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Home DWI & Traffic Violations

What Do Traffic Violation Attorneys Do?

The right to drive is a privilege, which is mainly governed by the individual states. Traffic violation attorneys deal with a mix of regulations and criminal offenses typically based on violations of state statutes and county, city or other local ordinances relating to the operation of vehicles. However, federal laws may apply as well, depending on the nature of the violation.

Are traffic violations civil or criminal matters?

Traffic violations are considered criminal matters, and are handled as criminal law cases. As a result, the sentence imposed is an obligation that the offender has towards the state for violation of law. This means that the offender can be ordered to forfeit his/her personal freedom, rather than just being ordered to pay a money judgment, which is the typical civil law outcome. The state could be a local township, municipality, city, county, state, or even the federal government. However, unless you've committed a major violation or the violation is otherwise dangerous or life-threatening to other motorists, the officer will simply issue you a traffic ticket.

What is a traffic ticket?

A traffic ticket is a citation or summons issued to a violator of one or more traffic violations (motor vehicle laws). The citation or summons, issued by a police officer or other authorized representative of the government, is an order to appear in court before a judge (or magistrate). After being issued the citation or summons, the person accused of violating the law can remain free pending his/her need to appear in court.

Is signing the ticket an admission of guilt?

No, it's just your acknowledgment of receipt of the notice to appear. Because you are actually being charged with a violation of law, the officer could take you into custody if you refuse to sign the ticket. By signing the traffic ticket, you avoid being taken into custody and are actually released on your own recognizance pending the court date. It's in your best interest to sign the ticket, so you remain free and retain your right to show up at the court hearing to dispute it or otherwise resolve the matter.

Should I hire a Traffic Violation Attorney?

If you are the holder of a commercial driver's license (CDL) and are convicted of certain traffic violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), or you hold any of these types of licenses: Chauffeur License, Minor Restricted License, Recreational, Farmer & H-Hazardous Materials, you may be subject to more regulations and stiffer penalties which may result in the suspension or revocation of your license. Even if you are not a commercial driver, the consequences of traffic violation convictions can be quite bad. Depending on the severity of the violation, you should consider retaining a traffic violations lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and represent you in court. Use the form on this page to find a qualified traffic violations attorney to suit your needs and legal situation.