WAIT! Before you pay that traffic ticket…hear me out. A friend at coffee this morning just told me he paid a speeding ticket and his insurance rates went up. I shook my head. “Why didn’t you call me?” He said “I don’t know…I figured it would be easier to just pay.” Technically, yes…it may have been easier for him to just go online or call the clerk of court’s office and pay the ticket. But he should have just called me! Not only would I have gotten the ticket reduced to a non-moving violation, I would have save him money on the ticket and more importantly the dreaded increase in insurance rates that will effect him for FIVE YEARS!!! Is that really easier? No, it’s not easier, he’s dealing with it every month for 5 years. Facing a traffic ticket in Orleans Parish (or anywhere else in Louisiana) can be a hassle. Many people consider paying the fine and moving on, but there are many reasons to consult with a criminal defense attorney before making that decision. Here’s why you should call us at 504-434-7000 and discuss your ticket before calling the clerk of court.
1. Understand the Consequences: Paying a traffic ticket in Louisiana is an admission of guilt. This means the violation will appear on your driving record, potentially leading to increased insurance premiums, points on your license, and even license suspension for repeat offenses.
2. Consult with an Attorney: Instead of rushing to pay the fine, consider consulting with a criminal defense attorney. They can evaluate your case, review the evidence, and explore potential defenses or options for reducing the charges. Many times, a skilled attorney can negotiate for reduced fines or even dismissal of the charges.
3. Save Time and Money: While it may seem more convenient to pay the fine quickly, it’s essential to consider the long-term costs. Insurance rate hikes resulting from a traffic violation can cost you far more than the initial fine. Additionally, hiring an attorney may help you avoid court appearances, saving you time and potential lost wages.
4. Protect Your Driving Record: Your driving record plays a crucial role in your ability to maintain affordable auto insurance rates and keep your driver’s license. By working with an attorney, you increase your chances of minimizing the impact of a traffic ticket on your record.
5. Explore Legal Options: Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may help you explore alternative resolutions, such as attending traffic school or participating in a diversion program. These options can prevent points from being added to your driving record.
6. Challenge Unjust Citations: There may be instances where you believe the ticket was issued unjustly. An experienced attorney can help gather evidence, interview witnesses, and challenge the citation in court if necessary.
7. Peace of Mind: Hiring an attorney provides peace of mind knowing that a legal professional is handling your case. They can navigate the complex legal system and advocate on your behalf, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
While paying a traffic ticket may seem like the simplest solution, it can have far-reaching consequences for your driving record and finances. Consulting with a criminal defense attorney should be your first step when facing a traffic violation. They can assess your case, explore potential defenses, and work to minimize the impact on your life. Don’t let a hasty decision cost you time, money, and your driving record—reach out to an experienced attorney who can help protect your interests. Call me today at 504-434-7000 to set up an appointment to talk about your traffic ticket.