If the motorist wishes to contest a traffic infraction, a hearing can be set by the court upon proper request. The hearings are before a magistrate or judge depending on the state or city. Hearing dates may potentially be adjourned, and witnesses or police officers may be subpoenaed to appear in court.
At any point after the issuance of a ticket, a motorists may retain an attorney to represent them in a traffic infraction. Retaining or consulting an attorney may be beneficial to the motorist because an attorney would better understand how to contest an infraction in any given state or municipality. Attorneys may offer full representation in court, taking a case from inception to disposal and potentially appeals, although it may be possible for a defendant to retain a lawyer to discuss legal options, identify important defenses, and determine a defense strategy without hiring the lawyer to provide in-court representation.
Although each judge, state, county or municipality handle contested hearings a little differently, the court may make provisions for the prosecutor to achieve a deal with the motorist, often in the form of a plea bargain that may reduce the impact from that which would be incurred from pleading guilty without attending court.
If no agreement is reached, and the prosecutor feels it is worth his time to charge the motorist, both motorist and officer, or their respective representatives, formally attempt to prove their case before the judge, who then decides the matter.
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