Why do I need an attorney?

While you can handle your traffic ticket or criminal charge by yourself, it is rarely advisable. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options and help you formulate an effective defense. You have important rights that deserve to be protected. Some people hire an attorney for peace of mind and to help clear up the confusion about going to court. In fact, on some traffic tickets, an attorney can represent you without you having to appear yourself.

How much is an attorney going to cost?

This will vary from area to area, attorney to attorney, and charge from charge. You should do a cost/benefit analysis when deciding if hiring an attorney is worth it to you. But remember to ask yourself, what’s it going to cost if I don’t hire an attorney?

Should I just go ahead and pay my traffic ticket?

Paying your traffic ticket is admitting guilt. This can have long lasting consequences to you that are not readily apparent. You may receive points on your driver’s license, have your license suspended, increased insurance rates, and possibly lose employment. Make sure none of these things will happen before you pay your ticket.

What should I expect when I go to court?

Be patient. Traffic courts are crowded and chaotic – especially in high volume courts in the Atlanta metro area like Dekalb Recorder’s Court. You can expect to wait. To wait outside for the court to open. To wait in line to go through a security screening. To wait for your case to be called. To wait for the judge to decide your case. And wait in line to pay your fine.

What will happen to me if I am found guilty or plead guilty?

The punishment for being found guilty or pleading guilty vary from charges. This can range from a small fine to jail time. The worse the punishment, the more necessary it is for you to have an attorney by your side in court.

What is a nolo contendre plea?

Nolo Contendre means “No Contest” in latin. In Georgia, you are allowed to make this plea to certain charges every five years. It is not the same as a guilty plea, but has the same punishment as a guilty plea. A nolo plea can be used to avoid some punishments and legal consequences of a guilty plea.

What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?

Likely, the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are charged with a traffic ticket, you may also have your license suspended

What can I do if I failed to pay a ticket and now my driver’s license is suspended?

You have the option of paying the fine and having your license reinstated. This is the same as pleading guilty. If you want to challenge or have the ticket reduced, you will have to post bond in order to have your day in court. An attorney can be very helpful (and possibly required) when dealing with a failure to appear.

Should I be concerned about a traffic ticket affecting my CDL?

Absolutely. While one serious traffic offense may not result in a suspension of a CDL, it may be difficult for an employer to insure you. As the CDL may be your livelihood, it is important that every traffic ticket be handled with care.