Please realize the information contained on this web site should not be construed as legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between us. It is simply here as a means for me to provide you some basic information for you to use when deciding on whether or not you need to hire an attorney. Because each case is different, it would be impossible for us to provide legal advice on a web site.
Copyright (C) 2007-10 by Gary William Cunha, all rights reserved
Traffic Tickets also known as Traffic Citations
Time is usually very limited. It would be helpful if you could download and fill out
the traffic forms (link to the right titled Traffic Ticket Retainer) (or for those needing an appeal, use the Appeal Retainer link
instead) and send them to us via email, fax, or drop them off, along with a copy of your ticket(s) and payment. Remember to include
payment for the fine and attorney fees for each citation. We must receive the information and payment no later than 10:00am two
business days prior to the due date for your citation(s). For example, if they must be acted on by Monday, we must receive the documents
and payment by the preceeding Thursday at 10:00am.
What are my options for dealing with a traffic ticket?
paying the ticket with a guilty or no contest plea, dismissal of the citation by taking a defensive driving class, asking the judge
for a deferred disposition (which keeps the ticket off your record), dismissal of the ticket prior to trial because of an error made
by the officer or prosecution, or a trial either in front of the judge or a jury.
Typically those with a Commercial Drivers License
(CDL) or those speeding more than 25mph over the limit are not eligible for anything other than pleading guilty, taking it to trial,
or appealing to a higher court. However, some municipal or justice court judges might be willing to work with you. Also,
drivers under 25 years old are almost always required to take a defensive driving class as a term of deferred disposition probation.
Do you offer any other options?
Yes, we do offer a self-help, "do-it-yourself" package. Basically it includes instructions
on how to handle your citation the same way we would do it. It includes sample pleadings for you to file with the court, including
fill in the blank pages. It also includes some instructions on how to proceed if you take your ticket to trial and also
help on avoiding tickets in the future. The packet contains very detailed instructions. If you are interested in purchasing
the self-help packet, remember it is valid for only one citation per purchase. Please contact us via phone or email if you want
to purchase the self-help packet, currently being offered for a special rate of only $25.
What about appeal?
If you have
a CDL or an offense not eligible for deferred disposition, you can directly appeal to County Court. Sometimes you can get
a plea bargain in County Court that you cannot get in municipal or justice court (including some who will grant deferred to those
with a CDL or speeding over 25mph over the limt), however the costs are higher. Many judges require an appeal bond of twice
what the fine is. Attorney fees are more expensive as well because of the additional work required. You may also
be required to appear in person at the court. And just like in justice/municipal court, there are no guarantees. Click
on the McLennan County traffic ticket appeal retainer link to the right if you wish to appeal a ticket in McLennan County only.
We do not appeal tickets to other counties at this time.
Remember, whether you do it yourself or have us represent you,
there are NO GUARANTEES. The judge in your case may or may not rule in your favor and this is completely out of our control.
The success we have had with other clients (including those with CDL's) is no guarantee that we will have success in your case.
Every case is different.
Another attorney in a big city is advertising traffic ticket services different than you, what is the difference?
You are probably
referring to the ads often seen in larger cities like Dallas where attorneys advertise a small fee to dismiss your ticket. One
example of this is called "stacking" and here is how it works.
The attorney gets several clients at a time. Let us use the example
of 10 clients, 9 of which have a speeding ticket with $100 fine and 1 who has a non-moving violation such as "dog off leash" with
a $100 fine. The attorney collects $100 from each client, then goes to the prosecutor and pleads guilty on the 1 non-moving
violation and pays a $1,000.00 fine on it in exchange for dismissal of the other 9 speeding tickets. It is a win-win situation
for everyone. Those who received tickets do not have convictions which will raise their insurance rate, and the municipality
receives all the money they would have received in fines without the expense of a trial. Unfortunately the judges here
are not willing to consider allowing stacking at this time, so we cannot offer it to you.
Another way they may be successful is by
having the officer not show for court and getting the ticket dismissed. In my experience in McLennan county, the officers do
show up and testify.
Options When You Hire Us
We offer several options to fit your budget and your need for justice.
1. The least expensive option
involves hiring us to submit a plea bargain request directly to the court. This satisfies your duty to "appear" and usually
offers a high rate of success in keeping the citation off your driving record. Our work is complete when we submit the plea
to the court, regardless if the court accepts or rejects the plea request. Option 1 is not available to those in front of McLennan
County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1.1 or Precinct 4, Waco Municipal, or Bosque County because those judges will usually not
grant a deferral. It is also generally not available to those with a CDL or speeding more than 25mph over the limit.
2. The next
option is having us file an appearance and plea of not guilty, set the matter for a pre-trial hearing, and appear at the pre-trial
to attempt to work out a plea bargain that you are happy with. Some times this option can result in a better plea bargain than
option 1. This option is not available in McLennan County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 because that judge will not grant
a deferral even with the recommendation of the district attorney. It is not effective in Bosque County because of the judge's
requirements on deferral. It is also generally not available to those with a CDL or speeding more than 25mph over the limit.
appeal option. We can file a notice of appeal and remove the case from the JP or Municipal Court and take it up in the McLennan
County Courts at Law. Legally, the judge can grant a deferral at County Court even on CDL holders and those speeding more than
25mph over the limit. However the DA may not recommend deferral for your case.
4. Trial. If none of the above options will work
for your case, you can take it to trial. We offer both hourly rate and flat fee options to suit your budget. This option
requires an in-office consultation.