If I had a dime for every person that called our firm asking for help with their Seattle traffic ticket too late I’d be a rich man. I’m not sure why it is, but tardiness in hiring a traffic lawyer can hurt you a ton. Let’s talk about three times it’s too late for a traffic lawyer to help you fight your case (most of the time).
1. You’ve Missed the Deadline to Contest Your Ticket.
I know I’ve talked about this before (here’s a link to an old post on what to do when you get a traffic ticket), but if you get a traffic ticket in Washington State you only have 15 days to contest it.
If you miss that deadline, the court is going to find that you have committed the infraction and you are going to owe a lot of money (there are additional fees for failing to respond) and your driver’s license will be suspended.
Whenever people call us I always tell them if you hire us before the expiration of the 15 days we can take care of everything for you, including filing the paperwork to get the case started. That’s the beauty of hiring us to be your speeding ticket lawyer – we take care of everything for you.
If You Miss the Filing Deadline, You’ve Got a Problem
But so often people call after that deadline has passed and want us to help them fix it. And, believe it or not, sometimes we can. This is the one situation where the “most of the time” comes in. We can ask the court to open the case back up, and sometimes they will.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to make sure you turn the paperwork in on time.
2. You’ve Contested Your Ticket and Lost
Another thing we get a lot is people calling that have just gone to their hearing and lost it. It’s at that time that they realized defending a traffic ticket is a little harder than it seems.
But, unfortunately, when this happens there is nothing we can do. It’s too late for a traffic lawyer to help.
People have a choice on how to fight these tickets. If you choose one you don’t like, that’s on you (that’s why, in my opinion, you should choose the option that gives you the best chance of success).
3. Unpaid Fines Have Accumulated Substantial Interest
This is perhaps the phone call I most hate to get. I don’t hate it because of the hassle, I hate it because I can imagine what being in a situation where there seem to be no options feels like.
If you didn’t know, if you don’t pay your fines and fees on your traffic ticket, they start to accumulate interest. Eventually the Department of Licensing will suspend your driver’s license until you pay them (which leads to an entirely different set of problems).
Again, we can’t help with this because it’s already happened. When the fines and fees have been handed out they are due. If you don’t pay them you will be charged interest. And that interest can grow quickly.
The Solution? Call a Traffic Lawyer Earlier Rather than Later
If you call our firm we’ll talk to you for free. Why not pick up the phone early? It could save you thousands of dollars and a bunch of heartache.