No driver likes to see the flashing lights of a police car in the rear view mirror, but most drivers will be pulled over becauseof an alleged traffic violation at some point in their lives.
Common Traffic Violations
You can be issued a citation in Morris County, NJ, for a number of different traffic violations. Some of the most common reasons you may receive a traffic ticket include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving without insurance
- Driving while your license is suspended or revoked
- Failing to yield or stop when required
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance
- Having possession of a controlled substance in the vehicle
Understanding the Potential Consequences
If you received a traffic ticket, it can be a valuable step to consider your options before doing anything. If you simply pay the fine noted on your citation, you are pleading guilty to the offense you were charged with.
While this is the fastest and simplest way to resolve your traffic ticket, you may end up paying more in the long run. In addition to monetary fines, you may face increased insurance premiums, points on your driver’s license, potential DMV surcharges and, if you rack up enough points, suspension of your driving privileges.
Fighting Traffic Tickets
As an alternative to paying the fine, you have the right to fight your traffic ticket by going to court. If you decide to go that route, you will need to decide whether you want to represent yourself or hire an attorney.
How a Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help
Working with an experienced Morris County traffic ticket attorney can be beneficial as you go through this process. While there are no guarantees, your attorney will advocate for your rights and interests. Some of the benefits of working with an attorney include the following:
- Experience with the System. You could try to fight your traffic ticket on your own. To do that, you would need to research where to go for your hearing and try to present your own defense. The thought of trying to do that is simply overwhelming for a lot of people. When you work with a Morris County attorney, you can be confident knowing that your attorney will handle all of the details for you, helping present the best possible case for you.
- Seek a “Not Guilty” Result. Your attorney will do everything in his or her power to help you get the best possible result for your alleged violation, by asserting all available defenses. The goal is for you to leave the courthouse without a mark on your record.
- Work to Reduce Charges. If, due to the circumstances, it is not feasible or realistic to pursue a not-guilty verdict, your attorney will work with the prosecutor to negotiate a reduced penalty, lowering the charges, driver’s license points and your monetary fine.
- Save Money. Working with a traffic ticket attorney can help your wallet and bank account in the long run. Initial fines aside, your auto insurance premiums can rise dramatically after traffic tickets, especially for more severe charges or if you have received multiple citations. If your attorney is successful in getting your charges dismissed or reduced, there will be savings when the time comes to renew your auto insurance policy.
- Professional Representation for Administrative Hearings. When you have an experienced, knowledgeable legal professional representing you at administrative hearings, you will be able to put your best foot forward, giving you a greater chance of winning.
Finding a Morris County Lawyer
There are a lot of attorneys offering representation to clients in Morris County, NJ. To find the right attorney, consider the following aspects of your case.
Do You Need Representation?
In some cases, your best course of action may be to pay the fine and move on. For example, a minor parking ticket when you have no other violations on your record may not be worth hiring an attorney. However, depending on the circumstances, it may make sense to talk to a lawyer to explore your options.
Experience Can Make a Difference
When you are looking for a traffic ticket attorney, look for an attorney who understands the complexities of New Jersey traffic laws. You should also choose an attorney who has experience representing clients in Morris County specifically.
It also makes sense to choose an attorney who has represented clients facing similar charges. For example, an attorney whose previous experience has been limited to fighting traffic tickets may not have the experience or resources to adequately represent you against reckless driving charges.
Understand the Attorney/Client Relationship
For many people, hiring an attorney to help fight a traffic ticket is their first exposure to working with a lawyer. If an attorney you are considering offers a free consultation, take advantage of it and use the time to ask questions about how the attorney would represent you.
Ask about the attorney’s and firm’s track record of helping people in similar circumstances and about the approach the attorney might take in your case. You should also make sure you understand how the attorney would charge for his or her services.
If you are trying to determine how to handle a recent traffic citation, an attorney may be able to help, providing valuable insight and support.