7 Primary Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney to Represent You for a Traffic Misdemeanor or Infraction Charge

1.  Fighting a traffic citation can involve a lot of time, preparation, effort, and expense.  If you do not prevail, you may incur negligent operator points, insurance premium increases, employment repercussions, excessive fine amounts, and possible restrictions on your driver's license status.  If you rely upon your license to earn a living (such as a commercial driver or CDL holder), it is even more important to optimize your chances of an acquittal or reduction of your charges.   

2.  In San Bernardino County, California (which includes, among others, the Superior courthouses of Barstow, Fontana, and San Bernardino), there are two (2) proceedings required to fully contest a traffic Infraction charge - an Arraignment and a Court Trial.  These two events generally take place thirty (30) days apart from each other.  You may have to give up all or a portion of your employment compensation for those specific days.  To contest a Misdemeanor charge, there are usually a minimum of three (3) proceedings, an Arraignment, a Pre-Trial hearing, and a Court or Jury Trial.  

3.  Some traffic Infraction violations, such as Speeding in Excess of 100 MPH, Littering, and HazMat - and all Misdemeanor charges - require a mandatory appearance at the Court, regardless of whether or not  you decide to contest the charges.  If  you live outside of California, it is almost prohibitive to return for the purpose of making an initial appearance only (mandatory appearance for charges you are not contesting), or to fully contest a traffic citation on your own.

Note: Under California Penal Code section 977, a licensed attorney will be allowed to make any and all necessary appearances in your absence.      

4.  It is equally important to understand the law you are alleged to have broken.  Many seasoned law enforcement officers - and even some prosecutors - don't fully understand all of the elements of the vehicle code statutes they are accusing someone of violating.  A good trial attorney will breakdown the elements of the statute(s) you are being charged with, and lay the foundation for an outright acquittal or dismissal of your charge(s).

5.  There are many constitutional protections  afforded to all defendants in California, who are facing charges for a public offense.  For example...The Right to Confront Adverse Witnesses, The Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy and Public Trial, and The Right (of a defendant) to Remain Silent.  A good trial attorney will also not sign any waivers despite being asked to do so by the judge or the court clerks.

6.  There are evidentiary grounds unique to each case, which may be the basis for an outright acquittal or reduction of your charges.  For example...Radar or Lidar Devices - most radar or lidar guns need to be re-calibrated every 30-60 days.  Errors on the Citation - If the officer cites the wrong statute or law on the ticket, or grossly misidentifies the make and model of your car, then you may have grounds to request a dismissal based upon lack of evidence.  A good trial attorney will cross-examine the law enforcement officer as to the calibration records and errors on a citation.

7.  Some Defenses Simply Don't Work in a Court of Law.  For example...you claim ignorance of the law; or, you argue that no one was hurt - "no harm, no foul."  Or, you complain that the officer selected you alone out of a dozen other potential violators - you have essentially confessed to having committed the offense (the existence of other traffic violators at the same time is not a defense).  You give the judge a sad story - judges hear these all day long, and may doubt your sincerity.  Lastly, you claim the officer is lying or biased towards you - the judge is going to be far more likely to believe the officer, absent specific proof to the contrary.

My office may be able to obtain favorable results for you! I have been in practice for over 35 years, and have a very high success rate ! Please contact our office today for a FREE case evaluation at (760) 326-LAWS (5297) or (702) 817-4661 Call Anytime !

Felicia Woods-Yates, 
Attorney at Law

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