The Traffic Ticket Team: How We Can Help You
By Jason A. Diamond, Esq.
There are very few circumstances that warrant just paying your traffic ticket, but many times, people either don’t know traffic attorneys exist or don’t understand what we do. Anytime you receive a traffic citation, the best move you can make is to consult with the Traffic Ticket Team. As I have stated many times, a traffic ticket can cost you in more ways than just the amount of the fine. Points on your license, insurance rate hikes, defensive driving school – these can all be the costly result of getting and paying a traffic ticket.
Here are the steps that we take on your behalf to try to prevent you from incurring these costs:
Once you engage us to represent you, we confirm that all of the information that you give us matches the information that it is listed on the Clerk of Court’s website. If we don’t have accurate information, such as an incorrect citation number, this could result in you not being represented and your license could get suspended. It is for this reason that we check and re-check everything. It is also why we send you a letter asking you to confirm that everything is correct so nothing falls through the cracks.
When we are sure there have been no errors on our part, we file our Pleadings. These are legal documents that are filed with the Clerk of Court which serve several objectives. The first Pleading we file is a Not Guilty Pleading. This lets the Court know that we believe that our client it not guilty and will be seeking a dismissal. At this point, the Court will set a date for a hearing which is usually set for 2 – 3 months after the Not Guilty plea is received. Within 2 or 3 weeks of hiring us, you will receive a notice from the Clerk’s office advising you of the court date. Be sure to check the bottom of this notice to verify that your attorney’s name is on the document. This confirms that your attorney has received the same notice and will go to court for you. If you are represented by an attorney, you do not need to attend this hearing. That is one of the things your traffic ticket attorney does for you.
Next, we file a Demand for Discovery. This Pleading requests that the police provide us with any documentation they have regarding your case. In the case of traffic tickets, there are usually no documents other than the ticket itself. With more serious offenses, such as accidents or DUIs, there will supporting documents. We review the discovery and look for ways of getting your traffic ticket dismissed. Some errors are fatal such as the wrong statute number. However, if your car is blue and the cop wrote black, it probably won’t get you a dismissal.
After this initial phase of our case, we then go to the hearing so we can determine the course of action we should take for our client. When we attend the hearing, we review the Clerk’s file to confirm that all of the pertinent information is there. This is really where our skill and experience come into play. We look for any inconsistencies or legal technicalities that support our position to have the traffic ticket dismissed. We are successful at getting about half of all tickets dismissed at this point by finding those discrepancies.
If we don’t find any errors in the case, we then try to get the Hearing Officer to make a deal regarding the penalties involved (e.g.: paying court costs and no points and no driving school). If we feel the offer is reasonable, we usually accept the offer for you. If we don’t feel the offer is reasonable, we request a trial date. Going to trial gives us yet another opportunity to try to get it dismissed. Many times we can get it dismissed if the police officer doesn’t appear in court. (Note: In some counties, the hearing and the trial are on the same day which means the police officer may or may not be required to attend the initial hearing).
When we are at a final hearing, if the officer is present and we can’t find a legal argument to have the ticket dismissed or reduced, we will plead the case. We do this because if we go to trial knowing there is no reason for the court to consider dismissal, our client will get “slammed.” This means the Hearing Officer will impose the strictest penalties possible against our client for wasting the court’s time. This could include a fine of up to $1,000 and even a suspended license. This usually only happens if the driver has a terrible driving record.
After court, we take all of the information back to our office and update all the records. We then inform the client that we either got their ticket dismissed or they will have no points or driving school and that they only have to pay the court cost. This happens about 99% of the time. We let the client know how much to pay, when it needs to be paid by, how to pay it, and where to send the payment. Although this concludes our representation, we always are available for clients to contact us with any question they may have at (954) 967-9888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, the next time you receive a traffic ticket in South Florida, let our experience and determination help you avoid the costly results of the citation.