Do I Need a Lawyer?

My wife got pulled over for speeding and was clocked at 24 over in a business district. In our state, more than 20 over is a class 3 misdemeanor. Does she need a lawyer? This is her first traffic violation. Is this actually a real criminal matter, or is it likely to get pleaded to a civil traffic violation without a lawyer getting involved?

I did a quick consult with a law firm that does traffic and criminal law and they quoted $3500 as a flat fee to deal with the case. That seems steep, but I don’t really have a frame of reference. If I do need a lawyer, am I likely to spend that much to get good representation?

@Bauber any experience here?

A lot of those can be pled down to something more amicable depending on the demeanor during the stop & cooperation level of the policeman issuing it.

I pled a 40something mph over down to disobeying a lawfully posted sign (speed limit) because the cop recommended that and agreed to it, so thats what the magistrate signed off on.

1 Like

Depends on the state, but I would get an attorney to get it taken care of.

$3,500 seems a bit high, but within reason.

You are paying for their connections and access to the good ole boy club.

This will cause insurance to go up, etc. I’d also ask what she does for work and a few others things.

But my final recommendation would be to let an attorney handle it that routinely does traffic court issues.


We’re in Arizona and my wife takes care of our kids and doesn’t do paid work.
I figured I’d be paying for someone who knows the local system. The lawyer seemed pretty confident that it could either be pled down to a civil violation and then just be traffic school, or could get dismissed entirely. Of course, no guarantees.

I guess what I don’t know is just if that is the likely outcome just from showing up and playing nice of if you actually need a lawyer to get that done.

The fee agreement with the lawyer has a clause that says they aren’t representing you for the purpose of signing the agreement, which is kind of obvious but also illustrates the problem I have.

Thanks for the replies.


Depends. If the judge is needing a new swimming pool you may be able to just pay a ridiculous fine and life goes on.:grimacing:

Was she written for criminal speeding?

Yes. A divorce attorney.

Its a speeding violation, pay the fine and slow down

never had a lawyer for speeding tickets

Yes, the ticket says it’s a criminal violation.

@fitafter40, I’ve never had a lawyer either. I just am not sure if the criminal violation makes it different.

I am confused…did the officer arrest her for the criminal activity?

Get a lawyer, then.

Edit: I doubt they’re going to send a stay-at-home mother to jail over it, but they may bargain with something that will still screw her criminal history up. $3,500 doesn’t sound too bad.

No, she was not arrested. The ticket just says it’s a misdemeanor violation.

Does she have appear before a Judge or can she just pay the fine and go to traffic school?

She has to appear before a judge.

Ok…get a lawyer then

I was arrested for possessing what the police believed was marijuana 25 years ago in rural Indiana. I don’t recall the exact penalties, but they were potentially significant. I fired the first lawyer I hired from “up north”, aka The Region, aka the part of Indiana that’s a Chicago suburb, markedly different than the rest of Indiana.

On the advice of a trusted friend, I hired an attorney from the county I was arrested in. During my pre-trial diversion I could hear him and the prosecutor talking in the next room. They were just shooting the shit, discussing nothing about me, my alleged crimes or anything remotely related to the reason I hired this lawyer. I couldn’t make out every word, but there was obviously too much laughter and raucousness that was unbefitting a serious discussion about the potentially serious allegations I was facing.

15 minutes later I signed some papers to have everything wiped off of my record if I didn’t get arrested in the next year.

That’s how I learned that the good old boys club is real.


On your first, where I am, you can take a class on a Saturday, pay the fine on the ticket, and it all goes away. diversion program

1 Like

Here’s a helpful primer on how all of this actually works.


The ticket has a QR code that you can scan that takes you to a page that lists all the possible violations by law section. Most of them have a listed fine and have an opt for traffic school. This one just says, “Must appear before a judge.” I guess 20 over puts you in a new category.