What Can An NYC Speeding Ticket Lawyer Do?

Expect your speeding ticket in NYC to be handled by the Traffic Violations Bureau.  Due to the no plea bargaining policy at the TVB, many people ask what a NYC speeding ticket lawyer can do to fight a speeding ticket issued in a TVB jurisdiction (NYC, Suffolk, Buffalo, Rochester).

NYC Speeding Ticket Lawyer Goal No. 1:  Case Dismissed

In a TVB system with no plea bargaining, we’re forced to proceed to trial on every case.  The outcome of a trial is either going to be we win (case dismissed–no points, fine, or evidence of the ticket on your driving record) or we lose (guilty as charged, points and fines and surcharges as prescribed by law).

Our number once goal with speeding tickets issued in NYC is to find a way to get the ticket thrown out in it’s entirety.  Sometimes we get lucky, but as TVB in general cracks down on the easy wins (officer fails to show more than once, officer loses his notes, tickets get lost in the system) the lucky wins become  fewer and further between.  More often dismissals come from using our experience and knowledge with respect to TVB trials and fighting a ticket at the TVB in general.

NYC Speeding Ticket Lawyer Goal No. 2 (IF POSSIBLE):  Reduction to the next lower speeding category.

There are five speeding categories:  0-10mph over the limit (three points), 11-20 over (four points), 21-30 over (six points), 31-40 over (eight points), 41+ over (11 points).  In certain cases, it is possible at the TVB to slide down a lower category.

This is not a plea bargain.  It’s technically an amendment of the original speed to a different speed based on the officer’s testimony.  For example, if a motorist is charged with driving 71mph in a 50mph zone, a speeding ticket lawyer in a NYC TVB office may be able to turn the ticket into a 70 in a 50.

A few notes on these reductions:

-Every judge has different rules with respect to this.  Not all will do it, they have different procedures for when and how the request is made and some are willing to go down only one or two mph and no more.  The officer’s “visual estimation” is an important part of this procedure as is the officer’s “tolerance” (how close his visual estimations are on average to actual speed traveled).  This is not something you can just walk into court and request.  It is imperative that your speeding lawyer understands how each judge in the particular TVB court handles these situations and where it may or may not be an option to consider.

-No judge can move down more than five mph.  The TVB won’t allow it.

-In some cases, we do NOT want to pursue this.  For example, clients on the verge of losing their license even if convicted of a lesser speed.  We also do not want to request it if we think we have a good chance to get the ticket dismissed outright at the hearing or on appeal.

-A case is no longer appealable if this motion to amend is granted.  It’s essentially admitting to driving the lesser speed.  Again, a lawyer should only pursue this where a guilty finding on the original charge seemed certain and an appeal was just short of guaranteed to be useless anyway.

-Certain reductions like this can be very helpful.  The example above of 71 to 70 could save two points and $300 in assessment charges.

 

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That’s it with NYC speeding tickets.  If it’s not dismissed or reduced one category lower, unfortunately you’ve been found guilty as charged.  That can happen even if you’re working with the best NYC speeding ticket lawyers.  I would never list it as one of our “goals”, but it is possible.  As always, we can’t guarantee results.  We can only guarantee that we will do everything possible to achieve a favorable outcome in every case and that we will honestly assess someone’s chances of success during their initial consultation.

Scott Feifer