A driving offense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. The prosecution will want to ensure they get a conviction and the maximum penalties, such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
A skilled attorney can reduce these penalties by proving the officer was wrong. They can also help you avoid conviction and keep the offense off your record.
Representation in Court
Although many traffic tickets are considered infractions and not criminal offenses like DUIs, they still negatively affect a driver’s finances, license, and insurance rates. A driving offense lawyer can help minimize these effects by providing legal advice and representing the client in court.
If you receive a ticket in one of the five boroughs of NYC or Rochester, it will likely not be resolved by appearing at traffic court and instead will be handled by the TVB. If you hire a traffic attorney to represent you, they can go to the hearing or trial on your behalf, meaning you would not have to take time off work to appear in court.
Additionally, if you hire an attorney to handle your case, they can negotiate with the prosecutor to see if you can resolve the matter without going to trial. It is not possible in cases handled by the TVB. Moreover, an attorney can provide representation for a flat fee they agree to with their client at the beginning of the case.
Preparation for Trial
Once the prosecution has determined they are ready to proceed with trial, they must notify the defense and schedule a date. It allows the defense to begin filing pre-trial motions and locating witnesses. Thorough preparation can also include counterarguments to any potential attacks on your version of the case, which is necessary to win at trial.
For example, suppose you were stopped for DUI and performed well on field sobriety tests or had no breathalyzer test readings. In that case, your lawyer may file a motion to exclude the breathalyzer results from the evidence. A successful motion like this can significantly reduce the strength of the State’s case against you.
The defense can also file motions to exclude other evidence like photographs or witness testimony. Georgia’s rules of evidence now allow for the admission of certified medical records from physicians showing that a driver had medical issues at the time of the traffic stop.
Negotiation with the Prosecutor
Prosecutors have much more power in plea negotiations than the defendant does. They have the resources of the entire police department behind them and are charged with proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
A prosecutor will often make a deal in exchange for a guilty plea to save the time and expense of going to trial. They may dismiss some charges in exchange for a plea, reduce the charge to a less serious offense, or agree not to introduce specific evidence into court.
An attorney with experience in this area of law will know how to negotiate with prosecutors to get the best possible results. They will not advise a client to accept the first offer made by a prosecutor; instead, they will review what could happen in a trial and try to negotiate a better deal. They will also ensure the client understands what they are giving up by accepting a plea deal.
Representation at Trial
In some traffic cases, the defendant may need to be present at trial. In other cases, the defense will call witnesses and present evidence to support a claim of innocence or guilt. A driving offense lawyer with extensive trial experience is valuable in such cases.
The attorney must thoroughly investigate the client’s background and gather any mitigating evidence that might be presented at trial. Failure to do so may constitute ineffective assistance of counsel.
Defendants who have an actual or a potential conflict of interest must be informed of the conflict by their lawyer, and they should be given the option of hiring a different attorney or seeking public counsel if financially eligible. In addition, the court must inquire whether the existing or possible conflicts are reconcilable. If they are not, the judge should deny joint representation.