problemaddict
problemaddict Reader
2/17/09 6:12 p.m.

Hey Gang,

I got distracted and blew a red light in Philadelphia on Saturday. I got a ticket. this means $118 and some points on my license.

My main concern is that i am a truck driver and my company only allows three violations in a 36 month period. this is my second violation. First was Jan '07 for speeding.

I'm scared to think what a lawyer would cost me, but it would be something to consider if he/she could get it bumped down to something other than an moving violation.

Any experiences out there?

thanks,

Mike

cwh
cwh Dork
2/17/09 6:47 p.m.

No question, get the attorny. Your job is at stake? Don't even think about it, do it.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
2/17/09 6:54 p.m.

agree with above.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair Dork
2/17/09 7:15 p.m.

what they said. and pay attention to your driving, you freak!

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
2/17/09 8:32 p.m.

Like they said. It's the game. Learn how to play or lose.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
2/17/09 8:35 p.m.

The lawyer is money well spent. Also make sure you report it to your company if need be. I don't know if that applies to all CDL's or just passenger endorsements but every day it goes unrported is a day your license gets suspended. They tried to suspend my license for 100 days because I didn't report a car accident until I got out of the hospital.

billy3esq
billy3esq Dork
2/17/09 9:10 p.m.

Around here the going rate for a traffic court lawyer is about the same as the fine, but you should end up w/ no points.

That said, I always tell my clients that the fees they pay me are well spent.

alex
alex Reader
2/17/09 10:53 p.m.

Seventhed. Even the most exorbitant attorney's fees will be cheaper than points and/or a loss of your job, obviously.

Best policy: pay no-points tix, lawyer up for points violations. NEVER take points - lawyers are cheaper.

P.S.: Almost every major metro area has a traffic law 'specialist' firm. Use them if you don't know a lawyer with a personal reference. They may not be the law firm you want to write your will or defend you for clocking that jackass at the bar, but they know how to fix a ticket.

problemaddict
problemaddict Reader
2/18/09 6:17 a.m.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Guess i'll be looking for a lawyer.

billy3esq wrote: Around here the going rate for a traffic court lawyer is about the same as the fine

wow, that's it? i thought i'd be looking at $500-1000 or something...

spitfirebill
spitfirebill HalfDork
2/18/09 7:32 a.m.
problemaddict wrote: Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Guess i'll be looking for a lawyer.
billy3esq wrote: Around here the going rate for a traffic court lawyer is about the same as the fine
wow, that's it? i thought i'd be looking at $500-1000 or something...

I doubt you will find a lawyer to handle that for $118, but I hope you do.

billy3esq
billy3esq Dork
2/18/09 1:32 p.m.
spitfirebill wrote:
problemaddict wrote: Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Guess i'll be looking for a lawyer.
billy3esq wrote: Around here the going rate for a traffic court lawyer is about the same as the fine
wow, that's it? i thought i'd be looking at $500-1000 or something...

I doubt you will find a lawyer to handle that for $118, but I hope you do.

The key is to not hire some random lawyer, but to hire someone who does nothing but traffic tickets. Those guys handle dozens every day, which keeps the costs down. He's already down at the courthouse anyhow, and probably won't spend more than 15-20 minutes on yours. $118 may be too cheap, but you should probably keep shopping if somebody quotes you $300 or more. (Again, this is based on my local market, YMMV.)

Incidentally, bulk is also part of the strategy. A single court can do no more than 2-4 traffic ticket trials a day. If a lawyer has 20 tickets and asks for jury trials in all 20, 16-18 just got dismissed or pled out to something cheap/no points.

cwh
cwh Dork
2/18/09 7:48 p.m.

I love the information on this site! Go Billy!!!!!

geowit
geowit Reader
2/19/09 12:45 p.m.

I got nailed last year by what I consider a corrupt LEO. In PA, they have District Magistrates handle traffic violations. These individuals are elected and are not required to have any legal experience. It cost about $5 to get a hearing and a lawyer is not required but I would not go without one next time. Usually the LEO will take you aside before the hearing and ask what you are looking for and make some kind of a deal. It may be a change to the wording of the offense with a reduction of points while the fine remains the same. They are only concerned about the revenue. In my case, I refused to deal because I did not do anything wrong, really! I was found guilty and had 14 days to appeal. I then got a lawyer and it cost me $700 (a lot of money for principle). The appeal was in the county courthouse with the county being represented by an ADA. I was lucky, The LEO did not show and the ADA could not contact him. The judge dismissed the charges and wanted the LEO's head for not answering the supoena. This was not in Philly so it may or may not be the same there. Good luck.

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