Should You Plea Bargain Your Orange County Traffic Ticket?
Even the best traffic court lawyer can’t get all charges dismissed or dropped.
And “arguing innocence” is something of a trap in traffic courts. The defendant is guilty about 95% of the time. Speeding and traffic violations happen. Often it happens because the driver is distracted and not because the driver is wilfully violating the law.
And remember, while sometimes traffic stops are about safety a whole lot of them are also mostly just about making money for Monroe or Goshen or whatever part of the county you happened to be in when the officer stopped you and wrote you one.
So plea bargaining is definitely a thing Scott Russell Law keeps on the table.
The Goals of Going to Traffic Court
The goals of going to traffic court are:
- To keep points off your record.
- To minimize the amount you need to pay to resolve your ticket.
- To prevent your insurance rates from going up.
If it were just about avoiding a traffic conviction most people would shrug and pay the ticket. Everyone who drives gets pulled over. Everyone who drives gets traffic convictions. It’s not like most of us are going to lose our jobs for doing 70 in a 65 zone.
To put it another way, the traffic lawyer’s job is to minimize the impact the ticket has on your life, both now and in the future.
Types of Bargains
Bargains usually get structured one of the following ways.
If you have a whole lot of very different charges the bargain could be structured to get you to agree to plead guilty for some of them in return for the others getting dropped.
If you have some very similar charges the offer might center around merging two charges into one, reducing the number of points on your license and the amount of money you’d have to pay to resolve the ticket.
Finally, you can reduce the ticket down to a non-moving violation. This is attractive because it generates no points on your license and isn’t reported to your insurance company.
How a Traffic Lawyer Helps
First, a traffic lawyer can help you determine if the ticket is a good candidate for plea bargaining. Problems and inconsistencies on the ticket could create grounds for a dismissal, which is the superior outcome.
Your traffic lawyer can also negotiate a better deal than you’d get if you were facing the prosecutor alone. We know the prosecutors. We know a lot about the types of deals they typically offer unrepresented clients vs. the types of deals they offer clients with representation.
You’ll have our honest advice before you make any decisions. And you’ll be standing next to someone judges and prosecutors take seriously…a big deal if you want to get anywhere with your attempts to handle this ticket.
Have you been ticketed in an Orange County automobile accident? If so, call our offices before your court date. We can help.