Every time I’m in traffic court I see a familiar pattern. It turns out that about 75% of the people on the docket call have no attorney and are representing themselves.
Just the other day I watched a young man appear on his first Garden City KS traffic ticket and plead guilty. He had no prior convictions, so he would pay a fine and be on his way. Then, the very next person came forward and pled guilty to the very same thing. However, she had four prior convictions which means she’ll lose her license, face stiffer fines and even the possibility of jail time. Big difference.
The point of all this is simple: Get an attorney in every traffic case even if it’s your first one. For example, if the young man with his first ticket had an attorney representing him, he could have gotten the charge reduced or even dropped. This will make a difference if he receives another traffic violation within 12 months. He’ll avoid higher fines and the possibility of the suspension of his driver’s license. In the other case, if she would have had representation on all prior tickets her situation could have been drastically improved!
The bottom line is you need to get an attorney in each case and get it reduced or dismissed so you don’t have a bunch of convictions which can have severe consequences. Besides higher fines and driver’s license suspension, every conviction can lead to higher insurance rates and even employment problems.
Another thing, if you don’t think you’ll get another ticket, think about this. The budget for the police department is based on the amount of crime and how many officers are needed to control it. When the Sheriff or Police Chief appears before the County Commissioners or City Council at budget time they will almost always ask for budget increases to combat a rise in crime. But here’s the rub; it is fairly easy for law enforcement officers to increase “crime” by stopping everyone for anything. This really happens, I’ve seen it.
To prove my point, I recently had a case where a Finney County Deputy had stopped a truck after leaving a car wash. He was ticketed for spilling his “load” on the highway. However, the only thing being spilled was the water running off his clean truck fresh from the car wash! Is this a stupid ticket? YES!
Always get an attorney. Protect yourself and your rights.
For help with Garden City KS traffic violations including speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), and expired license, tags or insurance call my office at 620-275-9614.