STOP LIGHT Tickets FAQs
ON THIS FAQS:
HOW MUCH IS A STOP LIGHT TICKET IN NYC?
In New York, running a red light is considered a three-point violation.
The minimum fine for your first red light conviction is $250 in NYC. Fines increase with each subsequent violation as well as potential surcharges that may be as much as $85. Outside NYC, the fines can vary a bit more.
Feifer & Greenberg do not represent individuals with red light ticket camera tickets. Camera tickets are similar to parking tickets and issued to the registered owner. There is no impact on the driver’s license or insurance and thus the expense of an attorney wouldn’t be justified. The red light summonses to be concerned with in NY are those issued directly to the driver by an enforcement officer.
When a police officer issues your ticket, they subsequently must be prepared to provide many small and sometimes seemingly insignificant details to establish the violation in court. With an experienced NYC traffic ticket lawyer on your side, you have a much better chance of prevailing in court.
HOW MANY POINTS IS A RED LIGHT TICKET?
A red light ticket in NYS will result in three points on your license in addition to the applicable fines and surcharges.
SHOULD I FIGHT THE TRAFFIC TICKET I RECEIVED FOR RUNNING A STOP LIGHT?
A stop light summons in NY is a three-point ticket and definitely can affect insurance rates. We’d like to see everyone fight every ticket–it’s very rare we’d ever recommend that someone just pay a ticket because even with a clean license you never know what is going to happen next week, next month, next year, etc.
Of course, along with the nature of the violation a person’s existing driving history, job, and license class can also play a role in the decision.
Feifer & Greenberg will always look to leverage their years of experience and knowledge to potentially reduce or dismiss a pending red light charge. Whether challenging the ticket seems like it won’t be too difficult or seems like it might be an uphill battle, Feifer & Greenberg will work tirelessly to make sure you understand the situation and are expertly represented in court.
WILL I NEED TO GO TO COURT TO FIGHT MY STOP LIGHT TICKET?
If you plan on pleading not guilty and representing yourself, you’ll need to personally appear in the majority of traffic violation cases. If you are represented by a New York red light ticket lawyer you’ll never need to attend your court hearing outside of the rarest and unusual circumstances. Your attorney would be in court on your behalf.
When representing yourself, a trip to court may be avoidable if you are just pleading guilty and paying the ticket but the detrimental effects in regard to your automobile insurance rates and the number of points on your license are generally the reasons most attorneys in most cases would advise against this.
If you are facing charges for a stop light ticket and decide to work with an attorney, it’s important to make sure that your New York red light ticket lawyer has the necessary experience to represent you. Don’t risk making a mistake and hiring the wrong firm because they had a lot of anonymous reviews online or because they had the lowest fees. Call for a consult and ask questions and get a sense for what the particular New York red light ticket lawyer. in your case may bring to the table.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T PAY MY TRAFFIC TICKET FOR RUNNING A RED LIGHT?
Failing to properly and promptly handle a stop light ticket or any other moving violation will eventually result in a suspension of driving privileges. This is true for failing to respond to the ticket, failing to show for a hearing date, and for failing to pay any fines due on time.
If for some reason you lost your actual ticket, do not just pretend it didn’t happen and forget about it. There are some steps you can take to try to get the details so you can follow up on the case.
If your ticket was issued outside of NYC, you’ll need to contact that court to find the ticket. If you aren’t sure which court it is in, then you’ll have no choice but to wait until either the court or the DMV sends you a letter regarding the matter. This initial letter is likely just a warning letter so if you look out for it you can likely prevent any major issues before they occur.
If your ticket was issued in Manhattan South or Queens North or one of the other TVB offices within one the five boroughs of NYC, you’ll need to reach out to the DMV directly with your name, date of birth and license ID number (if you have a NY license). .
While tracking down your lost ticket isn’t always easy to do, Feifer & Greenberg can certainly help point you in the right direction. This is more common than one might think.
HOW LONG WILL A STOP LIGHT TRAFFIC VIOLATION STAY ON MY DRIVING RECORD?
A stop light violation conviction will be visible on your record from the time you are found guilty for at least three years going forward. This is the time where insurers and employers have a chance to see it.
Point calculation by the DMV is always based on the date the ticket was issued and points are calculated by adding up the total number of points from tickets issued in any 18-month period.
Someone may get a red light ticket in 2017 and then get convicted in 2020. The conviction will first show on the record in 2020 and remain visible there for three years. The fine will be due in 2020 right after conviction. In addition, If this person accumulated too many points back in 2017 there may be assessments due shortly after the conviction in 2020 or there could even be a suspension issued. Anyone who thinks they are out of danger in 2020 because the ticket was issued in 2017 is incorrect. If a driving record wasn’t great when the ticket was issued then prepare to pay the penalties upon conviction no matter how long that might be after the ticket was issued.
