Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about traffic tickets. Every case is different, and the answers below are for general information and do not replace the advice of an attorney. If you have questions about your personal situation and need legal advice, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation.
Yes. You have a right to defend yourself against any criminal charge; however, remember the old saying that "anyone who attempts to defend himself in a court of law has a fool for a client." When you go to traffic ticket court, you are facing an experienced prosecutor and a judge that will expect you to follow the law. In fact, we have been hired by numerous attorneys to handle their own traffic tickets because they do not practice in this area of the law. You can certainly take the time to learn the law regarding traffic violations and courtroom procedures, just as you can learn to fix your broken pipes or your vehicle, but it would take a considerable amount of time. The easiest and cheapest way to present your best case is to hire someone with experience to represent you, such as Hawkins & Walker, PC.
There are hidden costs of paying a traffic citation that most people don't think about. If you simply mail in a check, you are pleading guilty to a traffic ticket.
When you plea guilty, the Court will report a conviction to the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the offense will appear on your driving record. Convictions of moving violations can result in a license suspension and an increase in your insurance premiums. Convictions can also result in employment issues, especially if you have a commercial driver's license (CDL).
As you can see, the hidden charges for a traffic ticket can be substantial. We have a very good record of keeping citations off of our client's driving record.
There are three important reasons to hire us for your traffic tickets: to protect your driving record, convenience and because we are cost-effective.
Protecting your driving record. Hiring a traffic ticket attorney is the best way to protect your driving record (other than avoiding a traffic ticket in the first place). Our traffic ticket attorneys are experienced in Texas traffic laws and will look for a way to get your traffic ticket dismissed or kept off of your record. Traffic tickets on your driving record can result in an increase in insurance premiums and a suspension of your driving privileges. We have a very good success rate of keeping traffic tickets off of our client’s driving records.
Convenience. Hiring us is a convenient way to dispose of your traffic tickets. Some courts, such as Fort Worth and Arlington Municipal Courts, have very long lines to pay for your ticket. If you want to fight your ticket you may have to make several trips to the courthouse. When you consider the cost of parking and missing work on several occasions, taking care of a traffic violation yourself can take quite a toll. You can avoid the lines and aggravation by hiring us. While we enjoy meeting our clients, a majority of our traffic ticket clients never come to our office and are handled completely through email or regular mail.
Cost-effective. Hiring us will usually save you money. We are often able to get tickets completely dismissed or the fine reduced by more than our fees. Even when we are unable to get a fine reduced enough to offset our fees by keeping traffic violations off of your record, you avoid higher insurance premiums.
No, but we will do our best. We’ll do as much as we can to get each traffic ticket dismissed. The more tickets that you have and the older your traffic citations are, the greater the chance that we can get some or all of your ticket(s) dismissed. We may also be able to have tickets dismissed by certain errors on traffic citations, though not always. Be cautious of any law firm guarantees that your ticket(s) will be dismissed.
Yes. Convictions on certain violations can result in a suspension or a hold on your license. In addition, convictions on multiple violations can result in a suspended driver’s license and restrictions on your driving rights. Finally, some jurisdictions will place a hold on your license if you have failed to timely appear on a violation, or you have failed to pay a fine.
The good news is we can help in most cases, either avoid a suspension or help if your license is suspended.
It depends on the type of traffic ticket and your insurance company, but most insurance premiums will increase with even a single traffic ticket for a moving violation. The result may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars more per year for your auto insurance either as soon as the violation hits your driving record or when you renew your insurance. Depending on your driving record, your insurance company may refuse to renew your insurance.
Typically, no, but it depends on the court and the charge. In the majority of cases, we can fully represent you without you having to go to court. An exception is that some courts will require you to be in attendance if we post an attorney bond to lift a warrant. In addition, you will need to be in attendance if your case is set for trial.
If you cannot attend court, we can still represent you; however, it may have an impact on how we take care of your case and the options available in disposing of your traffic ticket. If you are unable to attend court, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can explain your available options.
Our fees are for our legal services and do not include any fine accessed by the court. While we will work hard to eliminate or reduce any court fines, any court fines that are accessed will be your responsibility.
It depends on the type of warrant that you have. There are two types of arrest warrants for traffic tickets: an alias warrant where you have not made a plea and a capias warrant issued for a failure to comply with a judgment. For more information on traffic ticket warrants, click here.
If you have an alias warrant, you can hire us to post an attorney bond which will lift or recall the warrant, hire a traditional bail bondsman (which will require you to hire a separate attorney to handle the traffic ticket), post a cash bond (which will usually cost between $300 and $500) or pay the citation (which will result in a conviction).
If you have a capias warrant, your options are more limited. You have to comply with the conditions of the judgment, which is usually the payment of a fine. You can also request additional time for compliance from the court.
It depends on the court. Most courts in North Texas will schedule us to come in on your ticket within 45 days of you hiring us. However, some courts, like Fort Worth Municipal Court and Arlington Municipal Court, take a lot longer to schedule us, sometimes up to half a year or longer. While the longer it takes to get to your citation, the better it is for you, long waiting times pose their own problems. Most notably, you will have to make sure that we have good contact information for you until the ticket is completely disposed of. If you would like to take care of a ticket as fast as possible, please let us know.
In some cases, we can contact the prosecutor and work out a deal prior to your court date. This is especially helpful if you are entering the military or you plan on becoming a commercial driver's license.
If you fail to appear to take care of a citation, you may be reported to the Omni Database. When you are reported to the Omni Database, which is maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety, you will not be able to renew your driver's license. The license is not suspended or revoked because of an Omni Hold; it just cannot be renewed until the Omni Hold is removed. However, if you are unable to renew your driver's license because of an Omni Hold, and continue to drive, you are subject to being issued a citation for driving while license invalid.
The Omni Hold will not be lifted until the court notifies the Department of Public Safety that you have resolved your case and paid a $10.00 Omni fee ($30 for citations issued prior to 01/01/2020). Not all courts report delinquent tickets to the Omni Database.
If you have an Omni Hold on your license and would like help in getting the hold removed, please feel free to contact one of our experienced traffic citation lawyers today.
Absolutely! At Hawkins & Walker PC, we never charge for a consultation. We will consult with you in a way that is most convenient for you (in person, phone, or via email). Then we will research your outstanding tickets and inform you of your options so that you can decide how to proceed. We try to look at your case and answer any questions you have in a timely manner because we know how important time is to you.
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If you have received a traffic citation in Fort Worth, Arlington, Dallas, or one of the surrounding cities, an experienced traffic ticket attorney at Hawkins & Walker, PC is ready to help you fight to keep your record clean.
Call 817.877.3355 or click the contact button below to start fighting your ticket now.