• Text Only
Voting History
rated:
Greetings FW,

I am in Cook County (Illinois) and scheduled to appear in court for two tickets. The first was for going the wrong way on a one-way and the second was for improper use of intersection.

Basically, I got confused for a few seconds and made a turn in a direction I didn't want to go. I made a U-turn to go back but didn't realize it was a one way. Then when I turned back on to the original street I was on I made the "improper use of intersection".

Clean driving record over 15 years  -  no tickets of any kind. 

I contacted a lawyer close to the court house and he quoted $250. Also called "Ticket Clinic" which quoted $150 for a lawyer. The initial lawyer might be better as he visits that court on a regular basis and probably knows the prosecutor.

My question is this: For $250, is it worth having representation? If I'm going to get a fine anyway then I might as well not be represented and pay the fine. The lawyer is not able to give any type of guarantee of what he can do. He claims that the outcomes are usually better with a lawyer but I'm not sure if they're $250 better. Should I pay the $250 or just go on my own and deal with whatever fines I get?

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Ask the lawyer, but here, we have a "technical violation" possible judge ruling tag that reduces points.  Even then here... (more)

JW10 (Sep. 28, 2016 @ 1:23a) |

I've used The Ticket Clinic here in FL multiple times for myself and my wife and have always had good results.  As far a... (more)

cruisencode (Sep. 28, 2016 @ 7:50a) |

Crap, I've been out of town since Monday and just saw this thread. Real lawyer here. Your deal will be one ticket dis... (more)

timx (Oct. 01, 2016 @ 7:50a) |

Staff Summary
  • Also categorized in:
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

$250? What are they high on meth or something? I pay a guy $50 to go and deal with my tickets. $75 if two tickets in one and $100 if three tickets.

But if you can't find a cheap lawyer like mine and your driving record is better than mine just set a hearing and go talk to the prosecutor. With a clean driving record they will probably offer you a deal where you pay the fine and plead nolo in exchange for which they withhold adjudication.

The fines are nothing compared to the increase in you car ins rates for the next 3-4 years unless you can get the court to not give you any points.  You need a lawyer.

alamo11 said:   $250? What are they high on meth or something? I pay a guy $50 to go and deal with my tickets. $75 if two tickets in one and $100 if three tickets.

But if you can't find a cheap lawyer like mine and your driving record is better than mine just set a hearing and go talk to the prosecutor. With a clean driving record they will probably offer you a deal where you pay the fine and plead nolo in exchange for which they withhold adjudication.

  You've been playing with your Delorean too much.  What year did you just step out of where lawyers charge $50?

DTASFAB said:   
alamo11 said:   $250? What are they high on meth or something? I pay a guy $50 to go and deal with my tickets. $75 if two tickets in one and $100 if three tickets.

But if you can't find a cheap lawyer like mine and your driving record is better than mine just set a hearing and go talk to the prosecutor. With a clean driving record they will probably offer you a deal where you pay the fine and plead nolo in exchange for which they withhold adjudication.

  You've been playing with your Delorean too much.  What year did you just step out of where lawyers charge $50?

  I paid the same about 4 years ago. 

DTASFAB said:   
alamo11 said:   $250? What are they high on meth or something? I pay a guy $50 to go and deal with my tickets. $75 if two tickets in one and $100 if three tickets.

But if you can't find a cheap lawyer like mine and your driving record is better than mine just set a hearing and go talk to the prosecutor. With a clean driving record they will probably offer you a deal where you pay the fine and plead nolo in exchange for which they withhold adjudication.

  You've been playing with your Delorean too much.  What year did you just step out of where lawyers charge $50?

  I use a local retired attorney that does this as a kind of hobby but https://www.theticketclinic.com/ is $49

elfrozo said:   Greetings FW,

I am in Cook County (Illinois) and scheduled to appear in court for two tickets. The first was for going the wrong way on a one-way and the second was for improper use of intersection.

Basically, I got confused for a few seconds and made a turn in a direction I didn't want to go. I made a U-turn to go back but didn't realize it was a one way. Then when I turned back on to the original street I was on I made the "improper use of intersection".

Clean driving record over 15 years  -  no tickets of any kind. 

I contacted a lawyer close to the court house and he quoted $250. Also called "Ticket Clinic" which quoted $150 for a lawyer. The initial lawyer might be better as he visits that court on a regular basis and probably knows the prosecutor.

