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What Does a Traffic Lawyer Do?

Traffic lawyers look into the conduct of officers who perform traffic stops.
Someone issued a traffic ticket might seek help from a traffic lawyer.
Cases that go to court often require the attorney to spend a fair amount of time researching not only the facts of the individual case, but also precedents in the law.
Article Details
  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2014
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A traffic lawyer is an individual who specializes in traffic litigation, usually defending citations and other traffic violations for a client. Though most cases go through traffic court without any resistance, there may be cases when a driver wishes to fight the accusation. Sometimes, a driver may represent himself in court, but in more serious cases, the individual may decide to be represented by a traffic lawyer.

While traffic violation lawyers may practice in other areas of law, many specialize in traffic law. In addition to defending traffic violations, a traffic lawyer may also prosecute or defend in civil cases relating to motor vehicles. This occurs when one party brings a lawsuit against another, usually as the result of a traffic accident. Cases that go to court often require the attorney to spend a fair amount of time researching not only the facts of the individual case, but also precedents in the law.

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In the case of an accident, a traffic lawyer should look after a driver's best interest, both in criminal and civil court. For example, if a police officer believes a person is at fault in a traffic accident, he or she will likely issue a citation to that driver. If the driver does not believe himself to be at fault, he can go to court to fight the citation. This could not only affect paying the citation, but also insurance claims. It could be in the best interests of the accused driver to seek the services of a traffic lawyer.

Traffic lawyers also represent drivers who are in danger of losing their license because they have too many violations. Fighting the charges may be the only way to retain driving privileges. Even for those who are not fighting the charges, a traffic lawyer may help save at least some limited driving privileges by pointing out hardships or extenuating circumstances. Often, judges will make exceptions for those who need to drive to and from work, and stipulate the license is only valid for this purpose.

An accusation of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is also a common case for a traffic lawyer to defend. These cases can be very serious, involving substantial fines and even jail time. Further, those who are found in violation of this law will almost certainly lose their license for a period of time, even if it is the first violation. Therefore, even for those planning on pleading guilty, a traffic lawyer can attempt to ensure the driver receives the best possible deal.

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