How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Run my own practice.
18572087
Type Your Traffic Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am going to court next week on 5/17. I thought I needed counsel

This answer was rated:

I am going to court next week on 5/17. I thought I needed counsel for this case but I am not able to afford it. It is for a traffic violation. Driving on a suspended license. My license was suspended for an unpaid ticket that went to an old address. I was stopped by an officer after I made a turn at a green light. He never told me why I was stopped and when he checked my license it was suspended. I paid my ticket the same day and got my license back that week. I was told that if found guilty it could be up to a year in prison. I don't have any criminal charges besides possession of marijuana in 1998 which was dismissed. How do I handle this?

Dimitry Esquire :

Thank you for your question.

Dimitry Esquire :

Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Dimitry Esquire :

When you were driving, were you aware that your license was suspended, or was that a surprise when you were pulled over?

Customer:

It was a surprise. He asked me did I know why and I had no idea. I went to the MVA first and they told me to go to the court house and that is where I found out my license was suspended for a ticket and I had to pay to get it back.

Dimitry Esquire :

That is good news then

Dimitry Esquire :

If unaware and legitimately unaware of the suspension which you now took care of, it actually strengthens your position in court.

Customer:

The mistake I made is I chose to go to trial. What can I do to win this case or what evidence do I need to present to not be fined or jailed hopefully?

Dimitry Esquire :

That is why I am a bit unclear

Dimitry Esquire :

Why did you choose trial?

Customer:

I thought the officer needed reasonable suspicion. But I don't think so according to what I have been reading. I was doing nothing wrong and was stopped and not even told why. Since my license was suspended I guess Im looked at as a law breaker so he did a good job

Dimitry Esquire :

No reasonable suspicion needed. Reason being driving is a privilege, not a right.

Dimitry Esquire :

An officer could request to see your documentation at any time you are on the road.

Dimitry Esquire :

But that is not something that is really at issue.

Dimitry Esquire :

If you can prove and show that their notice went to the wrong address, and you upon finding out of the suspension immediately reversed it

Dimitry Esquire :

Be it by filing for reinstatement, paying fines, etc... (ALL of that is viable information that you can bring with you to court)

Customer:

That is all I need to have with me and I will hopefully be ok? I know the judge will be pissed cause I took this to trial just to bring in my information. I hope not

Dimitry Esquire :

It is not a defense for driving without a license, but it is a justification for why you had no idea and that you responsibly and quickly reversed the concern.

Dimitry Esquire :

Going to jail is unlikely. So is getting the license suspended

Dimitry Esquire :

What the judge wants to see a reasonable explanation, and for want of a better term, an adult and a responsible approach in getting the issue resolved

Customer:

So I will most likely be fined. Just hope to keep my record clear

Dimitry Esquire :

paying the fine is responsible once aware license was suspended. Similarly seeking and obtaining reinstatement is likewise responsible.

Dimitry Esquire :

Right, and some judges have been known to reverse the ticket outright when it can be shown that you had no good idea that you were suspended.

Dimitry Esquire :

No guarantee of that, but it happens fairly often.

Customer:

I can deal with that. Thank you very much sir. I just didn't want to pay someone too much for what I can handle myself.

Dimitry Esquire :

I agree, and in your case I see it as something you can handle on your own.

Dimitry Esquire :

Please understand that if I felt you needed counsel I would have said so.

Dimitry Esquire :

But a first offender who genuinely can prove that he did not receive notice which he later reinstated, I really do not see a reasonable judge doing more than issuing a fine.

Dimitry Esquire :

Especially if you appear in court with a license that is active and reinstated. That is vital.

Customer:

Thank you very much for your help and honesty

Dimitry Esquire :

Hope that helps and if you are satisfied, please do not forget to positively rate my answers to you at this time. Thank you!

Dimitry Esquire :

You are most welcome, glad to help!

Customer:

You got! Peace and blessings

Dimitry K., Esq. and 2 other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Traffic Law Questions