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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102597
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son has 2 tickets from same day, one for excessive speed,

Customer Question

my son has 2 tickets from same day, one for excessive speed, another invalid DL . He has had multiple traffic violations. and paying numerous surcharges. he was adviced by a lawyer working on another matter, to not pay ticket, but go before judge and try to make a plea arrangement in order to keep ticket off his record and not have too many "points" and lose his license permanently. the Justice of the peace court is in the morning and he isn't exactly sure what to say and afore mentioned lawyer won't give any advice!!! can you tell me how he is supposed to handle himself?
JA: Was a citation issued? Has a court date been set?
Customer: citation meaning "tickets" -- yes. we were encouraged to not pay and send back with a "not guilty" plea -- and court date is in the morning. JP court smith count county
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: Texas SmithCounty
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: just that, like i said, there has been lots of traffic citations, but my son has been turning his life around and wants to get everything taken care of.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Assuming he wants to plea not guilty - which is indeed recommended - he would show up at the first hearing and do so. If this is the first hearing - and I understand it is - then all the Court will want is his plea.

Once that is done, then the case will be reset for a few weeks or month out, for a trial date. This will give time for your son and the prosecutor to negotiate.

Prosecutor's Leverage
If this case gets to trial, the prosecutor is likely to call the officer who will make an appearance and explain what he feels happened. He may or may not bring his dashboard camera tape that can also show what happened, if there is one. Normally, the Judge (or Jury, if he has a jury trial) takes the word of an officer over the Defendant.

Defendant's Leverage
The prosecutor is normally very backed up. They are handling literally dozens of cases at once. Setting a matter for trial - jury trial, more so - is a serious issue since they have little time to prepare, file the proper motions, and generally make room for the trial to happen.

Negotiation
Very often, individuals in his situation are given a "plea deal," if they have little/no traffic record. Individuals in his situation are very likely to be offered two possibilities:

1. Deferred prosecution (which dismisses the charge if he simply is not charged/convicted of anything else in 6 months to a year, but, pay court costs); or
2. Traffic school (although some Courts do not have this as an option and this may not be an option here unless the prosecutor agrees to lower the charges).

One can always ask for even a more favorable plea deal, including a "non-moving" violation, that would be less of a fine and not count as points. If the prosecutor agrees, then this is often considered a good deal.

Negotiating with the prosecutor for a deferment and/or reduced plea deal after pleading not guilty and setting it for a jury trial is normally a good way to use one's leverage. Of course, if this does not work, one's other option is to indeed set it for trial. Doing so may have the prosecutor reexamine their offer to him. Using counsel throughout all this is recommended - the prosecutor is likely to take the threat of trial more seriously if an attorney is already involved.

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Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!