My question is this: For $250, is it worth having representation? If I'm going to get a fine anyway then I might as well not be represented and pay the fine. The lawyer is not able to give any type of guarantee of what he can do. He claims that the outcomes are usually better with a lawyer but I'm not sure if they're $250 better. Should I pay the $250 or just go on my own and deal with whatever fines I get?
 

  Chances are the cop may not even show up in the court, if they do then you can ask for the driving course.  if the judge agrees then you pay the fine, take the course and it won't showup on your record.

ach1199 said:   
elfrozo said:   Greetings FW,

I am in Cook County (Illinois) and scheduled to appear in court for two tickets. The first was for going the wrong way on a one-way and the second was for improper use of intersection.

Basically, I got confused for a few seconds and made a turn in a direction I didn't want to go. I made a U-turn to go back but didn't realize it was a one way. Then when I turned back on to the original street I was on I made the "improper use of intersection".

Clean driving record over 15 years  -  no tickets of any kind. 

I contacted a lawyer close to the court house and he quoted $250. Also called "Ticket Clinic" which quoted $150 for a lawyer. The initial lawyer might be better as he visits that court on a regular basis and probably knows the prosecutor.

My question is this: For $250, is it worth having representation? If I'm going to get a fine anyway then I might as well not be represented and pay the fine. The lawyer is not able to give any type of guarantee of what he can do. He claims that the outcomes are usually better with a lawyer but I'm not sure if they're $250 better. Should I pay the $250 or just go on my own and deal with whatever fines I get?

  Chances are the cop may not even show up in the court, if they do then you can ask for the driving course.  if the judge agrees then you pay the fine, take the course and it won't showup on your record.

  Yeah but then you have to sit in front of the computer for 4+ hours. Take a no points no school plea deal. 

Totally worth $250. If you don't want to loose half days worth of vacation time, get the lawyer; they are the ones who gets first dibs from traffic court prosecutors.

ach1199 said:   
elfrozo said:   Greetings FW,

I am in Cook County (Illinois) and scheduled to appear in court for two tickets. The first was for going the wrong way on a one-way and the second was for improper use of intersection.

Basically, I got confused for a few seconds and made a turn in a direction I didn't want to go. I made a U-turn to go back but didn't realize it was a one way. Then when I turned back on to the original street I was on I made the "improper use of intersection".

Clean driving record over 15 years  -  no tickets of any kind. 

I contacted a lawyer close to the court house and he quoted $250. Also called "Ticket Clinic" which quoted $150 for a lawyer. The initial lawyer might be better as he visits that court on a regular basis and probably knows the prosecutor.

My question is this: For $250, is it worth having representation? If I'm going to get a fine anyway then I might as well not be represented and pay the fine. The lawyer is not able to give any type of guarantee of what he can do. He claims that the outcomes are usually better with a lawyer but I'm not sure if they're $250 better. Should I pay the $250 or just go on my own and deal with whatever fines I get?

  Chances are the cop may not even show up in the court, if they do then you can ask for the driving course.  if the judge agrees then you pay the fine, take the course and it won't showup on your record.

  How often that often? I have never encountered one.

Relying entirely on OP's version of the story, it's a sympathetic case, esp. w/ clean record.  Personally, I would still spring for the $250, see if lawyer can convince DA to either drop or reduce to non-moving infraction, and that traffic school really isn't the solution to a good-faith mistake on the part of OP.

P.S.  Surely Chicago PD has better things to do these days than cite someone in this situation.

Around here you you can pay a lawyer ~$50 and they'll send a form letter into the court and the court will change a speeding ticket to a non-moving violation (illegal parking or something) and slightly increase the fine. You have to have an attorney send in the letter though. There's also a limit to how often you can do this.

alamo11 said:   
ach1199 said:   
elfrozo said:   Greetings FW,

I am in Cook County (Illinois) and scheduled to appear in court for two tickets. The first was for going the wrong way on a one-way and the second was for improper use of intersection.

Basically, I got confused for a few seconds and made a turn in a direction I didn't want to go. I made a U-turn to go back but didn't realize it was a one way. Then when I turned back on to the original street I was on I made the "improper use of intersection".

Clean driving record over 15 years  -  no tickets of any kind. 

I contacted a lawyer close to the court house and he quoted $250. Also called "Ticket Clinic" which quoted $150 for a lawyer. The initial lawyer might be better as he visits that court on a regular basis and probably knows the prosecutor.