WHY DO I NEED A LAWYER TO HELP ME FIGHT MY STOP LIGHT TRAFFIC VIOLATION?
You can always represent yourself for a stop light violation or, for that matter, any violation or criminal charge. However, with a New York red light ticket lawyer who knows what they are doing, you won’t need to attend court and you will give yourself the absolute best chance at a successful outcome. This is the only type of work our firm handles, so we are quite experienced with stop light tickets and other moving violations.
Using the skill, knowledge, and experience of the NYC traffic ticket lawyers at Feifer & Greenberg will ensure that your rights are being protected and that you are doing everything possible to avoid added points to your license and costly insurance increases.
I WAS IN THE INTERSECTION TRYING TO TURN BEFORE THE LIGHT TURNED RED, SHOULD I HAVE RECEIVED A TICKET?
Stop light violations should only be charged when a motorist enters an intersection after the light turns red. Each intersection controlled by a red light signal will have some “stopping point” where a motorist must stop when the light is in the red phase. That might be a stop line, it might be a crosswalk or it can even be the curb line of the intersecting street if there are no other markings. The law is simple – if you cross that stopping point while the light is red you are technically in violation.
Unfortunately, many people will be issued red light tickets and will argue that the light was yellow or even green when they entered the intersection. In many of these cases, it’s a scenario where the motorist legally entered the intersection and was waiting for either pedestrians or vehicular traffic to clear before turning shortly after the light turned red. We will never know the officer’s motivation for issuing such tickets–perhaps it’s an honest mistake, perhaps it’s a bit more malicious–but in any such case you’ll always have the right to contest the charge. The goal for a New York red light tickets lawyer is simply to get a prosecutor to see that there may have been an error and thus amend the charge or show a judge at a hearing that the officer may have been mistaken in the case.
I STOPPED AT THE RED LIGHT. WHY WAS I STILL ISSUED A TICKET?
Technically, anyone crossing the marked stopping point after the light has turned red has committed a violation. The law does not require the driver to move completely through the intersection to be issued a citation.
While most officers are likely to let it go if someone stops just after the stopping point, there will always be some who will write stop light tickets as aggressively as possible.
The reason for the stopping point is to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of pedestrians and other drivers. Stopping beyond the stopping points increases the risk of injury. This is likely why some officers might be more aggressive. Or, maybe it was just a slow day for the officer. We will never know an officer’s true motivation in every case.
IS IT TRUE THAT IF THE CHARGING OFFICER FAILS TO APPEAR MY TICKET WILL BE DISMISSED?
If the officer who witnessed your violation and issued your ticket fails to appear at your hearing, the judge must then decide how to proceed with your case. In some cases the judge may decide to dismiss the ticket, but the judge will have the discretion to take other actions depending on the circumstances, including rescheduling the hearing. It may depend on your driving record, the history of the case prior to that point and the particular reason the officer failed to make it to court.
Note that the officer is not scheduled to appear in every phase of every case. In NYC, each case proceeds to a hearing so the officer must come to each court date. Outside NYC, there is a plea bargaining process that often doesn’t require the officer in court (the defense meets with the prosecution in such cases). An experienced New York red light ticket lawyer should help you navigate the situation if the officer has failed to appear when he was scheduled to be in court.
CAN YOU GET A TICKET FOR RUNNING A RED LIGHT?
Of course you can…that’s why we’re discussing all this (and probably what brought you to our website in the first place). Section 1111(d)(1) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic law sets for the specifics of the law and how one must approach certain “traffic-control signal indications.”
As always, if you are issued any kind of ticket, make sure you respond within all deadlines and/or reach out to an attorney for a consultation if you have any questions.
IS A STOP LIGHT TICKET A MOVING VIOLATION?
Yes, when you are pulled over by an officer and issued a summons for a stop light violation it is considered a moving violation.
If you receive a camera red light violation ticket, that’s different. Camera tickets are issued to the registered owner, not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the incident. Camera tickets are thus like parking violations and won’t result in points on a license or have any impact on insurance rates.
DOES A RED LIGHT TICKET AFFECT INSURANCE?
Yes, a moving violation like a red light ticket can affect auto insurance rates. The impact might depend on the particular policy, the age of the insured, car being driven, individual driving history, etc. With insurance, it’s usually pretty simple. Does the violation make it more or less likely that a driver will incur damages or expenses as a result? When the violation is going through a red light, the answer is certainly yes.
CAN YOU DO TRAFFIC SCHOOL FOR A STOP LIGHT TICKET?
Anyone can take a defensive driving course. It’s called a point and insurance reduction course in NY. It can reduce the total points on one’s license to help avoid a suspension (a four point reduction) and it can lead to a decrease in insurance rates for anyone, good record or bad.
A defensive driving class is often optional and sometimes necessary. An experienced New York red light ticket lawyer will be able to help you understand your options and make sure you understand how traffic school can be another part of a good defense and good license and insurance maintenance.