Don’t Pay Your Citation Before You Check It Carefully

Speed limit sign on a highway

Many people in New York choose to pay a citation once they receive it. They may believe an attorney is too expensive and that it would be simply cheaper to pay the fine. Others don’t have the time to spend in traffic court fighting the ticket. No matter the reason people choose to pay their citations instead of fighting them, they are urged to read the ticket in its entirety before sending anyone their money.

A South Carolina news station recently conducted a report telling drivers to read their citations carefully. Even a single mistake could have the ticket dismissed. Interviews with police in Pennsylvania by an ABC27 team provided a checklist of sorts. While the report was area-specific, it applies to people across the country. If you received a citation, check these items before you pay it.

1. Time and Date

Take a look at the top of the ticket. This is where the date, time and location will be listed. Check to make sure they are all correct. Yes — they are basic, but mistakes can be made. A simple typo won’t have your ticket dismissed, but a major error may.

2. Radar or Laser?

How did the police determine that you were speeding? Many people assume that police use a laser or radar, but some departments use something called “clocking.” A good attorney will look into the device or method that was used and look for errors in operation or, in the case of radar or laser, maintenance and calibration.

3. You’ve Been Paced

Another method that some police departments use to catch speeders is pacing. They get behind you and match your speed with their own. There are rules police must follow to use this method to ensure its accuracy. Check the ticket to see how great a distance you and the officer covered before you were pulled over.

4. Speed

Just a few miles over the speed limit usually won’t net you a ticket. If it does, you can fight it successfully. Generally, a ticket doesn’t happen unless you are traveling at speeds six miles or more above the limit. In some areas, it takes a speed of 10 miles over the limit before you can be ticketed.

If you received a traffic ticket in New York and need assistance, call Feifer & Greenberg. Our attorneys are pleased to be able to help you read your ticket and discuss your charges. We will look for errors on your citation and help you determine your legal options. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.