My question is this: For $250, is it worth having representation? If I'm going to get a fine anyway then I might as well not be represented and pay the fine. The lawyer is not able to give any type of guarantee of what he can do. He claims that the outcomes are usually better with a lawyer but I'm not sure if they're $250 better. Should I pay the $250 or just go on my own and deal with whatever fines I get?

  Chances are the cop may not even show up in the court, if they do then you can ask for the driving course.  if the judge agrees then you pay the fine, take the course and it won't showup on your record.

  Yeah but then you have to sit in front of the computer for 4+ hours. Take a no points no school plea deal. 

  Depends which website you use, I did one a few years ago in CA that required you to get 100% of the quizzes correct (presumably required by the state to ensure you were paying attention), but I finished it all in 30 minutes.

alamo11 said:   
DTASFAB said:   
alamo11 said:   $250? What are they high on meth or something? I pay a guy $50 to go and deal with my tickets. $75 if two tickets in one and $100 if three tickets.

But if you can't find a cheap lawyer like mine and your driving record is better than mine just set a hearing and go talk to the prosecutor. With a clean driving record they will probably offer you a deal where you pay the fine and plead nolo in exchange for which they withhold adjudication.

  You've been playing with your Delorean too much.  What year did you just step out of where lawyers charge $50?

  I use a local retired attorney that does this as a kind of hobby but https://www.theticketclinic.com/ is $49

  
I called Ticket Clinic and they said it would be $149. They always say it "starts at $49". Ticket Clinic has some horrible reviews which is why I'm thinking, it might just be better to pay the other lawyer the $100 extra:

https://the-ticket-clinic.pissedconsumer.com/


 

delhel said:   Totally worth $250. If you don't want to loose half days worth of vacation time, get the lawyer; they are the ones who gets first dibs from traffic court prosecutors.
  I have to go to court even if I do get the lawyer. He said, he would meet me outside the court room a few minutes before my case. I do have to be there since the ticket indicates that I must appear in court.

From the sound of it, the lawyer would probably spend less than 10 minutes on my case. He said he would meet me outside the court room, go inside and try to strike a deal with the prosecutor before my case is called and then hopefully have me plead guilty to one and get the other one removed. Then they would give me "court supervision".

sloppy1 said:   The fines are nothing compared to the increase in you car ins rates for the next 3-4 years unless you can get the court to not give you any points.  You need a lawyer.
How much more likely am I to avoid points with a lawyer compared to no lawyer?

Does having a lawyer argue your case help with not getting the points?

Look at the rules in your state. When I lived in Washington, they had a deferment option for first tickers (7 year cycle). Pay some fees, don't get another ticket and it goes away.

"Washington law allows you to defer one moving violation (e.g. speeding ticket) and one non-moving violation (e.g. no seatbelt) every seven years."

elfrozo said:   
sloppy1 said:   The fines are nothing compared to the increase in you car ins rates for the next 3-4 years unless you can get the court to not give you any points.  You need a lawyer.
How much more likely am I to avoid points with a lawyer compared to no lawyer?

Does having a lawyer argue your case help with not getting the points?

  Not much; you can make the deal with the prosecutor if you know how to speak in decent english. You ROI is in an out of the court in an hour instead of 3-4-5 whatever hour the prosecutor decides. My worst was 5 hours on effing municipal court where the stupid moron judge cares for himself only. The prosecutor came in late claiming she got stuck in traffic!

It is a bit late, but if you are a member of AAA, they used to pay for a traffic court lawyer to defend you, but more recently, they just pay an allowance toward traffic court defense. YMMV by the local AAA club.

I don't know how things work in Illinois. But in my state, if I got those tickets and had your driving record, I would go to court and represent myself. The judge usually has a bunch of tickets to handle for the day. The judge says how they are going to handle things. I would tell the judge exactly what happened humbly and apologetically. The judge would probably throw out one of the tickets and then give probation before judgement with and some portion of the fine plus court fees.

taylor0987 said:   I don't know how things work in Illinois. But in my state, if I got those tickets and had your driving record, I would go to court and represent myself. The judge usually has a bunch of tickets to handle for the day. The judge says how they are going to handle things. I would tell the judge exactly what happened humbly and apologetically. The judge would probably throw out one of the tickets and then give probation before judgement with and some portion of the fine plus court fees.
  In most jurisdictions, if you're waiting to "make your case" to judge, you have lost.  You can be as humble and apologetic as you want, but if you don't get the Government to drop or reduce the charge, then you will be fined for the offenses to which you have plead guilty.

