I hate to sound too much like a lawyer, but it depends on the circumstances. You absolutely do not need a lawyer if you just want to plead guilty and pay for the ticket. In fact, Kansas City has made this process quite easy since it transitioned into a paperless ticket system in 2011. Minutes after you received the ticket, you can go online with your credit card and pay the ticket off. However, that will result in two points on your license and possible auto insurance increases.
If you are looking to have the points deferred or diverted off your record or amended to what’s called “defective equipment,” then you WILL need a lawyer in Kansas City. There is no pro se representation in Kansas City, meaning you cannot represent yourself and speak to the prosecutor about amending the ticket, so a lawyer is required if this is your desired outcome.
When it comes to traffic tickets, defective equipment means that the ticket is for a faulty headlight or possibly a horn not working – something on the car is defective. The reason that it’s important to try to have a ticket amended to defective equipment is because that is considered a non-moving violation. Non-moving violations are not reported to the Department of Revenue, do not go on your license, and will not affect your insurance.
When You Don’t Need a Lawyer for a Speeding Ticket in Kansas City
If you want to simply have a trial with the ticket, you absolutely do not need a lawyer; you can go ahead and do that yourself. You have to remember that the burden is on the prosecutor to prove the case; it is not on you. So you can go in and represent yourself, but if you are found guilty you will end up having points on your license.
How to Determine If it’s Necessary to Hire a Lawyer for Speeding Tickets
In my opinion, it’s always best to use the help of an attorney to take care of all the tickets you can, because the next ticket you get might be in a jurisdiction where negotiating isn’t an option, and you’d just have to eat the points. Because of this, I’m in favor of addressing all tickets that people receive in Kansas City. However, money is a factor. If a person just pays the fine, the cost may be around $150, and if I’m hired, and my client wants to go the defective equipment route, the cost is around $400-$500 depending on your speed and previous ticket history. However, in the long run, having a ticket amended to defective equipment may save money on insurance costs, and be worth the higher upfront cost.
Are Most Lawyers Able to Negotiate a Traffic Ticket in Kansas City?
There are lawyers that do traffic court more than others. I’m one that is familiar with the workings ofthe Kansas City Municipal Court as I do a lot of business there. But most lawyers in Kansas City WILL be able to negotiate with a prosecutor to have a ticket amended and kept off of your record.
Law is such a fluid profession that it is hard to guarantee anything, but I feel confident enough in my abilities and skills in traffic court that I’ll be able to get the deal that I quoted. I provide a refund to my clients if I’m unable to do so. The refund includes both the fine amount as well as my fees.