People call and ask me all the time – do I need a lawyer to represent me on a speeding ticket? Well, the stakes appear to be increasing for clients in this area of the law. According to an article from today’s Democrat and Chronicle, an effort is underway here in New York State to (a) restrict the ability to plea bargain on speeding tickets and (b) surprise, surprise – increase the fines and surcharges.
My answer for anyone who asks is that having an attorney on your side is never a guarantee of a completely favorable outcome, however, an attorney is more likely to be able to negotiate a better disposition than you would be able to on your own. Failing that, if a trial becomes necessary, an attorney can advocate far more effectively on your behalf than you as a layperson attempting to conduct the trial.
So what happens if these changes to the law come to pass? Well, I agree, we can expect that more tickets are going to proceed to trial. On the other hand, there is still room within these restrictions to negotiate – and to do that you need an attorney who knows the lay of the land.
I’ll stay on top of these proposed changes. In the meantime, if you are facing a traffic ticket for any type of offense, call me right away.