Should I just pay the traffic ticket?

By Greg Smith posted in Criminal Defense on Friday, August 11, 2017

Most people who get their first speeding ticket don’t know what their options are, and unfortunately in Utah, you cannot simply “get rid of a ticket” by paying some small sum; further, in Utah traffic matters are often infractions or crimes.

More often than not, people who call us think that they have to pay the ticket and that there is no choice. This is not the case in many cases, and we suggest you fight everything (in order words, typically, there is a deal to be had!).

Mark Edwards prosecuted traffic matters for years, and here is what he says:

“After prosecuting traffic tickets for years and going to court for clients for them for years, I have found there can be many creative solutions that satisfy both the need for the government to get justice and the need for the defendant to not have severe consequences.”

Wise words indeed.

The most common way for defendants to minimize the consequences of a traffic ticket is to get a Plea in Abeyance. A Plea of guilty is held by the court and held in abeyance pending certain conditions being met. In other words, it does not go on a record, then get removed later on. It’s sort of like the Judge taking the guilty plea and shelving it for a while (often around a year or so). Often, if the defendant pays fees, takes a traffic school course, and keeps his nose clean during that time period, the case may then be taken off the Judge’s shelf, and thrown in the legal trash can (dismissed). In other words, It’s not a conviction, and there are no points added to their drivers license. But, if you commit that offense again, the prosecutor may tell the Judge you’ve been given a “PIA” in the past, and the Judge should now deal with you more severely.

As Mr. Edwards points out:

“Point are important to bear in mind, and such can involve your auto insurance agent. Keeping your premiums low because of a clean driving record can make a huge difference in how much you spend on insurance.”

“Commercial drivers have other considerations. Depending on the jurisdiction, there can be creative solutions for them to avoid convictions that could cost them their jobs.”

The most important thing to remember is to get an experienced attorney who knows what to ask for and how how to get it for you. Don’t do this alone. Hire experience. Call us now at 801-651-1512 for a free consultation.

Tags: traffic stops, criminal defense

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