Matthew Skau, Associate Attorney, Yranela & Associates
You’ve just been pulled over and issued your first traffic citation. You don’t want your insurance rates to go up but you’ve never been to court before or considered hiring an attorney to represent you. The internet is full of attorneys offering free consultations. What should you ask them?
Dismissed: What Do You Mean By That?
Attorneys are prohibited by ethical rules from promising or guaranteeing any particular outcome in court. That said, many will tell you that they can get your case “dismissed” if you hire them. One important thing to ask is what they mean when they say “dismissed.” Do they mean the case will be fully dismissed by the court with no additional fines or fees or do they merely mean that they can keep it off your driving record or keep your insurance company from seeing it? In the latter cases, there may still be additional fines from the court if your ticket was amended to a non-moving violation.
Who Pays Additional Fees?
If the attorney resolves your ticket by getting it amended to a non-moving violation, it’s important to ask if you will be expected to pay any additional fines or fees or if the law firm will pay those fines out of the fee you’re paying them.
Traffic case outcomes can vary widely and dramatically from county to county or city to city. Some jurisdictions don’t care about traffic tickets and will cut you a break while others prosecute them with nearly the same vigor as criminal charges. When you hire an attorney for a traffic infraction you’re hiring their expertise and knowledge of these jurisdictional differences. Make sure the attorney you’re consulting with knows exactly which jurisdiction issued the ticket and which court the case will be heard in. This way the attorney can give you the most accurate possible advice on what to expect.
It is important that you have reasonable expectations of your attorney and the services they will provide. Do not be oversold and fall into classic salesmanship traps. If you ask the right questions you will avoid unpleasant surprises as your case resolves. Yranela & Associates offers free consultations on all traffic and criminal matters. We look forward to answering your questions.
We’ve handled and gotten thousands of tickets dismissed for our clients all across Western Washington. When you get a raw deal, we push back and get fines significantly reduced by using the law to our advantage. Call 425-260-9366 to talk about your ticket and how we can help win your case.