Editor’s Note: The following column is paid content by Arnold Law Firm, a local Leesville business.
Question: I have just been pulled over by a police officer for speeding. What would be your one recommendation?
Answer: Always be polite and courteous to the police officer! Every single ticket written in North Carolina has a space for the officer to write comments. Judges and District Attorneys look at those comments to determine how to handle your case.
If the comments indicate that you were polite and cooperative, the judge and DA will more likely take a favorable approach to your case. However, if the comments say you were rude, combative, dodging questions, hiding the truth, etc., the judge and/or DA will most likely seek steeper punishment. For an attorney, few traffic tickets are more difficult to work with than one where an officer was treated poorly. If you treat the officer poorly, that officer, the judge, and the district attorney will work to make your traffic ticket as uncomfortable for you as possible.
Question: Do I need to hire an attorney for my traffic ticket?
Answer: The short answer to this question is no. With most traffic issues, anyone can handle his or her own ticket without the help of an attorney. Even so, there a numerous reasons a person may want to hire a lawyer.
First and foremost, an attorney may be able to negotiate a better deal than you could on your own.
Second, an attorney may be able to identify any errors the officer made when writing your ticket. While such errors do not occur often, if and when they do an attorney can fight to either get the charges changed or dismissed altogether.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly to most clients, an attorney can take the stress out of the legal process. For instance, most traffic matters can be handled by an attorney without your having to go to court, saving you time, money, and effort.
Question: My best friend got a ticket at a party and is now worried he won’t get into college. Do colleges really care about things like that?
Answer: Depending on the charge, many colleges do. Some charges that may seem minor can also prevent your friend from easily getting a job, scholarship, or even loan.
It is important that anyone charged with a crime, no matter how minor it may seem now, get sound legal advice regarding how the charge may impact his or her future. In many cases an attorney may be able to help develop a strategy to prevent a small mistake from becoming a bigger problem.
Arnold Law Firm, PLLC is a general practice law office in Raleigh. You can visit them online at www.arnoldlawfirmpllc.com or just around the corner at 6104 Westgate Rd., Ste. 102, Raleigh, NC 27617. Have a legal question? Call them at 919-791-1001 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.