Understanding Court Costs and Attorney's Fees on Traffic Tickets

Generally, most traffic ticket lawyers will charge either a flat attorney’s fee only or an all-inclusive fee on a speeding or traffic ticket. The attorney’s fee option is simply what you are paying your lawyer to represent you in court, you will owe court costs later. If you pay an all-inclusive fee, the lawyer will pay your court costs on your behalf which means that you are essentially pre-paying your court costs in advance to your lawyer. When a lawyer quotes you a price for an attorney fee only, it will sound MUCH cheaper than lawyer that is quoting you an all-inclusive fee because you are not required to pay the high price of the cost of court up front; let’s look at a quick example to see just how much money you can save.

Attorney Fee Only Option

Here at Cotten Law, we generally charge prices starting at $70 for an attorney’s fee only. If we go by a “standard” competitive rate for attorney’s fees on a traffic ticket of $100 you save $30 and court costs will be what they are. This is a 42.9% savings and is an apples-to-apples comparison.

All-Inclusive vs. Fee Only

This is where the difference is really noticeable. Lets assume you pay a $100 attorney’s fee only for a speeding ticket that is reduced to an Improper Equipment in Johnston County. Your court costs and fines will be $238.00 that you owe to the court. The problem arises because you cannot pay your costs online the same day of court because your judgment typically is not entered until a couple of days after the court date. This adds on an additional $20.00 pay later fee bringing your total up to $258.00 of court costs. Tack on a 3% credit card that will be charged and your grand total due comes up to $265.74. In addition to the attorney’s fee only that you paid originally your grand total comes out to be $365.74 out of pocket.

For the same ticket in in Johnston County, here at Cotten Law we charge all-inclusive fees that start at $300; that is all you pay. We then pay your court costs and fines which saves you a whopping $65.74 out of pocket, a savings of 21.9% over a fee only alternative.

There are certainly pros and cons to you as the client in choosing between either an attorney fee only option or an all-inclusive option. For instance, if a case is very likely to be dismissed (meaning no court costs are due) it would clearly make more sense to pay an attorney fee only to your lawyer for a traffic ticket. Generally speaking, an all-inclusive rate will be MUCH cheaper for you as the client when engaging with a traffic ticket attorney as most cases are not dismissed. Many lawyers simply do not offer all-inclusive rates anymore due to the oversight and maintenance required to manage a Lawyer’s Trust (IOLTA) Account; it is generally much easier (and profitable) to just charge an attorney fee only, resolve your case quickly, and move on. However, a lawyer that maintains a trust account and is able to pay your court cost on a traffic ticket may be able to save you a sizable sum of money.

Here at Cotten Law, we offer both all-inclusive and attorney’s fee only options for your traffic and speeding ticket. I would be happy to discuss these options with you free of charge; contact our office to discuss.

Cotten Law is a passionate and affordable firm defense firm that will provide aggressive representation if you have been charged with a speeding ticket or other criminal defense matter. Our firm has represented over 20,000 clients charged with offenses such as yours and has hundreds of reviews from satisfied clients. Give our office a call or visit our website to chat live with an assistant 24 hours a day. Our office serves clients in central North Carolina including Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties.

Contact a Wake County traffic ticket defense lawyerfor compassionate, aggressive and AFFORDABLE legal representation if you have been charged with a speeding violation.