Sometimes a person is issued a traffic ticket and they don’t necessarily disagree with the officer’s charge that a violation was committed. Nevertheless, in many jurisdictions there are procedures available that enable someone charged with a violation to plead not guilty and potentially negotiate away some or all of the license points involved. Thus, many drivers contact an attorney who can help plead their ticket down to a lesser offense that carries fewer points than the original violation charged.
A similar plea reduction situation to this unfolded recently in Palmyra, Missouri. A woman was issued a speeding ticket and was concerned about having points added to her license so reached out to an attorney in the family. That attorney was successful in pleading down the citation to a lesser charge, but noticed on the fee sheet that his client was being ordered to pay a “voluntary donation” of $100.
After a series of wranglings, the woman paid her entire ticket, but her brother, the attorney, was not happy with the voluntary donation, which he amounted to extortion. The attorney contacted a local news station who took a deeper look into the matter. The city prosecutor said that the “voluntary donation,” (which isn’t “voluntary” at all), is common practice in Northeast Missouri.
For now, the voluntary donation will remain on the books as a legal way to collect more money for the city. It will be interesting to see whether this practice continues in Missouri now that the it has received some publicity,
If you are ticketed in New York City for a traffic violation and have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team today. There are no plea reduction offers in NYC and no “voluntary” contribution issues. There are hearings which can go your way and end with a complete dismissal of the charge if you have an idea regarding what to look and listen for in court.