Seeing flashing lights behind you is never good. When you a stopped by an officer, there is no guarantee you will get a ticket. However, the officer had a reason to stop you, whether it was valid or not, which means there is a good chance you are driving away with a citation that requires you to show up in court within the next few weeks.
When you are handed a slip of paper saying you violated a traffic law, you are left with only a couple of options. You should never ignore a ticket, which leaves you with trying to handle it yourself or calling a lawyer and either pleading guilty or fighting it. Contacting a Columbus traffic attorney to fight the ticket can be a hard choice. You might worry about the cost. However, an attorney experienced in handling moving traffic violations can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run.
To learn more about our experience fighting traffic tickets and how we can help you, call Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836.
The Importance of Fighting Traffic Tickets in Central Ohio
When you get pulled over and ticketed for a traffic violation, you might be annoyed, yet think you can handle it quickly. You may assume you can pay the fine and it goes away. However, the issue is rarely that simple. You need to learn more about the penalties for this specific violation and speak with a traffic ticket lawyer about your options. If you simply pay the fine, it is the same as pleading guilty. The court will record that you were guilty of the moving violation and you may be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This could include fines and fees, driver’s license suspension, traffic school, community service, and points on your license. In Ohio, if you accrue 12 points on your license within a two-year period, your driver’s license is suspended for six months. You always want to avoid driver’s license points and should speak with us at Luftman, Heck & Associates about how to do that.
There are also situations in which a ticket could lead to jail time. Certain violations of the rules of the road amount to criminal charges. This can happen when the violation is egregious, such as significantly speeding in a school zone when children are present. When facing a fourth-degree misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail. A third-degree misdemeanor could result in jail time for up to 60 days.
After all of the potential penalties for paying a traffic ticket, you could still face additional consequences. If you have a poor driving record, this could keep you from obtaining jobs that require driving a work vehicle. If you are a commercial driver, a traffic violation could disqualify you from holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL). You could lose your job and be unable to obtain any position that requires a CDL. Not to mention, your auto insurance rates are bound to go up. For a few years after the ticket, you could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more than you would have without the ticket.
Fighting a Traffic Ticket
To fight a traffic ticket in Columbus, you must enter a plea of “not guilty.” Generally, you may either visit the courthouse for the county in which you received the ticket to enter a written plea, or appear in court on the date written on the ticket to verbally enter your plea. To determine the best way to begin fighting a traffic ticket, call us at Luftman, Heck & Associates.
Once you have entered a not guilty plea, you will be given a date and a time to return to court for a pre-trial conference. If you have not spoken to a lawyer yet, you should do so before the conference. The point of the pre-trial conference is to resolve the issue without a trial. At this meeting, the prosecution may suggestion a plea agreement, which involves you pleading guilty for a reduced penalty.
If you cannot come to an acceptable agreement with the prosecution, then your case is set for trial. A trial for a traffic ticket may not take long, yet you still need to be prepared. Our experienced attorneys can explain how a trial proceeds and your best defense to the violation.
However, at Luftman, Heck & Associates, we understand you are not interested in dealing with this ticket for months. When fighting traffic tickets, the goal is not to go to trial or negotiate a plea, it is to get the ticket dismissed as quickly as possible. Once you contact us, our goal will be to get the ticket dismissed. We may seek to have it dismissed during the initial court hearing, at the pre-trial conference, through a pre-trial motion, or at trial. One of the ways in which we can seek to have the ticket dismissed is by asking for all evidence of the offense. In many situations, police officers have very little actual evidence of a violation other than their word. We can contest the ticket on the grounds of a lack of evidence. If we have to go to trial to fight the ticket, we will seek to have the trial set as soon as possible.
The Benefits of a Columbus Traffic Attorney
Sometimes a traffic ticket seems simple enough to handle on your own. However, the best way to learn how serious the situation is and the potential penalties is by speaking with a lawyer. Once you have a better understanding of your situation, you can determine whether or not to hire a defense attorney. You may also consider a traffic ticket lawyer’s cost. Lawyers charge in a variety of ways. You may be charged an hourly fee or a specific type of matter may cost you a flat fee. In either situation, you should speak to the attorney about the potential cost of representation versus the cost of pleading guilty or losing when you represent yourself at trial. The true cost of a traffic ticket can be thousands of dollars more than you expect. A lawyer may seem like an unnecessary expense until you understand how much they can save you.
An attorney can never guarantee that they will get a traffic ticket dismissed. While this may be the goal, the police and prosecution may have enough evidence of a violation to move forward with a trial. In this scenario, we will fight for the best possible outcome in our case. We will build you the strongest defense possible in pursuit of an acquittal at trial. However, we will also discuss the likelihood of winning your case and whether you may benefit from negotiating an acceptable plea arrangement with the prosecutor. Whether you accept a reduced penalty or fight the ticket in court is always your final decision. Our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates are here to fight for you.
Contact Us For Help Fighting Your Traffic Ticket Today
Fighting traffic tickets can be time-consuming. Whether you have classes to study for, a full-time job, and/or kids to take care of, you have better things to do than try and figure out the potential repercussions of a traffic ticket and the best way to fight one in court. There is no need to waste hours of your time looking for information we are ready and able to give you. Let us take this off your plate.