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Can a lawyer beat your traffic ticket?

Getting traffic cases tossed

Traffic lawyers know the players, the economic directives, the ever-changing laws and the processes by which cases get resolved in their local traffic courts. A case may be dismissed outright if:

Police officer writing ticket for man with red convertible © bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock.com
  • The issuing officer doesn't show up as complaining witness.
  • There is a bargain for a case dismissal in exchange for pleas on other nonmoving violations.
  • The defendant first agrees to an unsupervised probationary period and pays all or part of the fine.

The point is, even if you end up paying the fine, your case won't be recorded, which would set off that domino effect you've been dreading.

"The state gets theirs, the city gets theirs, but it's not a conviction," Eutsler says.

Does a lawyer give an edge?

Are prosecutors more likely to dismiss charges when a traffic lawyer represents you?

"Yes, they take advantage of people who aren't represented typically. They can get higher fines, more convictions," says Eutsler.

But Justin McNaull, a former police officer and vice president of government affairs at the online traffic school I Drive Safely, questions whether the presence of a lawyer necessarily results in reduced or dismissed findings.

"Lawyers were useful in helping facilitate the case at the time, but I can't say with certainty how much of a difference it made for the defendants," he says. "From a police officer's standpoint, there were many cases when people hired a lawyer and they got the same standard first-offender agreement that they would have gotten if they'd come in without a lawyer."

The benefits of being a ticket lawyer

Eutsler wouldn't reveal how many cases he represents per day, but says being a high-volume traffic lawyer is more lucrative than it may appear.

"For many people, especially in Houston, this is the only lawyer they know or have ever come in contact with, so when they have other problems or their sister gets in a car wreck or gets a DWI, you get a lot of other kinds of business," he says. "In some ways, it's a loss leader for firms that do other things besides just traffic tickets."

But Frank says offering legal representation starting at $69 has been so successful in recent years that he has confined his practice exclusively to traffic violations.

"It's time-consuming to handle DUIs (driving under the influence), so I don't deal with those anymore. I used to, but I have enough in the ticket business that I don't have to bother with it," he says.

"The more population grows, the more people drive, the more tickets there are and the more my business grows."

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