The Ultimate Guide to Traffic Court

Everything You Need to Know About Traffic Court

traffic court tips

Did you recently get hit with a speeding ticket and need to go to court? Don’t panic! Traffic court doesn’t have to be scary. With a little preparation and the right attorney on your side, you’ll be able to handle the court proceedings like a professional

Part One: Arraignment

The first step in the traffic court process is the arraignment. Arraignment is the process of bringing someone in front of a judge to determine whether he or she is guilty or not guilty. With traffic court, your speeding ticket should detail which court to go to and on what date and the time your arraignment will be. 

When you go to an arraignment, always aim to be early. This gives you time to figure out which room in the courthouse you need to be in. 

After you arrive, the courthouse clerk may let you know what to expect and how the court proceedings typically play out. Then, the judge will take his place and begin reading out cases from a list which is typically arranged in alphabetical order. When the judge calls your name you’ll need to approach a podium and state your plea. 

Part Two: The Plea

When you go to traffic court you have two options of how you’d like to plead: guilty or not guilty. Your plea will influence the court proceedings, so it’s important to know ahead of time how you’re going to plead. 

Pleading Guilty

If you choose to plead guilty, you may be able to reduce your fine simply by going to court. Many states allow judges to reduce the fine because a driver chose to come to traffic court. Take note of how other cases ahead of yours seem to be turning out; is the judge reducing fines? Is he assigning community service? The way the judge treats other cases may influence the outcome of your own case. 

Pleading Not Guilty

If you choose to plead not guilty, your arraignment is really more like an opportunity for you to go to a traffic court trial. After you have stated your plea, the judge will assign you a trial date and subpoena the ticketing officer to come to your second trial on that date.  

In some cases, the officer may not show up for the second trial, which means you win your case. Choosing to plead not guilty can be a way to get out of your speeding fines. 

However, not all officers choose not to show up! If the policeman who gave you the ticket comes to your trial you may want to plead guilty during the second trial and simply pay the fine. Keep in mind that the judge is less likely to reduce your fine at a second trial!

Funding Traffic Court Fees

However you choose to plead at your traffic court appeal, there are fees that are associated with going to court. For some people, this can be a huge problem financially. According to the team at Baker Street Funding, Consider working with a reputable litigation funding company to help you tackle hefty court fees and get your case resolved! Have questions? Let’s chat.

Pedestrian Accidents – Not an Unusual Scene

Do you know that North Carolina is one of the states in the US with the highest number of pedestrian accidents and deaths? It is shocking news, but reports suggest, there was an increase of 4% pedestrian deaths due to car accidents from 2017 in 2018. Experts believe that a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every two hours in North Carolina.  

Statistics of pedestrian accidents

If you thought that the two-hour time gap was not enough, you would be rolling your eyes when you hear that there is a pedestrian injured every eight minutes in an accident in North Carolina. If you dig deeper into the reports, you will see that there are more than 70,000 pedestrian injuries and over 4,000 deaths per year. North Carolina is the only state in the US that accounts for 11.2% of deaths in traffic fatalities. In the state of Virginia, there were 122 fatalities in pedestrian accidents in 2016 – which thankfully places it in one of the “safer” states compared to over 40 others. Washington DC came in as the safest, with 26.

A stat that dates back to 2008 suggests that 70% of the pedestrian accidents that year were men.

It was more than double the number of females who were casualties due to the same reason.

So, what are the reasons contributing to the demise of so many?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are several factors that everyone needs to know:

Darkness is a threat to pedestrians. Those who travel by foot suffer more than 75% of the times in pedestrian accidents, especially when it is dark. The only safety advice you can follow as a pedestrian is to walk on the sidewalk. For streets with no sidewalks, you should walk on the extreme left facing the oncoming traffic. It is also wise to make eye contact with the approaching drivers. Whether they are exiting or entering the road, make sure you follow the headlights if you can’t see the driver.

Another stat shows that most of the pedestrian accidents took place in the urban areas and not on the local streets. The second-most dangerous areas are the state highways. Also, more than 10% of the accidents occurred on interstates. This includes the motorists who were struck when they were standing outside car servicing sheds to get their car or bike repaired. Although minor accidents are also counted in these figures, it is sad to know the number of people who die each year due to these fatalities.

