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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Traffic Ticket Attorney

Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost


How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost?

 
low costLow: As Low As $50-$150 In Court Onlyaverage costMedium: $200-$500 For a Basic Casehigh costHigh: Can Run $900-$2,000+ For a Complex Case
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The most common traffic violation is speeding, but others include running a red light; making an illegal U-turn; driving without a license, registration and/or insurance; hit and run; reckless driving; seat belt or child restraint violations; and others. FindLaw.com describes common traffic violations[1] .

Typical costs:

  • Fees start as low as $60-$150 to have a lawyer spend a few minutes appearing as your representative in traffic court (so you don't have to attend) but, depending on location and circumstances, if can run $200-$500 for limited and fairly straightforward legal services for a simple speeding ticket or other traffic offense. In these cases, most attorneys charge a flat fee rather an hourly rate, and many lawyers accept traffic citation work by mail.
  • Attorney fees quickly jump to $900-$2,000 or more to contest a speeding ticket and can run $2,000-$5,000 and up for a more complex traffic case that goes to trial. A lawyer may charge a flat fee for a specific type of case or an hourly rate of $100-$300 or more. Either way, you will need to pay an advance fee known as a retainer. The amount of the retainer is based on all or part of the flat fee or an estimated amount of hours. A lawyer working on a hourly basis deducts that hourly rate from the retainer as the work is done. When the retainer is gone, you will be billed for an additional payment.
Related articles: DUI Attorney, Juvenile Crime Attorney, Felony Defense Attorney, Radar Detector

What should be included:
  • Some attorneys specialize in speeding and other traffic law violations, sometimes handling hundreds of cases daily[2] , according to Bankrate.com. An attorney will negotiate for you, attempting to get the charges dismissed on technicalities or reduced to minimize the impact on your driving record and auto insurance rates.
  • Traffic laws are generally divided into infractions or violations. An infraction is not considered a crime, the only penalty is a fine, and a person who is guilty of an infraction can't be jailed, have a jury trial or a court-appointed lawyer. Most non-moving or non-dangerous incidents are infractions. Generally someone accused of a misdemeanor or felony violation will go through the booking and bail processes, and have the right to a jury trial and a court-appointed attorney.
  • Laws vary considerably, but in some states if you were driving more than 9-15 mph over the posted limit simply admitting you were speeding and paying the fine might result in a temporary suspension of your driver license. FindLaw.com provides an overview of traffic laws by state[3] and discusses deciding whether to fight a traffic ticket[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Depending on state laws, a traffic ticket may add a "point" or "points" to your driving record. This can cause your auto insurance rates to go up 30-50 percent for the next two to three years.
  • Fines, court fees and other assessments start around $100-$300 but can be much higher based on how fast over the speed limit you were driving or the nature of the charges against you. A New York attorney estimates that a 8-point speeding violation for driving 96 mph in a 65 mph zone costs $1,100 for a fine, surcharge and assessment[5] ; but having it reduced to a 2-4 point infraction drops the fine to $205-$355 with no surcharge or assessment.
  • Most traffic tickets cases are settled without a trial, but if your case does go to trial, paying for testing and testimony by expert witnesses to refute the state's evidence can add $2,000-$5,000 or more to the total cost.
Discounts:
  • Members of the AAA (American Automobile Association) who are found not guilty of violating motor vehicle laws may be eligible for reimbursement of a portion of their legal fees. Contact AAA Members Services[6] for details.
Shopping for a traffic ticket attorney:
  • Ask about the attorney's education, experience and area of specialty. The State Bar of Georgia provides a pamphlet on how to choose a lawyer.
  • Check with the American Bar Association for lawyer referral services by state[7] . Referrals are also available through the National Motorists Association[8] and FindLaw.com[9] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand what is covered, and any other fees and expenses you might have to pay.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Reckless driving
Amount: $150.00 Total
Posted by: Vincent p fields jr in Fairfax, VA.Posted: October 27th, 2013 06:10AM
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External Resources:
  1.  traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/types-of-tickets/
  2.  www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/can-a-lawyer-beat-your-traffic-ticket--1.aspx
  3.  traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/types-of-tickets/speeding-laws.html
  4.  traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/how-to-fight-a-ticket/
  5.  www.redlichlaw.com/traffic/why.html
  6.  www.aaa.com/AAA_Travel/MemberServices/member_services.htm
  7.  apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/
  8.  attorney.motorists.org/
  9.  traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/how-to-fight-a-ticket/
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