Posted on June 8, 2016 by Ryan Smith
I field this question often. I advise people that I can paint my house, but if I want it done properly, and without inconvenience, then I’ll hire someone. Additionally to that, when someone is on a group insurance policy, has had tickets in the past, have multiple charges, were charged going a high rate of speed, etc., the stakes go up significantly. I’m admittedly biased as I’m in the industry and have seen what happens to people when they try to handle things themselves. Hire someone and ask yourself after it’s over if you’d do it again. You don’t want to regret it and not be able to turn back time.
We get calls all of the time from people that say it’s an emergency because their insurance just went up after they thought the DA’s Office helped them out. Nobody at the DA’s Office is allowed to give you legal advice. Judges can’t either. Sometimes even a 5-over can ding you with insurance point(s).
Can we reverse time and change what happened? Sometimes. But even when we can, it’s about 2-3x more expensive than if they would have just called a lawyer in the first place. This doesn’t even take into account the time that one takes by traveling to the courthouse, sitting in line for sometimes hours, not getting any legal advice, and then not knowing what to do and asking for a continuance so that you can potentially do it all over again. I often help non-attorneys in the courthouse hallways when they have a ticket in their hand, a dazed look on their face, and seem to be frustrated with the entire situation.
On a side note, some ways to resolve a ticket will have a larger court cost than what it would have been if just paying the ticket. For instance, non-moving violations in Mecklenburg County are $263, but a 5 or 9-over is less. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not about the money you spend today, but it’s about the money you’ll spend over time if not handled properly and insurance companies raise your rates based on insurance points.