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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 113493
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years of law and traffic law
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I received a traffic ticket for careless driving. I'm not

Customer Question

I received a traffic ticket for careless driving. I'm not sure whether or not I should dispute it. I am a college student and young so my insurace rates are already high.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I was pulled over in jackson county of mississippi. The ticket cost about 175$. I also want to know, if i should dispute it, how should i find a lawyer
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Quite honestly, you should generally dispute most traffic citations. The reason for disputing them is not necessarily to avoid paying anything, although sometimes the officer will not show up and the case will be dismissed, but to seek to reduce the charge and thus the fine and number of points on your license (if your state has points).


When you go to court and plead not guilty (do not plead guilty right away or you cannot negotiate), you ask to have a conference with the prosecutor. Then when with the prosecutor you can explain your situation and you are a college student and are just looking to avoid the points and insurance increase. Many times they will reduce the charge to an equipment violation OR they will agree to a deferred adjudication, meaning that you pay the fine and if you get no more tickets in 6 or 12 months this ticket is dismissed and it is never reported on your driving record. You have to ask them for one of those types of deals and do not be afraid to beg for a deal and as traffic court is just a money maker for the cities, most every prosecutor will make some type of deal for you, which you would not get if you simply plead guilty.

If you want to use a lawyer to negotiate, they generally charge about $350 for traffic cases and sometimes it is worth that just to avoid the insurance increases and you can find one locally at the same site used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org


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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
if I dispute it myself and fail isnt there an extra court fee I have to pay?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, if you dispute it yourself or with an attorney, there will be a court cost added to the fine, which is about $75-$100 depending on the judge. However, the money you can save in points/insurance increases in the long run can be well worth going to court to get a deal.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
would you know an estimated total amount I would have to spend if I were to find a lawyer, dispute, and the court fees? And when would it be worth it for me to just go ahead and pay the fee?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

A rough estimate for an attorney is about $350. For the ticket itself it is $175 and then court costs can be up to $100. However, that is if you have to pay on the current violation. If they reduce it to an equipment violation or some lesser offense, the fine can go below $100 and again the savings on your insurance would be huge overall. So it is usually always worth going in and pleading not guilty and seeking a deal.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
if I really was carelessly driving, and have no way of disputing it myself, I should go and seek a lawyer now right?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

There is a saying in law, "just because you did it does not mean you are guilty." If you are not comfortable disputing it yourself to negotiate a deal, then you should hire a local traffic attorney and they will at least negotiate a deal for you to avoid the huge auto insurance increases and to keep the matter off your license record.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Are Lawyer fees negotiable? I contacted a lawyer who said it would require 500$ for him to handle this. Is this too high?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, lawyer fees are negotiable and typically anywhere from about $300-$500 are normal fees. As I said the typical is about $350, so you can call around and negotiate.