This is dependent on how traffic infractions work in your state of course...

If you aren't familiar with what the judges in your area usually give out, I recommend going to lower court without a lawyer and hoping for the best. If you end up with a fine or points that are too much for you, then appeal the case to the next level and hire a lawyer at that point.

tuphat said:   Relying entirely on OP's version of the story, it's a sympathetic case, esp. w/ clean record.  
  Agreed, but since OP has to go to court either way, I'd save the $250 in their shoes and plead the points away myself.

jagec said:   
tuphat said:   Relying entirely on OP's version of the story, it's a sympathetic case, esp. w/ clean record.  
  Agreed, but since OP has to go to court either way, I'd save the $250 in their shoes and plead the points away myself.

  My understanding is that I either have to plead "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" and then my punishment is assigned by the judge. There's no real opportunity to plead my case (temporary stupidity making the wrong turn). However, if I get the lawyer, then he makes a deal with the prosecutor which the judge accepts. I'm not sure if any of this is accurate, I've never been to court or had to deal with the law before.

elfrozo said:   
jagec said:   
tuphat said:   Relying entirely on OP's version of the story, it's a sympathetic case, esp. w/ clean record.  
  Agreed, but since OP has to go to court either way, I'd save the $250 in their shoes and plead the points away myself.

  My understanding is that I either have to plead "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" and then my punishment is assigned by the judge. There's no real opportunity to plead my case (temporary stupidity making the wrong turn). However, if I get the lawyer, then he makes a deal with the prosecutor which the judge accepts. I'm not sure if any of this is accurate, I've never been to court or had to deal with the law before.

  Basically. So go talk to the prosecutor. 

taylor0987 said:   I don't know how things work in Illinois. But in my state, if I got those tickets and had your driving record, I would go to court and represent myself. The judge usually has a bunch of tickets to handle for the day. The judge says how they are going to handle things. I would tell the judge exactly what happened humbly and apologetically. The judge would probably throw out one of the tickets and then give probation before judgement with and some portion of the fine plus court fees.
  I tried that in GA. Forget seeing the judge, I had to waste an entire day filling out paper work even before they would take me to the judge. I got tired of the red tape and the BS and paid my fine and came back home.

alamo11 said:   
elfrozo said:   
jagec said:   
tuphat said:   Relying entirely on OP's version of the story, it's a sympathetic case, esp. w/ clean record.  
  Agreed, but since OP has to go to court either way, I'd save the $250 in their shoes and plead the points away myself.

  My understanding is that I either have to plead "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" and then my punishment is assigned by the judge. There's no real opportunity to plead my case (temporary stupidity making the wrong turn). However, if I get the lawyer, then he makes a deal with the prosecutor which the judge accepts. I'm not sure if any of this is accurate, I've never been to court or had to deal with the law before.

  Basically. So go talk to the prosecutor. 

Again, I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the prosecutor will not talk to defendants. The lawyer I spoke to said that prosecutors are not allowed to directly speak with defendants due to strong conflicts of interest.

Obviously, the lawyer wants to make it seem like he will add significant value to the process which is why I take what he says with a grain of salt. Assuming it's true however, it sounds like you can't go in and negotiate on your own behalf. Basically, you get called in, the charges are read and you have to say either Guilty or Not Guilty and the judge then gives you the standard fines, court costs and conviction which results in points. There is no opportunity to claim anything. The lawyer says he adds value by being able to speak with the prosecutor and negotiate the charges down, make a deal which the judge accepts and this deal *may* be lower than the standard fines and punishment.  

 

tuphat said:   ...
P.S.  Surely Chicago PD has better things to do these days than cite someone in this situation.

  
So if your city has a high rate of gun violence then everyone gets a free pass on driving the wrong way on a one way?

 

The couple times have been to court for these issues (in Tennessee anyway). We had the option of guilty/not guilty but if you chose guilty you would still get to talk to the judge before you were sentenced where you could ask for lenience for whatever reasons. I guess they figured you showed up to talk or you would have just paid the fines and court costs through the mail. Those that plead not guilty were taken to another room to wait for the charging officer to be called so they could show up and testify. The judge started hearing the cases of those that plead guilty and made their decisions. The judges when I went to court were pretty respectful and let a bunch of people off or reduced charges for those who had good stories or reasons and fairly clean records.

