No one enjoys getting a traffic ticket. Whether it’s a speeding ticket, reckless driving, or DUI, hiring a lawyer can help you find a favorable resolution. There are over 29,000 lawyers currently practicing in the state of Virginia. Narrowing down which one is right for you can seem daunting. Thankfully, you can narrow the search to those who are traffic attorneys. From there, you can schedule a consultation to speak with your top choices.
Asking these ten questions during your traffic attorney consultation can help you choose the best representation for your situation.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
Asking this question helps you understand if you are hiring a beginner or someone with decades of experience. Depending on your situation, a fresh out of law school lawyer may have the knowledge and skills or effective representation. In many law firms, the junior attorneys can consult with more senior partners for guidance on complicated cases.
2. How Many Cases Have You Represented That Were Similar to Mine?
Asking this question helps you understand the lawyer’s track record and history. Don’t be shy about asking the lawyer what their experience includes. They should have experience representing clients with traffic issues. Delve deeper and find out their experience representing clients with situations similar to yours. This experience will tell you how knowledgeable the lawyer will be when it comes to the intricacies of your case.
3. What Percentage of Your Practice Is Devoted to Traffic Related Cases?
Traffic law can be a broad subject, so while it’s good to find a traffic lawyer, you need to delve deeper than that. Find out what percentage of their caseload is dedicated to cases similar to yours. For example, if you are facing a DUI case, then you’ll want a lawyer who dedicates more of their practice to those types of cases.
4. Who Is Your Typical Client?
This question is often overlooked by people but can help you understand the law firm you are considering. If you aren’t the lawyer’s typical client, then you may be talking to the wrong lawyer.
5. How Will You Let Me Know What’s Happening With My Case?
Lack of communication is the most common complaint among unsatisfied clients. You can help avoid this issue by asking the lawyer what their communication style is. If you prefer to talk on the phone, and the lawyer prefers to email, then you will struggle to feel satisfied with the communication. Set the communication expectation early so that you two are on the same page with the method and frequency of communication.
6. Other Than a Law Degree, What Kind of Special Training or Knowledge Do You Have That Might Apply in My Situation?
Some traffic cases require more knowledge and expertise, such as DUI cases. Additional or ongoing training can help a lawyer better represent their clients.
7. Do You Charge a Flat Fee or by the Hour?
Asking this question helps you understand how much it will cost you to hire a particular attorney. Typically, you will pay more when the attorney charges by the hour. However, they are also doing a lot more work for you to learn that payment. If you only need them to contest a ticket, this service is usually a flat fee.
8. Who Will Appear in Court?
Some lawyers will take on your case and then pass it to a junior attorney. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you need to know who exactly will handle your ticket. Ask to meet the junior attorney who will appear in court and take over your case. Whether it’s the attorney or someone else, ask about their communication style to ensure it matches yours.
9. What Are My Options for Resolving My Case?
You may think your options are limited, pay the ticket or fight it in court. However, many people don’t realize that there could be other options. Ask the attorney about what is available to you. They can also help you better understand the consequences with each outcome.
10. What Would You Consider a Successful Outcome in My Case?
You most likely already have an idea of what you would consider a successful outcome of your case. This could be total dismissal of the ticket or a speeding ticket reduction. It’s important to ask the attorney their opinion because you want to make sure that you are on the same page about the end goal.