What is a Uniform Citation? How Do Insurance Points Work? Can You Go To Court by Yourself? Do you Need a Lawyer for Traffic Tickets?
The adage that ‘a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client’ is the product of years of experience by seasoned litigators – United States Supreme Court
Even a skilled lawyer who represents himself is at a disadvantage in contested litigation. He is deprived of the Judgment of an Independent third party in:
- Framing the Theory of the Case
- Evaluating alternative methods of presenting Evidence
- Cross-Examining Hostile Witnesses
- Formulating Legal Arguments
- And making sure that reason, rather than emotion, dictates the proper tactical response to unforeseen developments in the Courtroom
Before a Defendant may represent himself, the trial judge must make a “thorough inquiry” and must be satisfied that the defendant understands:
- The right to counsel
- The consequences of representing himself, and
- The nature of the charges and proceedings and the range of possible punishments N.C.G.S. 15A-1242
MORE INFORMATION: What Do Lawyers Want to Know About Your Traffic Ticket?
Modified Transcript of “Do You Need a Lawyer for Traffic Tickets” for the Hearing Impaired
Have you received a traffic citation of some sort or maybe traffic citations and you have questions about what to do. Will this affect your insurance? Is this a criminal offense? What should you do next? Hi, I’m Bill Powers. I’m here to answer those questions and provide some insights on navigating the legal system in North Carolina.
If you or someone you care about has received a traffic citation, it may or may not be serious. Now, there are certain types of citation where the police officer will issue you a uniform citation or a ticket or some other legal process, which explains the charges, and then you assume because you weren’t arrested, it wasn’t necessarily serious. That could be a mistake.
There are some citations, maybe a minor speeding ticket or a stop sign violation, where it can be deemed an infraction. That while it may carry insurance points or motor vehicle points, it’s not a serious criminal matter.
On the other hand, there are some type of traffic violations, including certain types speeding violations, where it could be a criminal matter. It could carry consequences associated with a criminal charge. It’s a bit nuanced. It’s a bit complicated and that’s why it’s important to speak with an attorney who understands how the process works and what the different options are.
With traffic violations, we oftentimes see more than one offense. We may see a speeding ticket coupled with an improper registration, maybe a no operator’s license. Sometimes we see driving while license revoked or we see tag violations or inspection or registration, whatever.
What we like to do is take a look at the citation, both of what you’ve been provided and we look on the court system as well, and figure out exactly what we’re looking at. As I like to tell people, I don’t mind eating the elephant, I just need to know where the first bite is. That first bit or that first process is figuring out what we’re looking at. How many charges are there? The second part we like to look at is what is the background? What took place? How did this occur? Third, and finally, we like to know your prior history.
That way, hopefully, we can explain the most appropriate way to go, the best- and the worst-case scenarios. Is this something that is a criminal offense or is this just a minor infraction? Is this something that you can handle yourself or is this something that you may benefit from both speaking with an attorney and retaining their legal services? We’re here to help. We offer a free, confidential consultation. I hope you give us a ring.