Traffic Law St. Louis
We try to streamline the process of dealing with traffic tickets. You bring us your ticket, and we go to court for you. We do our best to resolve your case with the prosecutor or state's attorney before your case even reaches a judge. Most cases result in a plea bargain that increases the fine in exchange for a plea to a non-moving violation. Once we take care of your traffic ticket, we simply write you with the results of your case. All you have to do is pay the fines and court costs. Case Closed. In those cases where a plea bargain is not available, our attorneys have the education, knowledge and experience to offer our clients a strong and vigorous defense.
What is "traffic law?" Traffic law encompasses traffic ordinances, statutes and regulations relating to drivers and motor vehicles.
How are traffic laws enforced? Police, Prosecutors, and Judges.
The Police. When an officer writes a traffic ticket, he must have reasonable cause to believe that a person has violated a traffic ordinance, statute or regulation, whether it be an equipment or regulatory violation. A person in the process of receiving a traffic ticket is well advised to be respectful, listen to the instructions of the officer, and comply promptly with the officer's requests. It makes little sense to argue with the officer, because the decision as to how the charges will be handled are referred by the officer to the Prosecutor.
The Prosecutor, State's attorney or District Attorney. The traffic ticket ends end up in the office of the Prosecutor, State's Attorney or District Attorney whose job it is to decide whether and how the charge(s) will be prosecuted. As a general rule, the more serious the charge, the tougher the Prosecutor will be on the driver. Also, the Prosecutor or State's Attorney is usually mindful of the attitudes and beliefs of the Judge who will ultimately hear the case, whether it is to be a plea or trial.
The Judge. In the end, the judge determines guilt or innocence, jail time or probation, and the amount of fines and costs. A judge will accept only accept a plea bargain (an agreement between the prosecution and defense attorney) if it protects the interests of the public, saves prosecutorial resources, and modifies the behavior of the transgressor through education or punishment.
The traffic court experience (without attorney representation). You have the right to represent yourself in traffic court. Most traffic courts use the first court date to hear your plea of "guilty" or "not guilty." If you plead guilty, you will be fined and the conviction will reported to the Driver's License Bureau. If you plead "not guilty", you will be required to return a second time for trial. It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to ask for a continuance on trial night due to witness unavailability. Emergency situations arise to which the police must respond, and thus a court will usually grant a Prosecutor's a request for a continuance, at least once. A third court date will then be set. At trial, the prosecutor will present evidence and you will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness(es)against you. If there is a finding of guilt, you will be convicted, fined, and reported to the driver's license bureau. If you are found "not guilty", you will be free to go and and will suffer no conviction, fine or court costs. Each of these court dates will take between 1 and 4 hours of your time.