Before you simply pay that traffic ticket, talk to an attorney

There are several types of tickets that a motorist in Minnesota may receive. According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, a payable citation is one that does not require a court appearance. An administrative citation is one that must be settled with the city government that issued the ticket. Lastly, there are court-required citations, which mandate that the driver appear in court. Failing to do so could result in an arrest.

As a traffic offense lawyer in Minneapolis knows, each of these citations leaves room for challenging the charge.

Consequences of a traffic ticket

Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt, and motorists who do so forfeit their right to fighting the charge. Even seemingly small traffic violations may create significant consequences for a motorist. According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the cost of a speeding ticket alone can be between $145 and $378. Beyond the fines, however, are several other repercussions to consider, such as the following:

  • Tickets add points to a driver’s license that can remain there for years.
  • Auto insurance companies will raise their rates based on most infractions.
  • Some violations may result in license suspension.

Any traffic offense lawyer in Minneapolis knows that some citations can even result in jail time, such as a drunk driving charge. There are misdemeanor charges, which can involve up to a year in jail, and felony charges that will result in prison time of more than a year. Instead of dealing with these unpleasant consequences, people may choose to fight the charges.

Options for challenging an infraction

There are several options for those who want to fight a traffic ticket. The first is to meet with a hearing officer in Minnesota, who may be able to negotiate a settlement. This could result in keeping the violation off a driving record, dismissing the ticket, reducing the fine or coming up with a plan for payment.

When an agreement with a hearing officer cannot be reached, some people may choose to go to court to present their case. During the court hearing, drivers are able to present evidence and witnesses that support their innocence. While motorists will be responsible for paying court fees, they will be absolved of any fines should the court dismiss the ticket. If a court finds a defendant guilty, then all fines must be paid.

Challenging a traffic ticket may not be the best option for everyone, but it can mean preserving a driving record, money and even freedom for many. People who wish to fight a citation should consult with a traffic offense lawyer in Minneapolis.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.