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Old 06-19-2009, 08:27 PM
 
161 posts, read 309,564 times
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Default Speeding ticket - go to court or just pay the fine?

I got my first ever speeding ticket on Memorial Day coming home from the beach. I was doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone on I-540 in Wake County. I've never had any kind of tickets before. Never even been in an accident. I've got a stack of advertisements from lawyers wanting to represent me. So should I get a lawyer or should I just pay the fine? All of the lawyer's letters say they will take care of going to court and I don't even have to show up. Is this a good idea? Will it look like I don't care if I don't show up? The problem is I probably wouldn't be able to get off work to go to court. Plus, I don't even live or work in Wake County. So that being said, is it better to hire a lawyer and not go myself, or pay the fine?

Is it too late to get a lawyer -- the court date is July 9th.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you've had a good experience with a lawyer, who would you recommend? I've only been living in the area a year so I'm not familiar with anyone.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 7,007,568 times
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I've heard that if a person were to call their insurance company to find out the potential impact on their rates, it could possibly cause the rates to go up (regardless of the court outcome), but I haven't had personal experience in this matter. A lot of people fall into each category (pay the fine, go to court in person and pay the fine + court costs, send a lawyer in their stead, pay said lawyer, and pay the fine + court costs)

It's not too late for a lawyer for a July 9th court date.

Oh yeah, I am not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice. Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,183 posts, read 16,495,536 times
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Do a google seach on this site as we've had this question come up before.

I got a ticket a few months ago...first one. I hired an attorney, which cost about $225. He got the ticket thrown out.

If I had gone to court and paid the ticket,it would have increased my insurance rates. It was cheaper to hire the attorney.

Others (you'll see when you find the thread) said the same thing.

Vicki
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:41 PM
 
8,990 posts, read 17,557,199 times
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"Tsk" "Tsk" Vicki!



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Old 06-19-2009, 09:12 PM
 
306 posts, read 504,897 times
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I got a tix after moving here.

If you go to "court", what will happen is this: You will wait on a line and then get up to a counter where you hand your ticket to an assistant DA, or someone similar. They will automatically ask you if you want a reduction in speed to nine miles over the limit, meaning your 80 in a 65 will be reduced to 74. If you agree, that is that and you go pay the fine which I believe is $125 (you need CASH to pay). If you say 'no', then you have to go back after they appoint you an actual court date, one where the officer that ticketed you has the chance to be present. My understanding is that all the lawyer does is go and do this exact same thing, but on your behalf. I've heard many stories of people hiring a lawyer for this process who "gets the ticket thrown out", only to find that their insurance rates still go up at the next policy renewal because it is still in the system. The lawyer just paid the reduced rate and then added on their fee.

Just be careful!
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,183 posts, read 16,495,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
"Tsk" "Tsk" Vicki!



It wasn't my fault! It was EARLY one morning and I was trying to find my way around Creedmoore and the GPS was lost and I was trying to eat my breakfast and talk on the phone and the car was in a hurry!!!

I was speeding...I admit it but the attorney said to do it his way and it would be better. I'm innocent, I tell you!

Vicki
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:31 PM
 
85 posts, read 223,078 times
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Google "prayer for Judgement" I am not sure how it works but I know that you can only use it once every few years and I think it basically takes the ticket away you just pay a reduced fine. you might want to consult an attorney to do it.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Charlton, MA
1,229 posts, read 2,708,220 times
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You don't need a lawyer to do a "Prayer for Judgement". Anyone can do it. If you can't get off work to take care of it yourself then hire an attorney.
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
3,238 posts, read 5,828,136 times
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DH got a ticket a few months ago on Rt 55 in Cary - going 69 in a 50 mph zone. Exceeding the speed limit could result in a loss of license for a period of time. He hired a lawyer, paid $250 and the attorney took care of everything - DH did not even have to appear in court. (DH had a clean driving record). Needless to say, he is much more cognizant of his speed now!
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:59 AM
 
815 posts, read 993,544 times
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take it from a habitual speeder (speed limits are just too low, im not driving too fast!) and someone who has done this many, many times...

hire a lawyer. always. unless you know for 100% sure in that district that they, every time, without fail, engage in the process described above (anyone who wants to plead guilty to 9mph over with no points or improper use of a motor vehicle, etc please get in "this line") then hire a lawyer.

They are relatively cheap down here ($150-$250 is all you need) and you dont have to do a thing. Call them, give them your cc, they show up to court, they take care of everything, call you to say case dismissed or other, and youre good. Hassle free.

Try to find a lawyer that has been in that district for a long time, preferably one that USED to work for the DA's office for a good amount of time (IE they know all the DA's, cops, and judges and get your ticket dismissed - along with a stack of others - at lunch the day before court and they dont even show up).

PS - DO NOT CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. Anything and EVERYTHING you say to an insurance company is noted, recorded, and analyzed to raise your rates. Do not call and ask your insurance company, ever ever ever.

Last edited by rory breaker; 06-20-2009 at 08:07 AM..
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