Did You Receive a Traffic Ticket in Virginia? Hiring an Experienced Traffic Lawyer is Your Best Chance of Beating that Ticket!
So you got pulled over, and now have a ticket and a Court date. Do you really need a lawyer? In classic response, “it depends.” This is not a ploy to trick you into paying fees, there genuinely are variables, which are unique to you and your personal circumstances, that will change the answer. Take the first step and start with a consultation with a lawyer – not your buddy who has had the same type of case, not Facebook where everyone has a law degree – a real live, licensed in your state, lawyer.
During the consult, the lawyer will likely ask you to describe what happened and go back in detail over certain aspects. For traffic cases, I will almost always ask what your driving record “looks like,” i.e. do you have positive or negative points. (As an aside, in Virginia +5 is the best you can get and is ideal). We will want to know what, if anything, you said to the officer and whether you were polite – because yes, that matters, too. It may also be recommended that you attend and complete a driver’s improvement course. Even if you have a “perfect” driving record, depending on your circumstances the course may still be beneficial and thus recommended.
Coming back to the original question, do you need a lawyer to go to Court with you? While technically you can represent yourself, whether that is a good idea or not is a different story. Yes, there is the possibility that you could get the same result going solo. However, lawyers know the nuances of the law – this is what we trained and are paid to do – we are familiar with the code sections, possible defenses, how to communicate with the officers and Commonwealth Attorneys (if they’re involved), and the best way to present your defense to the Judge. So while you could go alone and be fine, you are more likely to get the best result possible by retaining an experienced lawyer to represent you.
Don’t forget to be cooperative and communicate with your lawyer! Even though it may seem like it for some cases, we are not magical miracle workers and your collaboration is so important.