Hire a lawyer today!
If you have just received a traffic ticket for a careless mistake, or were cited for something that you did not do, or had good reason to do, there are steps you need to take. Do not make the mistake of doing nothing. Failure to appear at the court named on the citation within the timeframe stated (no less than 5 days, no more than 14) will almost certainly result in adittional fees, a potential warrant issued for your arrest and possibly, a suspension of your license, which can especially be damaging for CDL license holders or those who require their license to maintain current employment.
I GOT A TICKET, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
At Helgesen, Houtz & Jones we offer FREE CONSULTATIONS where you can discuss your case and legal options. You will speak with a licensed attorney who is specialized in the "ins and outs" of Utah traffic law. If you want to challenge the citation our promise to you is simple, "we will take every step to ensure that you receive the best deal available to you, we will make the process simple for you, we will give you our best work and help you along the way, and last but not least, we will do it for a price that is feasible for you."
If you have received a traffic ticket, whether you are a resident here in Utah or are from out-of-state and were just passing through, call today. We look forward to hearing from you soon and discussing your options.
OPTION 1: Admit your guilt and pay the ticket.
To resolve the case you may pay the fee online, some courts allow payment by phone, or you may pay in person at the courthouse named on your citation. By simply paying the fee you are not only admitting your guilt, but you will also be:
- Waiving the option to "plea bargain" your penalty, which can often reduce the fine, the amount of points on your driving record, and possibly lead to dismissal of the charge entirely.
- Giving the State consent to attribute points to your driving record, which could lead to your license being suspended or revoked. You should note that the majoity of the States are part of the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC) whose themse is "one driver, one license, one record." A ticket in Utah will most likley affect your out-of-state license.
- Allowing your auto insurance company to possibly increase your rates.
OPTION 2: Fight your traffic ticket.
To do this you MUST make an appearance "no later than 5 days from the date of citation, but no more than 14 days," among other things. This process may be intimidating if you have never done it before, but if you hire Helgesen, Houtz & Jones, we will do the following for you:
- Enter your appearance. You will not have to appear within the 14 days if we enter for you.
- Enter your plea of "Not Guilty." Whether you feel you may be guilty or not, you are innocent until "proven guilty" and therefore entitled to make the State prove their case.
- Request "discovery" from the State, which includes all relevant documents to your citation and all evidence that may tend to prove your innocence (i.e. police report, witness statements, photographs, latest radar calibration tests and results, if applicable, etc.)
- Request a Jury Trial. Each individual is entitled to be heard and judged by their peers in a court of law. Requesting a jury trial can be extremely beneficial even with traffic violations, providing an added incentive to the prosecutor to offer a more generous "plea deal," or in rare cases, a dismissal.
- Request a "Pre-Trial" date. This is the date you will be required to appear for the first time, in the courthouse and at a designated time.
- SOME OF THE PERKS OF HAVING REPRESENTATION AT THE PRE-TRIAL:
- Your case will be heard first - Often pre-trials are scheduled on the same day as 20-50 other people's hearings, you could be there a while.
- Your attorney will speak with the prosecutor – What you say in a pre-trial can either make or break your case, which may result in either (1) a plea deal, (2) a mitigated/amended charges and/or lesser fines, (3) ultimate dismissal of the charges or on the other end of the spectrum (4) solidifying the prosecutor's expectation of obtaining a conviction.
- More gerenrous "Plea deals" to avoid trial - With an attorney, prosecutor's will believe you are likley to take your case to trial and if they recognize a good possibility of not obtaining a conviction, they will offer a better plea deal to avoid it. Without an attorney, a prosecutor may believe (1) you will accept any deal he offers, (2) you will not take the case to trial anyway, and (3) even if you do, unless you are well-versed in the law and the art of trial, a conviction is likley.
- Better understanding of the process = less stress – If you are unfamiliar with the process, having someone who knows the process well who can explain it, as well as any plea deals made (including what the likley affects are on future and/or current employment opportunities, schooling, professional licenses, etc.) is extremely helpful in accepting or declining any offer made.
- Legal research & Review and analyze the Discovery documents received from the State. This will be done prior to the Pre-Trial date, in preparation for the one-on-one conference with the prosecutor.
- We will negotiate with the prosecutor for you – Often times, traffic citations may be resolved at the first pre-trial conference. The reality is prosecutors have far bigger fish to fry than you, but will fry you (take you to trial) if they believe it will be a cake-walk. Our goal is to impress upon the prosecutor that proving your guilt "beyond any reasonable doubt" may not be as easy as they might have initially thought.
Managing Traffic Attorney
Please call us today at (801)-544-5306 to
schedule your FREE CONSULTATION. We look
forward to hearing from you soon.
We are located at the Office of Helgesen, Houtz & Jones, P.C.
1513 N. Hill Field Road, Suite #3
Layton, Utah 84041
Serving the citizens of Kaysville, Layton, Clearfield, Clinton, Syracuse, Farmington, Fruight Heights, Centerville, Bountiful, Woods Cross, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Roy, and all of Davis County and Weber County as well as out-of-state residents who have been cited with any form of traffic violation.