For a first speeding ticket, should I hire a lawyer?
Question Details: I was driving home at 11:30 pm on a rural road. I was speeding and doing 75 in a 50 mph zone. A state cop was sitting immediately after the 50 mph sign when the next one was 40 mph. He gave me a notice to appear in court cited for 75 in a 40. This is my first speeding ticket. Should I hire a lawyer for this or go to court myself? If I hire a lawyer, should it be until after I go to court and they decide how severe the penalty? And if I go myself, do I plead guilty or not guilty? I'd like to have this reduced to as and ideally not receive any points on my license.
As much as I'd like to always tell people to hire an attorney, you don't really need one for this. It is a straightforward ticket, and one that is almost impossible to "beat"--but one that the prosecution will, in my experience, almost always let you plea down (e.g. to fewer miles over the limit or some other, lesser offense) if there are no extenuating circumstances (e.g. no accident) and an otherwise clean record. A lawyer really can't get you a better plea than you'd be offered on your own. Show up at court, talk respectfully to the prosecution, and you should get a favorable plea deal.