Should you hire an attorney?
If you have recently received a traffic ticket, you're probably wondering if it would make sense to hire an attorney. The truth is, it depends on the specific circumstances of your ticket. As an experienced traffic attorney — one who is familiar with the local laws, courts, prosecutors, and judges — I can often obtain a better outcome in your case and save you money in the long run. However, this isn't true in every case, and I urge you to call us to discuss the specifics of your case.
Speeding Tickets (Non-Reckless Driving)
For most people who receive a simple speeding ticket, my rule of thumb is this:
You should only hire an attorney if you will save money in the long run.
For most people, this is a question of whether their insurance will go up, and if so, if that's going to cost more than hiring an attorney.
There are a couple of exceptions to the rule of thumb — people who should almost always hire an attorney:
- People whose job requires a clean driving record
- People who are at risk of suspension because of their prior record
- Commercial Driver's License holders (see below)
One of the biggest exceptions to my rule of thumb is for CDL drivers. If you have a CDL (even if you received the ticket while driving your personal vehicle), it is almost always in your best interest to hire a traffic attorney. Without an experienced professional walking you through your options and negotiating on your behalf, you run the risk of losing your license and livelihood.
See this page for more information about CDL holders.
A reckless driving charge carries long-term consequences and should be taken very seriously. Unlikely simple speeding, which is just a traffic infraction, reckless driving is a misdemeanor that becomes a part of your criminal record. You face heavy fines, insurance rate increases, possible license suspension, and sometimes even jail time. Virginia has a very low threshold for charging people with reckless driving, and the consequences can be harsh. However, these charges are frequently reduced and dismissed, and depending on the specifics of your case, an experienced traffic attorney can help you avoid these harsh consequences.
You can learn more about reckless driving on this page.
Call the Law Office of James Steele for a free consultation and transparent answers to all your traffic-related questions. After a brief discussion about the facts of your case, we will be able to tell you if it is in your best interest to hire an attorney.