Bigger & Harman, APC - March 2020




DRIVER Attorneys Defending Your Right to the Road

MARCH 2020


Once again, it’s that time of year when we break out the vacuums, dusters, and industrial-strength trash bags to clear out the junk that’s built up over the past year. Spring-cleaning is not for the faint of heart, and tackling such a big project can be challenging regardless of the size of your home. But when it’s all said and done, the satisfaction is well worth the effort. Clearing away age-old buildup can feel amazing, except, of course, when it comes to traffic tickets. Waiting till spring just isn’t an option when it comes to the court system. A ticket may sit on your kitchen counter for months, but your ability to address it disappears quickly. People often have this realization when it’s already too late to do anything, and the result can be shocking and stressful. We see it all the time. People call us and ask if we can resolve a ticket they received eight months ago, and we have to be the bearer of bad news. Failing to address a ticket on time can limit one’s options to fight the ticket and increase the fines by more than $600. Some courts even close a ticket and send it to collections if you neglect the ticket for too long. That said, we understand why this happens so often. People freeze up when faced with a traffic ticket for innumerable reasons. It’s a stressful and often expensive situation to be in. Paired with the outside pressures of work and bills, it can be incredibly tempting to just ignore the ticket, sweeping it out of sight and out of mind. Others may put off addressing the issue until they get a courtesy notice from the court, but sometimes the “courtesy” never arrives. If one never comes in the mail, then you’ve wasted valuable time.

As hard as it may seem, confronting a ticket right from the start is your absolute best option. Even if you don’t have the money to pay for it, the court can set up a payment plan, which is better than letting the ticket sit and possibly dealing with collections activity. And, of course, if you plan on disputing the charges, then you need to take action immediately. Here’s the good news: Consulting a lawyer costs you nothing. We offer free consultations precisely because we don’t want to make this any more financially difficult on you than it



already is. Furthermore, during our consultation call, we’ll let you know our honest opinion on your cheapest option, even if that means not hiring us. Sometimes a case is so clear-cut that the best thing you can do is pay the ticket, and other times, fighting for a reduced sentence or a clean record will make the most sense. We’ll listen to the facts of your case and give you our best judgment. So, while it’s all right to deep-clean your house once or twice a year, the same isn’t true of your driving record. If you’ve been sitting on a ticket, then there’s no time like the present to do something about it. The relief of getting it taken care of is well worth the effort.

– Paul Harman

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feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on, and read up on ivy detergent at Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. SAY GOODBYE TO PAPER TOWELS. Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.

It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring- cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring- greening , and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. SWAP YOUR PLASTIC SPRAY BOTTLES FOR BULK OR DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously

growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE LAUNDRY DETERGENTS. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re



You’re behind a lumbering big rig on the highway and want to get past them. You could follow the posted speed limit and slowly creep past them, likely annoying the impatient drivers behind you, or you can speed. That’s allowed for passing, right? Wrong. A COMMON MYTH Drivers around the country believe the misconception that the act of passing another vehicle creates a magic window free from speeding violations. Sadly, this just isn’t the case. No matter how pressured you may feel to get past a slow-moving vehicle as quickly as you can, you can be pulled over if you break the speed limit to do it.

heard of a law enforcement officer being argued out of giving a ticket. Plenty of officers will admit that common courtesy goes a long way, and a few may even let you off with a warning. But when it comes to arguing the case for your speeding, that’s best left for when you’re disputing the ticket in court. ‘PASSABLE’ DEFENSES There are few things that will get a judge to completely dismiss a ticket, but when passing is involved, the facts are especially important. For example, maybe you passed the vehicle because of safety concerns. Or perhaps the officer saw that you sped

up only to pass and then slowed down immediately afterward. Sometimes facts like these will help to get a favorable outcome on your case. Knowing which defense to take and the disposition of

SAVE IT FOR THE JUDGE When drivers are pulled over for speeding while passing, they’re understandably frustrated. Often the decision may seem reasonable, even prudent, and being punished for it can feel like a slap in the face. But please understand, we’ve rarely

the judge assigned to the case takes years of expertise — something only an expert traffic attorney can bring to the table.

