If I wrongly received a citation for racing and have no lawyer can I represent myself, can I get the charge reduce or dropped?

The 2 guys that were racing tried to tell the officer that stopped us that I was not a participant.

Asked on July 20, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you can represent yourself, but the old saying that "someone who represents himself has a fool for a client" has alot of validity. An attorney will greatly increase your chance of a good outcome, through his knowledge of the law, of court procedure, and, honestly, through the fact that prosecutors and judges tend to take lawyers more seriously, especially ones who regularly practice in that court and have earned trust. You don't indicate the exact citation you received; if it's for a fine only (no points), the representing yourself is a valid choice, since it may be that the attorney would cost more than you'd save with a reduction in the fine; but if there are points on your license associated with it, you should hire an attorey to help you, to reduce those points (which will affect insurance costs, among other things) and even possibly eliminate them by getting you a plea deal to a no-points fine.

2) Yes, the charge can be reduced or dropped. Key factors in this are: a) an otherwise clean driving record; b) evidence or testimony in your favor, which you seem to have; c) a logical explanation for the violation, which explanation is reasonable or symathetic; d) expressing contrition (without going overboard and making it unbelievable); and e) expressing a willingness to take a driver safety course, if the court wants you to.


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