The Lawyer’s Secrets to Beating Traffic Tickets

The Lawyer’s Secrets to Beating Traffic Tickets

Before I was a Seattle traffic lawyer I used to wonder how a lawyer could fix traffic tickets. I would think, “I was speeding. I got caught. How are they going to get me out of that?” And then I became a one and figured it out. And, to be honest, it isn’t really that complicated. But, sadly, it does take a law degree to be effective. The trick is having enough information to beat the ticket, finding errors in procedures that beat the ticket, or making it look like you have enough to beat the ticket such that the prosecutor doesn’t want to waste his time. And sometimes you just ask nicely.

For example, I fixed a traffic ticket today. It was a speeding ticket and I wanted to get it reduced to a non-moving violation (basically this means it doesn’t affect your car insurance rates). This person received a DUI when they got their speeding ticket, and the DUI and speeding ticket were dealt with separately. The DUI was finished, and the prosecutor was still pursuing the speeding ticket.

The ticket was set for hearing, I showed up, and before the hearing I spoke with the prosecutor (this is something that happens all the time and is where most of the criminal defense deals are made) and explained to the prosecutor that my client received a DUI with the speeding ticket and that the DUI was already taken care of (reduced to negligent driving) and asked the prosecutor what we could do to get the speeding ticket reduced to a traffic violation. After considering it she agreed to reduce it, and voila, it was done!

Other times it takes the threat of trial to get results (and in some cases it takes a couple of victories at trial to get results), and it always depends on the specific facts of your case. That’s why I said it takes a law degree to get good results (or a lot of traffic tickets). An attorney has the background to figure out the rules and procedures of practice, to see the holes in the prosecution’s case, and to express those weaknesses in a way the prosecutor understands. I’m not saying you can’t do it by yourself, I’m just saying it is much much harder.