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 does 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 procedure, 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 essentially pleading guilty to a traffic ticket. Certain traffic tickets, particularly moving violations, can cause you to receive points on your driving record. Too many points will result in another fine and suspension of your license. Additionally, some citations have their own surcharge. For example, pleading guilty to a no insurance ticket will cost you an additional $750 in surcharges over the next three years. Finally, a conviction on a traffic citation often means a substantial increase in your insurance premiums or being dropped by your insurance company altogether.
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 possible surcharges (an additional tax accessed by Texas for certain traffic violations or an accumulation of points), 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, have very long lines to pay for your ticket, and 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 surcharges and 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 payment of a fine. You can also request additional time for compliance from the court.
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 the City of Fort Worth and Arlington, 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 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 a Omni Hold, it just cannot be renewed until the Omni Hold is removed. However, if you are unable to renew your 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 $30.00 Omni fee. 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. An experienced traffic ticket attorney 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.