Role of an Attorney During a Norfolk Speeding Ticket Hearing

It is important to work with a lawyer in Norfolk, even for seemingly small offenses like speeding tickets. An attorney can still play a significant role in a speeding ticket hearing and be of great benefit to their client.

It is important to have an aggressive Norfolk lawyer who will give their all to the case even when it is a minor offense like speeding. Every single case deserves a fair trial and it deserves attention. A driver does not want to plead guilty and accept the consequences if they have a strong defense or any defense at all.

If the driver accepts a guilty plea, they get whatever the consequences are. If they try the case and are found guilty, they still get the exact same consequences that they would have gotten if they plead guilty from the start, so there is no risk in trying the case. An aggressive lawyer is not going to take the lazy route and plead someone out when they can possibly get a better result.

Speedometer Calibration Evidence

Sometimes before going into court, drivers get their speedometers calibrated to show that the speedometer wasn’t working properly, which would make the speed that they were driving at—or the speed they believed they were driving at—not the actual speed that they were going. Sometimes this piece of evidence can make or break a case. How to admit this into evidence will depend on the particular judge.

Traffic courts can be more laid back, so some judges will accept it if the driver hands the calibration certificate up to them. Other judges are more by the book, which means that the driver has to follow the exact rules of evidence for having the calibration of their speedometer admitted into evidence. This is a reason to have a lawyer, because they will know for sure how to properly admit the evidence.

Officer Testimony

The officer is required to testify. The burden of proof to prove that the driver is guilty of whatever he is being charged with is always on the prosecution’s side. If the officer does not testify, then there is no proof and the case is dismissed.

Contesting the Officer’s Claim

If a driver does not think they were going as fast as is claimed, then they need to have some type of evidence to support this opinion. Otherwise, the only thing they have is their opinion, which does not hold a lot of weight when they hold it up against the officer’s opinion. The officer’s opinion is usually supported by concrete evidence, such as what his speed reading instrument said, and the calibration certificate for that equipment that states the equipment has been properly maintained and is therefore accurate.

If the driver cannot support their opinion and the officer can support the fact that they were speeding by using his calibration certificate and presenting all the paperwork, then the driver’s opinion is not going to do anything for them.

Pleading Nolo Contendere

A driver can plead nolo contendere, which is generally referred to as a no contest plea. This is not a very useful plea in terms of speeding cases; it is a lot more useful in accident cases. What it means is that the person is admitting that there is enough evidence to find them guilty and they are accepting this, but they are not admitting guilt for the crime. It has the same effect that a guilty plea would have. Unfortunately, it really does not do anything in a speeding case, except sometimes make the defendant feel better.

In an accident case it matters, because if someone were to charge the defendant in a civil suit for the accident, then they cannot use that prior case that was tried in traffic court against them because the defendant did not admit that they were guilty of the crime.

Negotiating with the Judge

The driver can argue sentencing before the judge issues a sentence. A lawyer can do the same thing. This is tricky because if driver does not know what a good sentence is in their situation and the judge has given them a good deal and then they try to negotiate on it, then they might get themselves in an inconvenient spot. This is another reason to work with a lawyer in these situations. Once the judge has decided what the sentence is going to be, the only way they could have that changed is to appeal the case to another court. The driver cannot continue to argue or negotiate with the judge after his decision is made.