Legal Insurance

What Is a Traffic Ticket Lawyer & When You May Need One 

3 min read
Apr 05, 2023

Even if you adhere to the law and practice safe driving, accidents can happen, and it’s possible you may receive a traffic citation. In addition to heavy fines, traffic violations can also impact your driving record, get your license revoked, increase your car insurance rates, or result in jail time — among other penalties. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the situation, you may want to seek legal assistance to deal with a traffic ticket.  

Traffic ticket lawyers are types of lawyers that specialize in traffic infractions. They can help you understand your options for resolving your case. Learn more about traffic ticket lawyers and how they might be able to help you. 

What do traffic ticket lawyers do?

A traffic ticket lawyer can help avoid or reduce the penalties associated with a traffic violation. Typically, traffic lawyers are equipped to handle a variety of traffic ticket cases, including but not limited to: 

  • Speeding 
  • Texting while driving 
  • Running a red light  
  • Failing to obey road signs 

What a traffic ticket lawyer can do to help will depend on the specifics of the case. But in general, here are some of the ways a traffic lawyer can help you. 

Represent you in court

If you decide to fight a traffic ticket, you’re typically expected to go to court at least twice — for the hearing and the decision. However, if you decide to hire a lawyer, then they typically can go to court for you. It’s likely you won’t have to go to court at all because the lawyer can represent you without you being present.1

Provide legal advice

Professional legal advice can help save you time and money when trying to contest a traffic ticket.  

Negotiate on your behalf

While negotiations and plea bargaining are typically associated with more serious criminal offenses, they can also apply to traffic violations.1 For example, a moving violation ticket could be negotiated down to a non-moving violation to avoid points on your license. You can try to negotiate with a prosecutor yourself but using the services of an experienced traffic ticket lawyer will likely yield better results.  

How much does a traffic lawyer cost?

The cost of hiring a traffic ticket lawyer will depend on the state you live in, the circumstances of the ticket, and the type of legal services you need. Lawyers typically charge an hourly rate for their services, but the specifics of the legal fees will vary.  

While it can be costly to hire a traffic lawyer, their professional services may be able to reduce or dismiss penalties and other fees, which could cost you more over the long term. Legal insurance can be helpful, depending on the type of case.

When to hire a traffic ticket lawyer

Whether it’s worth hiring a traffic ticket lawyer will come down to you, your situation, and specific needs. For some, receiving a traffic ticket is a minor offense that can easily be resolved. But for others, the procedure may be more complicated. 

Here are some circumstances in which you may want to hire a traffic ticket lawyer: 

  • You're a commercial driver: If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) — meaning you work as a driver for a living — you’ll be subject to stricter rules and laws than the general public.1 Certain traffic offenses can lead to CDL revocation, heavy fines, and sometimes jail time. With so much at stake, it might be in your best interest to enlist the help of a lawyer. 
  • You have multiple tickets: If you’ve received several traffic tickets within a short span of time, it can lead to serious penalties. Among other things, your license can be suspended, and your insurance rates could go up. In this case, you may want the support of an experienced traffic lawyer to mitigate any possible penalties. 
  • You were driving with a revoked or suspended license: If your license was suspended or revoked at the time of your traffic violation, you could face felony charges. The added complexities of this situation may warrant the use of professional legal counsel. 
  • You were driving with an expired license: It’s illegal to drive with an expired license, and the specific penalties for doing so will vary by state. You could be charged with an infraction or misdemeanor, and your insurance company may refuse to pay your claims. In this case, consulting a lawyer might be your best course of action. 

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1 “Should You Hire a Lawyer to Fight Your Traffic Ticket?” Nolo, 2023 

This article is intended to provide general information about insurance. It does not describe any Metropolitan Life Insurance company product or feature.