With legal problems in general, there is no place for procrastination and tardiness. When it comes to traffic tickets, it’s the worst course of (in)action you can take.
If you are issued a traffic ticket, your first steps should simply be to
1. Quickly figure out what to do. From our perspective, the easiest thing to do is call us and let us walk you through the decision making process via a short, free consultation. We can’t vouch for any other advice or information you may receive, but whether you are speaking to an attorney or relying on a past experience or getting information from the internet or a directly from a court, you’ll want to first and foremost get reliable advice and figure out what your best course of action is.
2. Do whatever it is you decide to do.
The only way you can really mess this up is by putting off the decision making process. What if you wait too long and now you are forced to schedule a case for a less convenient time or are forced to do something in person that you previously could have done online? Sometimes you’ll do your research and figure out that the plan is to delay or wait for something. That’s OK. What we’re talking about it putting off the process of formulating the actual plan itself–there is literally zero upside and only downside when you wait around and figure out what to do “later on”.
Once you have a handle on how you intend to proceed, make sure every step of the process is handled in a timely fashion. Almost everyone who gets a traffic ticket is worried about the same things. Big fines, big surcharges, losing a privilege to drive, losing the ability to earn a living and increased insurance rates are at the heart of most traffic ticket related concerns. The only surefire way to suffer any or all of these consequences is to do nothing and miss deadlines, court dates, etc.
Traffic tickets in NY are handled by two different systems–the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) in NYC and a couple of other locations and the various local courts throughout the state. In either system, it is imperative for a motorist who has been issued a traffic ticket to:
- Respond on time.
- Appear on scheduled hearing dates.
- Pay fines (if any due) on time.
Following through on these simple items above does not guarantee a successful outcome with your case. However, failure to follow through with any one of these is a guarantee that there will be trouble in the form of suspensions, insurance issues, higher fines and surcharges, etc.
I could give a hundred examples of how simple failure to respond on time, attend hearing dates or pay things on time have led to a host of both expected and unexpected issues. One day and one dollar late can be as damaging as ignoring things for a year. I’ve seen people get arrested, lose their jobs, get denied employment they were on the verge of getting. I’ve seen insurance go through the roof. All sorts of bad things and situations that easily could have been avoided.
That’s the most frustrating part of procrastination related issues. They are completely avoidable.
Traffic tickets are not always easy to fight or easy to beat and sometimes the consequences will follow no matter how hard you fight, how good your lawyer is, etc. On the other hand, problems caused by procrastination and tardiness are completely preventable. This isn’t groundbreaking stuff–just a reminder of how quickly and severely things can go bad when you put off making decisions and taking timely action on a traffic violation charge.
Submitted by Scott Feifer