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Lawyer up! When lawyers hire other lawyers in traffic cases, shouldn’t you?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2019 | Firm News

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I was talking to a friend of mine who is a prominent attorney in town. He mentioned hiring an attorney to represent him on a traffic ticket for a moving violation that he received in Florida. I am aware of another instance where a judge hired a traffic attorney for a moving violation. And I too have hired traffic attorneys to represent me for speeding tickets in Alabama and Michigan. The point of all of this is simple. Rhetorically speaking, when lawyers hire other lawyers in traffic cases, shouldn’t you?

Two well-known maxims frame the reasons why lawyers hire other lawyers in traffic cases. The first maxim comes from Benjamin Franklin, who wrote as follows: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The second maxim comes from Abraham Lincoln, who wrote as follows: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

These maxims are discussed below:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

As to the first maxim, hiring a traffic attorney may be the “ounce of prevention” that is worth “a pound of cure.” By attacking each traffic ticket when received, a driver potentially may avoid accumulating multiple convictions for moving violations on his or her driving record. Under Ohio law, such accumulation may increase the severity of the given traffic offense and the potential punishment for the offense. As discussed on this website’s page entitled Ohio BMV Points System, the accumulation of points may impair a person’s license to drive. Such moving violations may also affect insurance rates and current or future employment.

Traffic stops are unexpected events. Most people do not start the day expecting to be the recipient of a traffic ticket for a moving violation. Just as the first traffic ticket is unexpected, so too are the subsequent traffic tickets. The best way to avoid an accumulation of convictions for moving violations is to lawyer up each time that you receive a traffic ticket. And upon hiring a traffic attorney, the goal is always the same … to secure a conviction for a no-points violation, a reduced violation or even a dismissal. While every case is different, and the outcome is not assured, the cost of hiring a traffic attorney may be the “ounce of prevention” worth paying to secure the “pound of cure.”

“He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

As to the second maxim, an objective attorney is in a better position to assess the facts and applicable law without his or her judgment being clouded by a personal stake in the case. Except for rare cases, such an attorney’s communication and statements to the police and the prosecutor(s) are irrelevant and inadmissible as evidence in the case. Conversely, a defendant’s statements may be admissible as evidence in the case as a party admission.

In addition to the foregoing, there is something to be said for having another person versed in the law champion your case. If a defendant personally asks a prosecutor for a break in his or her case, there is a risk that this will come across poorly. This may be due to the awkward dynamics of the communication between a defendant and a prosecutor. Or this may be due to a defendant’s use of unartful or inappropriate statements in such communication. Conversely, a traffic attorney versed in the law can advocate for a given defendant when communicating with a prosecutor in an effort to secure the best possible result.

Hire a Columbus lawyer for your traffic ticket

Frequently a lawyer can appear in court and resolve a traffic case in the client’s absence, provided both the court and the prosecutor agree. This saves the client the aggravation of taking time off from work, fighting traffic to get to court on time, waiting for potentially hours for the case to be called, standing in long lines and potentially having to do it all over again if the case is continued.

If you are seeking a traffic lawyer, contact us at 614.695.5000 or fill out our online contact form.