A traffic ticket lawyer can explain the potential effect of a traffic violation on your driving record and how your insurance premiums would increase. They can also help you minimize the points assessed against you.
3. Raising Your Defenses
You could have strong defenses to the traffic ticket charges you face even if you are guilty. A traffic ticket lawyer can identify potential defenses that you may not have considered on your own and raise them to fight your charges. Fighting the charges may result in them being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense with less harsh penalties.
4. Providing Legal Advice
A traffic ticket attorney can provide legal advice and guidance throughout the process. They can advise you of your defenses, what to expect in your criminal case, and the possible penalties you face if you plead guilty or are convicted. They can also explain when going to traffic school or obtaining counseling can help you reduce the charges, points on your driving and insurance record, and insurance costs.
5. Saving You Money and Time
You may be worried that hiring an attorney to represent you in a traffic ticket case would be too expensive and not worth your money. However, you can actually save money and time by hiring a skilled traffic ticket lawyer. They can help you avoid paying costly fines and the long-term consequences of increased insurance premiums. They also may be able to attend court hearings without you so that you do not have to take time off work to go to them—saving you time and money.
6. Collecting Evidence
You will need evidence to prove your defenses and to challenge the evidence being used by the prosecutor to convict you. A traffic ticket lawyer will know what evidence you need and can gather it for you. They can also help you hire an expert witness if this will assist in your defense.
7. Negotiating a Plea Bargain
Most traffic offenses are resolved through a plea agreement. If this is in your best interests, a traffic ticket lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or penalties against you. They will use your defenses and their experience dealing with the prosecutor to achieve your best possible result.
8. Attending Court Hearings
A traffic ticket lawyer can attend court hearings on your behalf, saving you time, stress, and money. Going to court can be a significant inconvenience and costly, especially if you are not a resident of Mecklenburg County. In addition, you would be at a considerable disadvantage if you tried to navigate defending yourself in court on your own.
9. Representing You at a Trial
If you have solid defenses or were falsely accused of a traffic offense, you may decide that it is in your best interests to take your case to trial. Handling a trial, even if the judge is deciding it is incredibly complicated. A traffic ticket lawyer is much more likely to win your case at a trial decided by a judge or jury than you would if you defend yourself.
Tips on What to Look for When Hiring a Charlotte Traffic Ticket Attorney
Selecting the best traffic ticket lawyer for your criminal case can be difficult if you do not know what to look for. Here are important qualifications that they should have:
- Experience. When hiring a traffic ticket attorney, it is essential to look for someone with extensive experience representing clients charged with traffic ticket offenses. They will have a deep understanding of the legal system and the prosecutor's and judge's approach in traffic ticket cases. We are former prosecutors who handled thousands of misdemeanor offenses, and a large part of our practice is representing clients charged with traffic ticket violations.
- Knowledge of traffic laws. A skilled traffic ticket lawyer should have in-depth knowledge of traffic laws in North Carolina. They should be familiar with the specific laws relevant to your case and be able to use this knowledge to develop a strong defense strategy.
- Communication skills. An experienced traffic ticket attorney should be an effective communicator. They should be able to explain complex laws and procedures in plain language that you can understand. They should also be available to answer your questions and explain how your case progresses.
- Track record of success. You need an attorney with a track record of success representing clients in traffic violation cases. You can ask for references, read reviews online, and review testimonials and case results on their website to get a sense of an attorney's reputation. Be sure that they successfully take cases to trial and enter into plea bargains.
- Fees and costs. When deciding on an attorney, it is essential to understand their fees and costs upfront. At your first meeting, they should discuss their fees and any additional costs associated with your case.
How to Find a Traffic Ticket Lawyer in North Carolina
If you have not hired a traffic ticket attorney in the past, you will need to research them to locate a knowledgeable one whom you feel you can trust. Here are ways that you can effectively find the right one for your case:
- Referrals. One of the best ways to find a skilled traffic ticket attorney is through referrals. Ask your friends, family members, or colleagues if they can recommend a lawyer they have used in the past.
- Online search. You can also find traffic ticket attorneys in North Carolina online. Look for lawyers with positive reviews and a track record of successfully representing clients in traffic violation cases. Also, review their websites for helpful articles, testimonials, and case results.
- Bar associations. The North Carolina Bar Association can provide you with names of attorneys in your area who specialize in traffic violations.
- Initial consultations. Many lawyers offer initial consultations to discuss your case and determine if they are a good fit for you. Take advantage of these consultations to ask questions and understand their experience and communication style.