FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why should I hire a lawyer to help with my traffic ticket?
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 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 a traffic violation off of your record you avoid surcharges and higher insurance premiums.
Can I really get a free, no obligation legal consultation?
Absolutely! At Hawkins & Walker PC, we never charge for a consultation. An experienced traffic ticket attorney will consult with you (in person, phone or via email), research your outstanding tickets in the courts you specify and will let you know your options so that you can decide how to proceed. We know that your time is valuable. Our goal is to evaluate your case and answer your questions as quickly as possible. Our traffic ticket lawyers are here to answer any questions that you may have and will be there throughout the process.
Why not just pay the fine?
There are hidden costs by paying a traffic citation. By paying the window fine, either in court or through the mail, you are pleading guilty to the traffic ticket. If the traffic ticket is for a moving violation, you will receive points on your driving record and too many points on your driving record will lead to a surcharge and a suspension of your license. In addition, some citations have their own surcharge. For example, a conviction for a no insurance ticket will cost you an additional $750 in surcharges over the next three years. Finally, a conviction on a traffic citation may mean a substantial increase in your insurance premiums or your insurance carrier may refuse to renew your insurance.
As you 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.
Will a traffic ticket affect my insurance rates?
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.
Can a traffic ticket affect my ability to drive?
Yes. An accumulation of traffic ticket convictions from moving violations can result in a suspension of your driver's license and your driving rights. The good news is that we can help minimize any suspension.
Will I have to attend court?
Usually no, but it depends on the court. In most cases, we can fully represent you without you being in court. Some courts will require you to be in attendance if we posted an attorney bond to lift a warrant. In addition, you will need to be in attendance if your case is set for trial.
What if I live out of state or cannot attend court?
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.
What guarantees do I have that my ticket will be dismissed?
None. Although we will do our best, we cannot guarantee that any traffic tickets will be dismissed. However, we will 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 your ticket(s) dismissed. We may also be able to tickets dismissed by certain errors on the traffic citation; however, not every error will mean a dismissal. Be careful of any law firm guarantees that your ticket(s) will be dismissed.
I have a traffic warrant - what are my options?
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.
How long does the process take?
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, take a lot longer to schedule us - sometimes up to 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.
What are surcharges?
What are moving violations?
What are omni holds?
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.
Do you match the prices of your competitors?
No. We have spent a lot of time in deciding on what price to charge for our services. As a result, we do not match any competitors. We believe you will find that our prices are competitive and inline with the majority of our competitors. While there are some law firms that offer cheaper prices (and many that charge more), you may want to consider the services they actually provide. Consider how many traffic tickets they handle; whether they are they just starting traffic ticket defense or if they handle so many tickets that they forget that you are an individual; and whether they do everything they can to get your ticket dismissed or will they simply look to get a deal and move on to the next client? If you do not know, you need to ask questions when considering their services.
If you have questions about our services or want to know how we are different from our competition, please feel free to contact one of our experienced traffic ticket attorneys.