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When faced with a traffic ticket and the hefty fines and insurance hikes that come with it, you might be considering fighting the charges. The truth is that your best odds of getting reduced charges or an outright dismissal is by hiring a great traffic attorney. But how do you find the lawyer who’s right for you? WEB PRESENCE Thankfully, you can use plenty of online resources to vet lawyers in your area. Sites like Avvo and even Yelp feature up-to-date information and reviews on practicing attorneys. Best of all, client reviews left for attorneys on Avvo and most other sites can’t be deleted, even if they’re 1-star ratings, so you know you’re getting an accurate picture of performance. Visiting a law firm’s Facebook page can also be helpful, giving you insight into the personality and convictions of the legal team you’ll be working with to ensure it’s a good fit. SOLE FOCUS While researching lawyers, it’s imperative that you look for those who focus solely on traffic law. There are a few jack-of-all-trades lawyers, but most of the time, attorneys limit their practice areas because you can’t be a master at all of them. A lawyer committed to traffic law knows the nuances of fighting violations and is familiar with how different courts approach these cases. This is the kind of knowledge that only comes with years of experience, and it makes all the difference in your case. HONEST QUOTE Any traffic lawyer worth their salt will offer free phone consultations, so be sure to take advantage of this. If you’re feeling good about hiring a particular firm but are still on the fence, then give them a call and see what they have to say about your case. If they seem overeager for you to hire them, take a step back. Honest attorneys will always be frank with you about the odds of your case and will work to help you understand the stakes or even temper your expectations before hiring them. That’s the sign of a lawyer dedicated to doing right by their clients, not just getting as many cases as possible.





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Toll-Free (661) 859-1177 Se Habla Español


1701 Westwind Drive Suite 203 Bakersfield, CA 93301


Don’t Ignore Old Tickets ......................... PAGE 1

3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning ............... PAGE 2

Can I Speed While Passing? ................... PAGE 2

Finding a Good Traffic Lawyer ............... PAGE 3

March Madness Tech to Make You a Predicting Genius ........................... PAGE 4

Have a ticket in California? Give us a call, and we’ll help you out! Regardless of the location, we can point you in the right direction free of charge!

It takes some serious basketball knowledge — and a lot of luck — to successfully predict the outcome of March Madness. Whether you’re an average hoops fan or an expert, it’s more difficult than you might think. The Smithsonian estimates the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quadrillion. But gone are the days of relying on the most intimidating mascot to make your decisions. Try to beat those odds with these March Madness technologies. ADOBE’S HACK THE BRACKET What if there was a tool that could compare free-throw percentages or shot accuracy between opponents? Well, now there is! For the past two years, Adobe has offered its data analytics software with a simple-to-use system, Hack the Bracket. The program breaks down points, mistakes, fouls, win percentages, and other statistics into side- by-side comparisons. The software also calculates the percentage of a team winning or losing, giving users a closer look at the game. GOOGLE CLOUD’S STUDENT-LED ANALYTICS It’s one thing to know the numbers; it’s a whole other ball game to understand what they mean. That’s where Google Cloud’s analytics BRACKET MADNESS! DOMINATE YOUR BRACKET WITH MARCH MADNESS TECHNOLOGY

team comes in to help. In 2018, Google partnered with the NCAA to offer live gameplay analysis, and in 2019, the tech giant hired more than 30 college students to contextualize the numbers throughout the tournament. Google’s steps for 2020 remain a mystery, but you can view past records and data at marchmadness. THE NCAA’S ORIGINAL BRACKET CHALLENGE In 1939, Oregon University became the first team to win March Madness, defeating Ohio State University 46–33 in an eight-team tournament. By 1985, the tournament had grown to 64 teams, and the bracket was born. With that kind of history, there’s no better place to create your bracket than with the hosts of spring’s best sporting event: the NCAA’s digital hub. offers you team analysis, real-time updates, and a home for your bracket. With an easy-to-use platform, you don’t have to be a college basketball expert or technology whiz to make your choices and follow your team all the way to the championship.

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