Should I use a traffic ticket lawyer or paralegal to fight my ticket?
It depends on the case, but an experienced paralegal or traffic ticket lawyer will often improve the result of your traffic ticket case over attempting to handle it on your own. Obviously it is impossible to know this for sure, but there are a number of reasons that this is usually assumed.
How do paralegals and traffic ticket lawyers “win” cases?
Paralegals and traffic ticket lawyers will both try to build you a strong legal defence for your case. This normally involves a mix of experience, knowledge, education and researching case law (prior court decisions). By constructing a strong legal argument, there are the options of either going to trial and attempting to have the charge dismissed entirely OR using the strong legal argument to leverage a favorable plea deal.
Paralegals and traffic ticket lawyers usually have a professional relationship with the prosecutor that they can lean on to discuss possible resolutions and give you a chance to express your case more thoroughly.
Traffic ticket lawyers versus paralegals
There are a few differences between traffic ticket lawyers and paralegals.
The most obvious one is that lawyers have a much more thorough education that qualifies them to practice a wide range of different areas of law. Paralegals have a much more specific education that focuses largely on how to fight traffic tickets. In a sense, this makes the paralegal education a little more focused when it comes to traffic tickets specifically. This is not to suggest that there are not some extremely skilled traffic ticket lawyers available.
In a more practical sense, the main difference between traffic ticket lawyers and paralegals is the cost. Generally speaking, lawyers are going to be much more expensive to hire than paralegals. Paralegals were granted the ability to be licenced under the Law Society of Ontario in 2006 under legislation called the Access to Justice Act. The idea behind this was that by allowing paralegals the right to provide licenced professional legal services, the market would allow for lower priced representation.
As mentioned above, the vast majority of the traffic ticket defence firms in Ontario are using paralegals as representatives. Even if an office is owned or run by a lawyer, they will often use paralegals for the court appearances. It is also common practice for law offices to sub-contract their traffic ticket cases to paralegal firms who are more experienced with traffic court.
Experience may be the most important asset for your representative. This includes a relationship with the prosecutor, knowing the Justices of the Peace, having dealt with cases similar to yours in the past, and knowledge about what strategies and tactics can be used to get you the best result. The majority of experienced traffic court representatives in Ontario are going to be paralegals.
Should I use a traffic ticket lawyer or a paralegal for my case?
Ultimately, this decision is up to you. Paralegals are generally going to be cheaper, more experienced with traffic court, and often who the lawyers will sub-contract traffic ticket cases to in the end. This is the reason that you will find that the vast majority of these traffic ticket defence offices are using paralegals. Lawyers have an extremely broad education that allows them to practice any type of law. Many of them will work as a “jack of all trades”, but it is relatively uncommon for a lawyer to build their business around traffic ticket cases. They can bill much higher fees working in criminal court if they are interested in doing defence work. There are still a number of traffic ticket lawyers in the province that are both a completely viable and reasonable choice for your representative if you decide use them.
Is hiring a traffic ticket lawyer or paralegal worth it?
Both paralegals and ticket lawyers can be very expensive. We are frequently asked whether hiring one will be “worth it” and what the advantages are to hiring one versus the other. Obviously, it is impossible to predict exactly how the case will go, but what we can say is that it will normally improve the odds of a favorable result.
Traffic tickets can be extremely costly – especially in the long run. The fine and points are often secondary to the impact that the ticket will have on your insurance rates. Charges like Stunt Driving and Careless Driving will often mean you are classified as “high risk” by insurance companies. By retaining a experienced ticket lawyer or paralegal, you may be able to improve the odds of keeping your insurance rates much lower. Even if you have been charged with a much less serious charge, such as Speeding or a Red Light ticket, your insurance could be at risk. By getting some help, you may be able to have the charge withdrawn, dismissed, or reduced to something much less serious. We believe that the cost of retaining a paralegal will often be lower than the long term impact of a ticket.
Is Ticket Shield a traffic ticket lawyer or a paralegal firm?
Ticket Shield is a paralegal firm. We handle exclusively traffic ticket cases in Ontario. We have vast experience, having handled thousands of prior traffic ticket cases and have a relationship with prosecutors, police officers, and Justices of the Peace in every jurisdiction in this province. We have affordable fees and do our best to accommodate a variety of different budgets and financial situations. If for some reason your case requires a lawyer (traffic tickets do not, but some criminal charges do), we would be happy to try to find you a suitable office or refer you to a law office to assist you.
If you call, text or email us, we would be happy to give you some honest and candid feedback about whether hiring a paralegal or lawyer for your case will likely end up being worth it.
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