Once upon a time, drivers in North Carolina had a good bet that if they were charged with almost any traffic offense, their local attorney could get them a great deal and many times could get them off cheaper than they could trying to handle it on their own, and that included the attorney’s fee. Such days are gone.
After years of profligate spending and misplaced priorities, the legislature in its dire need for more money has repeatedly ratcheted up the base court costs over the last decade. Where attorneys could once get a standard speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving infraction and a $25 penalty, the legislature has since removed the prosecutor’s discretion to accept such deals and has raised even the base court costs to $180, not including fines. Where it was once the province of prosecutors and judges to determine on a case-by-case basis who should be hit with a heavy financial penalty, now the legislature has deemed that anyone coming to court for even the most trivial matter will have to pay through the nose. So why hire an attorney?
First, we know the law. It may sound trite, but there is value in having someone fighting for you that knows all your options and knows when you’ve gotten the best deal. You could handle it yourself, but will you get the best deal? How would you even know?
Second, we can appear for you. An attorney can appear on your behalf for most traffic offenses other than DWI, saving you valuable time at work or with your family.
Third, we get the best deal. It’s not as a great a deal as it might once have been, but an attorney gets the best deal available because we deal in bulk. If the DA wants to start having trials over traffic offenses, they know they’ll have a dozen or more to contend with. The prosecutor physically can’t have a trial in every traffic case, but they can do one pretty successfully. Go it alone and you might get to see it.
Finally, “stuff happens”. Sometimes it’s just a bad day to go to court. The DA’s new baby kept him up all night. The judge is in a bad mood. No matter what you do, you just aren’t going to get your best deal. Attorneys can recognize such problems you might not even notice because they’re around the prosecutors and judges every day. And they can deal with any number of other similar problems that could arise unexpectedly.
So, if you’ve got an issue with a speeding ticket, stop sign, red light, or other moving violation in Lee or Harnett County, contact me for a free consultation. Handling it yourself is like doing sewer line repairs without a plumber. You might be successful, or you could end up knee deep in you-know-what. Better call a professional.