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Many people who are issued a traffic ticket in DC ask themselves, it worth the time and effort to contest it at Department of motor vehicles(DMV) in the District of Columbia? The experienced attorneys at Ervin Kibria PLLC, say that the answer to that is- “It depends, based on a variety of factors, but you should always consult a lawyer when making that decision.”
There are a number of questions you should ask yourself before you decide to respond to, pay, or fight a traffic citation. You should ask: Do I have a legal basis to challenge/fight the ticket? Will paying the ticket/admit guilt result in the loss of my license? If I pay the ticket, will my insurance rates go up? Therefore, it is highly advised that you contact an experienced DC traffic lawyer to help you assess and answer these questions to decide whether your should pay the ticket/admit guilt, or fight the ticket and whether you should retain a lawyer to have the best possible chance to beat the ticket or minimize liability.
What is certain, however, is that fighting a DC traffic ticket at the DC DMV in front of a hearing examiner/administrative law judge can be an intimidating, overwhelming and time consuming process. The process can also be very daunting and confusing if you are not familiar with it or have no experience fighting a traffic ticket at the DC DMV. What most people don’t know is that they have different options as to how to respond to a ticket. Most people think their only options are to either admit or deny. However, the option to admit with an explanation is also available.
If you do pay/admit guilt for a ticket, you will be found liable and the DC traffic points will be assessed by the DMV, but if you admit with an explanation, the hearing examiner/administrative law judge will be willing to consider waiving points and hear out your explanation. Any person can show up to the hearing and try to explain to an administrative law judge what they did, and why they believe they should not be found guilty or that they were guilty but there was some reason why they should be given reprieve or “a pass.”
However, it’s very hard to understate how important it is having an experienced attorney who actually knows specific DC traffic regulations; knows what the examiner/judge will look for in determining whether or not to waive the points, and who also knows how to best present a case in the most favorable light to the person charged with the ticket. Hiring the right DC trafiic lawyer is important not just for the fact that the process of fighting a ticket in DC is overwhelming and unfamiliar to most people, but because it’s a complicated area of law with a variety of nuances that, usually, only a lawyer can understand and navigate. Unfortunately for most people who are not attorneys, DC traffic laws and regulations are not something that is as clearly defined as a lot of other types of law- it changes. The D.C. Council frequently passes new regulations,which do impact every person driving within the District of Columbia, whether they know it or not.
A DC traffic lawyer can help you carefully assess your situation and the severity of the traffic infraction before you spend time and/or money to contest a traffic ticket. For some tickets, liability isn’t so clear cut. Sometimes the police office may make errors on the face of your ticket. a DC traffic lawyer will always help you READ YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET CAREFULLY and ask- Did he write down the correct license plate? What about the location? Was the alleged traffic infraction correctly cited?
DC traffic tickets are not impossible to beat. Also remember that DC traffic citations are civil infractions and not criminal. Therefore, simply showing up alone at the DMV, to fight a ticket with just a simple personal defense of, “There was a tree branch covering the sign and that’s why I didn’t see the sign,” will usually not be a successful argument. But if you hire an experienced DC traffic lawyer, there may be a more effective way to present essentially that same argument to the hearing examiner/administrative law judge in a way that will result in having the ticket overturned/dismissed.
Another reason important reason you should always seek an experienced DC traffic lawyer when fighting a DC traffic ticket is for the very important notion of maintaining a clean and clear driving record. It should be of utmost importance, for several factors (job, family, health, insurance, etc.), that people keep a clear driving record. Driving in DC is difficult, and can be a headache, sometimes driving in DC is an straight out nightmare. The attorneys at Ervin Kibria PLLC, understand that, we are all human; people do get tickets – even the best drivers get tickets – but that doesn’t mean people should have their life become a nightmare due to a marred driving record. Therefore, in order to maintain a clean driving record it is wise to hire an experienced traffic attorney who can definitely maximize the chances of a favorable outcome at a DMV hearing, and, more importantly, minimize the impact that it’s going to have on one’s driving record and day-to-day life.
Nabeel Kibria is a principal attorney of Ervin Kibria PLLC, representing clients in criminal and immigration matters throughout DC.
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