My first moving violations, I asked for driving school and a payment plan and had everything thrown out if I completed driving class successfully including court costs which I would have had to pay whether I went to court or not. I had another charge tossed when I gave a good reason and again asked for payment plan or community service. Both times in court I was a student with very little income which probably helped.

alamo11 said:   
  Yeah but then you have to sit in front of the computer for 4+ hours. Take a no points no school plea deal. 

You can have FWF open in another window.

Waffles said:   
alamo11 said:   
  Yeah but then you have to sit in front of the computer for 4+ hours. Take a no points no school plea deal. 

You can have FWF open in another window.

  Maybe that explains some recent threads....

jerosen said:     
So if your city has a high rate of gun violence then everyone gets a free pass on driving the wrong way on a one way?

 

  This is, more or less, EXACTLY how it works here in Baltimore.

In NJ it's usually not worth hiring a lawyer for a moving violation.  They will reduce the ticked to unsafe driving which has no points.  Unfortunately they tack on a large surcharge (250 if i recall) on top of the unsafe driving fine.

Thanks for all the comments everyone. Based on the comments and sloppy1's post saying I need a lawyer getting the most green I went ahead and hired the lawyer that has a firm near the courthouse.

I spoke with him and also with a legal assistant from the ticket clinic and felt that based on how he described his relationship with the prosecutor and how often he is at the court he might be able to get me a better deal. Ticket Clinic was cheaper but the reviews are horrible.

I'm going to be down around $750 from this most likely. $250 (lawyer) + $214 (court costs regardless of outcome) = $464 and I imagine it will likely be another $300 for fines. Hopefully I can avoid points and keep my insurance rates where they are.

$214 worth of COURT COSTS? That's ridiculous. Thanks for letting me know I should never get behind the wheel in the Chicagoland area.

DELAY

Push the date. Call the clerk. Start getting good at excuses. The idea being you keep monkeying with the dates and you have less of a chance of the cop showing when you face the issue, and more of a chance if the cop forgetting details that matter.

elfrozo said:   
jagec said:   
tuphat said:   Relying entirely on OP's version of the story, it's a sympathetic case, esp. w/ clean record.  
  Agreed, but since OP has to go to court either way, I'd save the $250 in their shoes and plead the points away myself.

  My understanding is that I either have to plead "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" and then my punishment is assigned by the judge. There's no real opportunity to plead my case (temporary stupidity making the wrong turn). However, if I get the lawyer, then he makes a deal with the prosecutor which the judge accepts. I'm not sure if any of this is accurate, I've never been to court or had to deal with the law before.

  In my state, for minor traffic offenses, you literally plea bargain with the cop.

scrouds said:   DELAY

Push the date. Call the clerk. Start getting good at excuses. The idea being you keep monkeying with the dates and you have less of a chance of the cop showing when you face the issue, and more of a chance if the cop forgetting details that matter.

  That only helps so much. In Pennsylvania, for example, they District Court (Magisterial District Justice) schedules court dates around the officer's schedule.

They will literally schedule every ticket for an officer during the previous month in the same couple hour window so that's the officer's shift for the day.

alamo11 said:   $250? What are they high on meth or something? I pay a guy $50 to go and deal with my tickets. $75 if two tickets in one and $100 if three tickets.

But if you can't find a cheap lawyer like mine and your driving record is better than mine just set a hearing and go talk to the prosecutor. With a clean driving record they will probably offer you a deal where you pay the fine and plead nolo in exchange for which they withhold adjudication.

  But you drive 75 in a 45 so you should have a lawyer on retainer. 

Skipping 4 Messages...
Crap, I've been out of town since Monday and just saw this thread. Real lawyer here. Your deal will be one ticket dismissed, the other fine will be about $150 and 3 months supervision (will not appear on your driving record, also you will be released off of supervision if you pay that day) and of course Crook County court costs. I could have gotten you a guy for $150 easily. Actually in Crook County if you showed up at court with a $100 bill in cash and walked up to any lawyer up in the front of the courtroom, they would have taken your money on the spot as long as you were taking the plea and then had a nice tax free lunch..... They are there anyway, whats another 3 minutes of work...



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017