I am often asked by new clients, “Why should I hire a lawyer to fight my traffic ticket. I can do it myself,” they say. I tell them that they are absolutely correct. In our legal system, anyone can represent themselves in Court and they are not required to hire a lawyer to represent them. However, here are the three key reasons to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to fight your ticket if you got it in the State of Florida.
FIRST REASON: TIME
Most people work, go to school, take care of kids or otherwise have busy lives. The last thing they think will happen when they wake up in the morning is that they will get pulled over and get a traffic ticket today. But when it does happen, most people go through three stages. First, they get mad at the police because they are not guilty, or they feel they were unjustly targeted. Or, perhaps they know they are guilty, but the consequences are so high they feel somehow wronged. Second, they feel powerless from the encounter with the rude cop and want justice. So they plead not guilty and decide to fight the ticket. The third stage is where the problem comes.
The hearing notice comes in the mail and it is set two months later for a 10:00 am hearing on the other side of town. This is where reality sets in. Option one, miss at least four hours of your day to attend a traffic hearing. When you get to the hearing, if you still want to fight the traffic ticket, you discover you will have to come back for a second Final Hearing and miss at least four more hours of work or school etc. Or, option two, you can hire a traffic ticket lawyet to fight your ticket without you present for $69. At this point, most people realize that 8 or more hours of their time is worth more than $69 and they call the Traffic Ticket Team.
Second Reason: MONEY
Another important reason to hire a lawyer to fight your ticket is money. Here are the basics. Most traffic ticket fines range from $200-$300, but can go as high as $600 or more. So if we take the average cost of a ticket at $250, we can see if it makes sense to hire a lawyer. Let’s assume you hire us and our fee is $69. We take your case to court and fight it the best we can. About half the time, we will get the ticket dismissed. That means you will pay nothing else. That’s right, we do all the work for $69 and you walk away with a smile on your face telling people how great Jason Diamond’s office really is. If it is not dismissed, almost 100% of the time we will get our client no points or school, but the court will order a court cost. How much is a court cost? It depends, but assuming your ticket is not horrible (i.e.: speeding 30 MPH over limit etc.), the court costs usually average between $100 and $200. So assuming the worst and you get a $200 court cost, plus the $69 you paid us, you actually paid more than if you had just paid the ticket. However, if you just paid the ticket, you would have gotten 3-4 points on your record and you insurance will certainly go up more than $19. In fact, your insurance can go up as much as 50% for just one ticket. Thus, paying a traffic ticket in Florida almost NEVER makes sense.
Third Reason: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Abraham Lincoln said “He who represents himself in Court has a fool for a client.” This was true 150 years ago and it couldn’t be more true today. I hate to say it because its sounds like a cliché, but if you needed foot surgery, would you do it yourself? Would you ask your friends (doctors included) for some pointers and then operate on your foot? You have seen enough E.R. episodes to do this yourself … right? Of course not. Yes, you have the right to go to court and represent yourself. This is called pro se, but it is never really a good idea. The fact is that a qualified lawyer knows what to ask, when to ask it, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, what not to ask. A good lawyer knows the law and can use it to his clients’ advantage. A smart lawyer knows when to argue and when not to. Lastly, as the axiom goes, “a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the Judge.” What we mean is that a lawyer who’s in court every day and has relationships with the hearing officers, the police officers, the clerks and the other government employees in the system will be given a certain amount of deference that a stranger to this world might not otherwise get. So, yes, you can represent yourself for your ticket, or perform foot surgery yourself, but it’s never really a good idea.
Jason Diamond is the Founding Partner of the Traffic Ticket Team. Jason has been practicing law in Florida for over 18 years. His Attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience and have handled over 1,000,000 traffic tickets in Florida. Jason has given legal ticket clinic seminars throughout Florida ranging from topics on “How to Beat a Florida Traffic Ticket” and “What to do When You Get Pulled Over for DUI in Florida.” If you would like him to come to your place of business and do a presentation, you can contact us 24/7 at (954) 967-9888, Jason@TrafficTicketTeam.com.
(954) 967-9888 (305) 493-7557 (561) 752-9288
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