How would you feel if you show up at court to resolve your traffic ticket, wait your turn to speak to the prosecutor, only to be held up by a greedy prosecutor who demands you pay him or her, not just the court for any fines or penalties? How would affect your trust in our court system. But according to a June 4, 2012 article in the Jersey Journal, that’s exactly what Bayonne and Secaucus prosecutor Rakesh Desai was doing. In return for cash, Desai would dismiss or reduce your charges.
During court proceedings, undercover detectives watched Desai demand $500.00 from a defendant to reduce his fines. The defendant brought the cash, with the coordination of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Unit. When Desai accepted the money, he was arrested and charged with second degree bribery. He faces a 10-year prison sentence.
You don’t have to pay off the prosecutor! You have options.
One solution is to hire an attorney, and the best solution is to hire an EXPERIENCED traffic and DUI attorney. That’s the most important decision you can make in your traffic matter. You don’t want a general attorney. You need someone with experience and knowledge of the technicalities required to have tickets dismissed, or have fines or penalties mitigated. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE TO HIRE THE RIGHT ATTORNEY. Here are the top five things to consider when interviewing candidates:
1. What is the attorney’s experience handling traffic tickets or DUIs?
Experience comes not only from length of time in practice, but also the number of similar citations defended. You also want to know whether the attorney you choose regularly appears in the City where you are charged.
2. What can you do for me? Explain my case in detail?
Communication with your attorney can be tested with this request. How he or she responds can show you his or her character, intellect, and experience in handling these types of cases.
3. Who will be my attorney?
At some law firms, you meet with an experienced partner for the initial consultation. Then you find out that an inexperienced associate is sent to represent you in Court. Make sure you know who will be handling your case in Court before choosing the firm to represent you.
4. What will you charge me to handle my case?
Not all attorneys will honor the price they quote on the telephone or in an advertisement, so be sure you find out what you will pay for services from start to finish. Make sure you understand how much will be for legal services, if expenses and costs are included or separate, and who will pay for any necessary experts.
5. Will you guarantee me a result?
No ethical New Jersey attorney would guarantee you a result. Any attorney who gives you a guarantee is not the one you should hire. Your matter can only be thoroughly analyzed after careful review of all of the State’s evidence against you, based on the attorney’s skill, knowledge, education, experience, and training. Any attorney that guarantees a result probably has a disciplinary record. Look it up at http://judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/discipline.htm. New Jersey lawyers who commit unethical conduct are subject to discipline, ranging from an admonition to a reprimand, censure, suspension from practice, or permanent disbarment from practice.
For more information, request our popular Consumer Guides: Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket is NOT an Option, or The Truth About Your DUI, by clicking on the provided links.