Written by attorney Matthew Jay Weiss

How To Choose A New York Traffic Lawyer

This article will help drivers with a New York traffic ticket to select the right New York traffic lawyer to defend them. Traffic tickets, such as speeding, can result in suspensions, car insurance rate hikes, fines, surcharges and fees. Suspensions occur when you get too many points on your NY driver's license, or when you get three New York speeding ticket convictions within 18 months. Thus, finding an experienced and responsible New York traffic ticket lawyer is important.

More and more drivers are retaining a New York traffic ticket lawyer when they receive a NY traffic ticket. In addition to receiving professional advice from an experienced traffic ticket attorney, motorists are happy to delegate this task and avoid wasting time in court themselves.

As a threshold matter, you should do in selecting a New York traffic lawyer is to confirm that you are contacting an actual New York traffic ticket lawyer or New York traffic law firm. While this sounds obvious, the internet is replete with non-lawyers trying to make a quick buck. The most obvious tell-tale sign is when the site or the site's advertisement states something like "Guaranteed or your money back" or "If We Don't Win, You Don't Pay 100%". It is improper for an attorney to guarantee results and, therefore, you should avoid such any traffic lawyer who makes such statements. No honest, self-respecting New York traffic lawyer would ever make such a representation. Indeed, common sense dictates that no one can guarantee what some a judge or prosecutor will do. If you are lucky, the fine print will explain what is actually being "guaranteed". Either way, however, it is buyer beware so don't be fooled by such promises.

Likewise, I recommend avoiding any web site that lists itself as a directory of traffic lawyers or offers to find you the "right" lawyer. Those sites are simply middlemen often looking to add a finder's fee to your charges for generating a lead to a real traffic lawyer. You want to be working directly with a New York traffic ticket lawyer and law firm (not some middleman) especially if a question or problem arises. Plus, of course, by eliminating such middlemen, you can know that you are not paying a premium for going through a "broker".

If you have any doubt, check the physical location of the "firm". If they do not have a New York State address (or do not even list an address), there is a good chance that you are not dealing with an actual traffic ticket lawyer or law firm. A New York traffic lawyer is required to list an office address on all advertising which includes his or her web site.

Once you have eliminated the non-lawyers, the next thing to do is to find a traffic ticket attorney who is experienced in vehicle and traffic law matters. Start by asking the attorney or the firm's paralegal about the firm's traffic law experience and, in particular, their previous experience at the traffic court where you case is scheduled. Have they appeared in this court before? How long ago? What was the result? Of course, you may not get an honest or direct answer but that is a good start.

You then can ask about any articles the lawyer has written on traffic law matters and ask to see one of them. Also, ask whether the attorney has a traffic law blog. Chances are an attorney who has taken the time to write one or more vehicle and traffic law articles (or regularly blogs) is a person who you can rely on to be experienced and knowledgeable.

Yet another important item to check is the lawyer's background. Did he or she graduate from a quality law school, were they on Law Review, have they won any awards, did they previously work at a court and/or large law firm. The more impressive the attorney's background the better.

Be wary of an attorney who does not set forth his or her education and prior experience. It is safe to assume that in such cases the attorney's background is less than impressive.

Another critical consideration is the comfort level you get when speaking with the law firm. Did they answer your questions? Were the answers responsive? Were they knowledgeable? Were they honest with you about the prospects for success? Did they patiently explain the process? If you do not feel comfortable, then its time to make another telephone call.

A competent and honest traffic ticket lawyer will ask whether it even makes sense for you to fight this ticket and/or hire an attorney. For example, if the ticket carries no points or you have an out-of-state license and points do not transfer. Under such circumstances, hiring a New York traffic attorney likely is not worthwhile.

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