Can I hire an attorney for traffic tickets that I received several years ago. I was a bit irresponsible at the time and failed to take care of them. They are now warrants and last I checked I owe about $1800 dollars. They are mostly for speeding and FMFR. Am I better of justy paying them or turning myself in or can an attorney help me get them off my record and get the amount due reduced?
Speeding / Traffic Ticket Lawyer
STOP! DO NOT JUST PAY FMFR (Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility - in other words "No Insurance") TICKETS WITHOUT OBTAINING LEGAL ADVICE. Many folks figure "I'm Guilty, I didn't have insurance at the time the ticket was issued. It's cut and dried, so I might as well just mail in the money". THIS COULD BE A COSTLY MISTAKE. Consult a lawyer for your options before just paying an FMFR ticket.
In 2003, the Texas legislature added surcharges for the issuance or renewal of driver's licenses that must be paid in the event of a conviction for certain traffic offenses, including FMFR. Just paying a ticket, any ticket, results in a conviction that is posted against your driving record. Not only are FMFR tickets expensive (around $300), but the surcharge you receive from the Texas Department of Public Safety - later in the mail after you pay the ticket - is $750!
Now the DPS will let you pay it off in monthly installments over 3 years, but that $300 FMFR ticket suddenly becomes a $1000+ ticket if you just flat pay it.
There is sometimes a way to keep that surcharge from happening. Consult an attorney experienced in traffic ticket defense. Also note that 2 convictions for FMFR will result in the DPS suspending your driver's license, resulting in additional inconvenience and expense to obtain a necessity driver's license (occupational driver's license that allows you to drive for very limited purposes and times)
Everyday I encounter folks who have decided that "Lawyers are too expensive. I'm just going to pay the ticket." Most of these folks have never even spoken to a lawyer, do not know how much attorneys actually charge for such matters, and make this wrong and costly decision. I and many other attorneys offer a free consultation.
Additionally, in answer to your question, I daily help folks clear up old traffic tickets and warrants, usually saving them much more - sometimes many times - what I charge
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Personal Injury Lawyer
To reiterate on Basil's response, you never want to plead guilty or no-contest to a FMFR citation. The state of Texas will charge a surcharge for the next three years and you will end up paying well over $1,000 on the one citation when all is said and done. We are often able to get deferred disposition for our clients on these types of citations, wherein there is no final conviction and there are no surcharges accesses.
As for the speeding, pleading guilty or no-contest will also have costly results. In addition to the points on your driving record, which can lead to surcharges or a license suspension, a single speeding citation may cost more than a $1,000 in increased insurance premiums.
An experienced traffic ticket attorney can do several things for you. First he/she can post bonds to lift the warrants, thereby alleviating the anxiety of seeing a police car in your rear view mirror. Second, he/she will look to see if there is a way to get the citation(s) dismissed, or bargain with the prosecutor to reduce the fines on the citation or dismiss a citation for keeping another. In addition, an attorney is typically more likely to get a case on deferred disposition, which will keep the citation off of your record. Finally, setting the case for trial will often get the ticket dismissed if teh officer fails to show.
In short, paying for an experienced traffic ticket attorney is a bargain compared to paying for the citation(s). Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss the specifics of your citations.