When dealing with a traffic citation – especially in the case of contesting a ticket because of conflicting accounts of the situation or trying to avoid a fine – it is important to hire a law firm that will manage the case. An established law firm that has experience in dealing with traffic violations is in a position to do various things on your behalf like appearing in court to represent your case, attempt to have bail payments waived, and in general, keep on top of the paperwork or bureaucratic requirements that accompany a court date. However, it is important that you work with an actual law firm to get you traffic ticket handled and not simply hire a traffic ticketing service.
Let’s discuss the difference between both these in paragraphs below.
What Are Traffic Ticketing Services
Some traffic ticketing services, which provide administrative services for individuals fighting traffic violations and do not actually employ lawyers, nonetheless advertise themselves as though they are full service law firms.
- There are a number of disadvantages to hiring a ticketing service instead of an actual law firm. For example;
- Ticketing services are not actually able to represent individuals in court, nor do they usually employ lawyers.
- Ticket services essentially work to file necessary paperwork without providing legal counsel or assisting individuals with their court dates.
- There are additional risks to dealing with a ticket service company: for instance, their success rates as advertised may not be regulated (meaning the values could be inflated).
- Traffic ticketing services may advertise a money-back guarantee but at the same time, they have certain non-refundable processing fees which an individual must pay regardless of the outcome of their case.
As ticketing services are unable to actually represent someone in court or provide any legal advice, or request that someone’s bail be waived, it is often a wiser decision to work with a traffic attorney at a law firm instead.
Law Firm Verification
It is still important that an individual fighting a traffic ticket does sufficient research of law firms when considering this option to ensure that they will be working with an attorney and not a ticketing service.
Many ticketing services advertise as though they are law firms, despite the limitations to their services listed above. Thus, anyone looking for a law firm to fight a traffic ticket should go through the below checklist before hiring any legal services:
- Is the lawyer’s name listed on the website? A law firm should include a lawyer’s name and, in some cases, their state-specific certification. Ensure that this information is available on a firm’s website, as a ticketing service will not have this posted.
- Which attorney will handle the case? As ticketing services do not use attorneys, they will not be able to answer this question. Failure to answer this question is a red flag that a company may not provide full legal representation.
- Is the attorney listed on calbar.org? Once it is confirmed that a firm uses a certain attorney, review this individual’s information on calbar.org to ensure that they actually handle traffic cases and are currently practicing. This resource should also be used to make sure the attorney has no complaints filed against them.
There are a number of ways to go about doing research for a reputable traffic attorney, such as word of mouth or simple internet searches. The guidelines listed above should help an individual’s search to both find a practicing traffic attorney (not a ticketing service pretending to be a law firm) and ensure that this attorney has no outstanding complaints, which would be a red flag against hiring them. This preliminary research becomes even more essential as the traffic case moves forward and legal representation is required in the case.