By: Beltz Law Firm
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Dallas Municipal Court Ticket Lawyer
Dallas Ticket Lawyer
Traffic Ticket Defense Firm
Dallas Municipal Court has undergone many changes over the past year. Many defense attorneys and defendants alike are struggling with the new policies and procedures. The basic outcome of these changes are to make dismissals more difficult and burdensome to receive. This article is intended to outline many of the new changes to Dallas Municipal Court and what our traffic ticket defense lawyers are doing for our clients in light of these changes. If you would like to talk to a ticket attorney in Dallas after reading this article, feel free to contact us.
Procedural Changes To Dallas Municipal Court
Most of the changes to Dallas Municipal Court are procedural. These procedures are set up to make it more difficult for defendants to contest their tickets or to make it financially burdensome for the lawyers and defendants to challenge the ticket. The set of procedural changes are in how the hearings for traffic tickets in Dallas are set up. Now, a defendant or their attorney must attend three separate hearings in order to accomplish what used to only take one. The hearings are described in detail below:
- Dallas Municipal Pre-Trial Conference Hearings – These hearings are set after an attorney has already went to Dallas Municipal Court on behalf of their clients to enter a plea of “not guilty” and request a hearing. The pre-trial conference to date has been nothing more than a wasted hearing where the traffic ticket defense attorney receives an offer from the City of Dallas prosecutor. This offer is something short of a dismissal and will require that a payment be made to Dallas Municipal Court to keep the violation from being reported as a conviction on the record of the defendant.
- Pre-Trial Hearings In Dallas Municipal – Once the offer is given to the traffic ticket attorney, they then take that offer back to their client to review. Either the offer is accepted or rejected. The case is then reset to an attorney pre-trial hearing. At this hearing, the attorney must either accept the offer or formally reject the offer and set the case for trial. If the attorney and the defendant wish to reject the offer and set the case for trial, then the defendant’s appearance is required along with the lawyer’s. The plea is entered in open court and the case is rescheduled again.
- Trial Settings In Dallas Municipal Court – These are the traditional hearings that most defendants are familiar with when defending traffic tickets in Dallas Municipal Court. The officer must be routed and appear. If not, then the case is dismissed. However, in order to get to this docket your lawyer will have to appear 4 separate times and the defendant will have to appear twice. These extra settings and the time consumed by them will cost both the defendant and the defense attorney more money.
Our traffic ticket defense firm believes that if cases continue to be set for trial that they will continue to be dismissed at a higher rate than most cities. However, to cover the extra expense of 2 – 4 additional settings, we have had to categorize our fees accordingly. There is the initial fee to cover the first two appearances in court including an appearance at the pre-trial hearing. If a client wishes to set the case for trial based on the high probability of the officer not appearing, then an additional fee is charged to cover the expense of that hearing. The fees are not unreasonable based on the extra legal worked required. However, it is an additional fee.
Dallas Municipal Court is hoping that the extra cost of fighting a ticket makes it less likely that defendants will try to contest their tickets and give up. We have seen that they may be correct. Only 30% of our clients are choosing to fight Dallas Municipal on these new changes. As defense attorneys we were hoping to see more choose to contest the new changes, but we understand people are busy. This lack of participation from clients means that Dallas may have won the war with high rates of dismissals now turning into payments for the City of Dallas. If clients do not choose to fight their tickets in higher numbers Dallas Municipal Court will most certainly make these changes permanent.
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