The best way to avoid these accidents is by looking at both ways of the street before crossing.

You shouldn’t always rely on the pedestrian signals because there are cases at night when drivers broke the traffic signal and slammed people crossing the streets.

Also, don’t talk on your phone or wear headphones when you are crossing the road. Always stay alert to the sound and lights of the oncoming vehicles.

Non-intersection locations are areas of concern. A vast majority of pedestrian accidents occur in these places. In fact, almost 25% of the pedestrian fatalities recorded in 2018 occurred at intersections or at intersection-related areas. Ideally, you should visually confirm that the lanes you want to cross all clear before you proceed. Don’t assume that because one car allowed you to cross, the others would also do the same. 

Drinking under the influence of alcohol contributed to more than 50% of the pedestrian fatalities in 2018. Almost 17% of the drivers and 32% of the pedestrians had a BAC level of more than 0.08%.

The figures are enough to prove the dangers that linger in every state when it comes to crossing the streets or walking on the road.

So, be safe and keep an eye around you.

If you are involved in an accident, speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer. You need a top personal injury attorney who can assist you and answer any questions you might have. 

Having a lawyer who can advocate for your rights and fight for what you deserve is essential for you to protect yourself. This is particularly true for pedestrians, whose claims are often denied because of police officers’ prejudice against pedestrians.

A Brief History of The Legality and Legitimacy of Pre-Settlement Funding

As a relatively new practice in the United States, pre-settlement funding (otherwise known as legal funding or legal financing) has left many plaintiffs wondering whether they should take advantage of it or not.

This recent development has also affected attorneys throughout the country who wonder about the ethics and legitimacy of this widely unregulated business.

While it may be pretty new to America, it’s not quite as novel to other parts of the world.

So how did it make its way to America? And what does it mean for the law system?

Here’s a brief history of legal financing in the United States.

How New Is It?

The answer? Not very.

Third-party funding has been around for centuries. It has its roots in champerty and maintenance – two practices long deemed illegal in England until 1967.

Maintenance occurs when an unaffiliated third-party interferes with and maintains litigation by providing assistance, most commonly financial. Champerty is a type of maintenance, in which the third-party offers financial aid in return for a share of the settlement.

These practices were banned because many corrupt officials in medieval England would provide assistance to plaintiffs in order to strengthen their fraudulent claims. Then they would share in the profits.

Because legal financing has so much in common with maintenance and champerty, many people are worried about the legality of it.

But the modern version sometimes makes it seem like an entirely new practice.

Modern legal funding in the United States has been around since 1997. Where it differs from maintenance and champerty is that the lender often doesn’t have an active role in the lawsuit.

This prevents the unnecessary prolongation of lawsuits in order to fit the interests of the lender.

Nowadays, lenders will not provide assistance unless they first get in contact with the plaintiff’s attorney. In fact, lenders won’t approve applications for support unless you have already hired an attorney.

This allows the lender and the attorney to generate shared goals and operate in the interest of their client, protecting them from manipulation and lender interference.

Is it Legal?

Despite the modern version of legal financing breaking away from the mold of champerty and maintenance, many still wonder if it is legal.

The short answer? Yes, it is.

Both champerty and maintenance were legalized in England in the 1960s. In the United States, it’s a mixed bag.

At the national level, maintenance and champerty have never been regulated. Across the country, many states have never regulated it either. For the states that do, regulations typically allow it.

The interesting thing is – many legal financers want to be regulated. To them, it’s the quickest way to prove their legitimacy.

And it’s an ever-expanding market. From 2012 to 2018, the use of legal financing by law firms grew by more than 200%.

Law firms’ willingness to work with financial lenders seems to indicate a legitimate and respectable business practice.

And if its success is any indication, lawsuit financing is here to stay.

Should I use it?

The decision to apply for legal financing is a personal one. Some cases don’t even qualify for pre-settlement funding.

For the right person, legal financing can make all of the difference. For the wrong person, it’ll just cost you money.

Before you apply, you should discuss it with your lawyer and look at all of your options. 

If you have more questions about legal financing, or you’re unsure how to proceed with your suit, don’t hesitate to reach out to our attorneys.