If you’ve received a traffic ticket, or if you’ve been charged with a vehicular crime, you may wonder whether you need an attorney. Why not just plead guilty and get it over with? Why spend the additional money, since these are minor offenses with no serious consequences? In fact, there are several reasons why it makes sense for you to have a lawyer represent you.
Vehicular Crimes Attorney Have you been charged with a vehicular or traffic offenses, aggressive driving, reckless driving, exhibition of speed, hit-and-run, vehicular assault or vehicular homicide?
Should I Hire an Attorney for a Traffic Case?
To answer the question, let’s make sure we understand what’s at stake. The first thing to know is that even in minor traffic cases – rolling through a stop sign, for example – you may experience an increase in your insurance rates for as long as 3 years. When you add that to the cost of paying the ticket, you could end up laying out a lot more money than you might expect after pleading guilty.
Second, many vehicular offenses are far more serious than people think. In Arizona, drag racing (exhibition of speed), for example, is a misdemeanor, and a second offense could be charged as a felony. In addition to fines and insurance rate increases, your license could be suspended, and you could end up spending time in jail. And even harsher penalties are possible for more serious vehicular crimes such as vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter or second degree murder. As a result, more is riding on the outcome of the case than a few dollars. And hiring an experienced Phoenix vehicular crimes lawyer definitely increases your chances of a dismissal or a reduced charge or sentence.
Defending a Vehicular Charge
There is no definitive list that will capture every possible defense, but we can tell you that certain strategies appear to apply to vehicular cases on a regular basis. They include the following examples:
- A vehicular charge, whether it’s a minor traffic ticket or a more serious offense, often begins with the observations of a police officer. The officer may say, for example, that you blew through a stop sign. Usually, you can’t expect to win an argument based solely upon your word against the officer’s. But you can use witness statements, for example, to cast doubt on the officer’s testimony. In other cases, a stop sign can be obscured, or road markings can be illegible. In other cases, the officer’s view of what happened may have been obstructed. The bottom line is that even the officer’s physical observations can be challenged.
- Subjective conclusions. A charge of reckless driving necessarily involves the subjective conclusion that you were operating a vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others, or of the safety of property. The phrase “reckless disregard” means that you were aware of a significant risk of injury or damage, that you disregarded that risk, and that your actions constituted a “gross deviation” from how a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation. Similarly, a charge of drag racing begins with an observation – that you were speeding – but ends with a subjective conclusion as to why and under what circumstances the conduct took place. Unlike a physical observation, the officer’s conclusions are subjective. Those conclusions are not facts, and can be contested.
The point here is that even if it appears to you that there is no chance to fight the charge successfully, an experienced vehicular crimes attorney may be able to help.
Vehicular Crimes Attorney in Phoenix, AZ
At Feldman & Royle, we represent clients charged with a wide range of vehicular and traffic offenses, aggressive driving, reckless driving, exhibition of speed, hit-and-run, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide. We are known for our experience and committed to the needs of our clients.
If you have been charged with a vehicular crime, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
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2828 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004