Imagine that you ignored or forgot to pay a few minor traffic tickets – and that the police arrested you as a scofflaw.
It can happen. For the past seven years, the “Great Texas Warrant Roundup” has mailed thousands of notices a year giving citizens with outstanding warrants for offenses such as minor traffic violations two weeks to pay up –or face arrest.
Although this is an extreme example, if you have accumulated numerous tickets for minor violations, you’ll need to choose between hiring an attorney to go to court (assuming that you have a strong case) or paying the fine.
Even though using a lawyer will set you back several hundred dollars, it might make financial sense. If you’re acquitted, the tickets won’t show up on your driving record, which will play a major role when the insurance company sets your renewal rate; if you pay the tickets, your premiums could rise as much as 40% to 50% — a hike that will probably be far more than the attorney’s fee.
If you lawyer up, ask the attorney:
- Do you charge by the hour or a flat fee?
- What is your rate?
- What does the rate cover – and not cover?
- How and when do you expect payment?
However, paying up for minor traffic offenses is often the way to go. For one thing, unless you have a strong case, you did break the law. If you have several tickets, taking a driving course, might help erase points from your record. If a driver picks up a few minor violations a year, most insurance companies won’t factor them into the renewal rate.
As always, we stand ready to offer our professional advice.