New York Traffic Ticket FAQs
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WHY SHOULD I FIGHT MY TRAFFIC TICKET?
Unfortunately, paying a traffic ticket doesn’t make it go away. In fact, paying a ticket means admitting to the alleged offense and making sure that ticket stays with you for at least the next 18 months.
1. You could lose your license
A certain number of traffic ticket convictions will trigger additional fees, fines, and surcharges, and a certain number of driver’s license points will trigger harsh penalties that could cost you your license. Is it worth potentially losing your license if it means you don’t have to pick up the phone right now? Considering you can contact us today for a free case consultation, probably not.
2. You may have to pay higher insurance rates
In addition to the fines, driver’s license points, and other possible penalties imposed by the NYC Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) or DMV, a traffic ticket conviction is likely to result in increased insurance rates. Ultimately, paying a ticket amounts to far more money than the number you see on the ticket itself.
Because we don’t plan on getting ticketed, many people don’t have the funds or time to deal with them. Challenging a traffic ticket is how you save money and time in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem that way initially.
When working with an NYC traffic ticket lawyer, you probably won’t even need to appear in court. At Feifer & Greenberg, LLP, we handle the minutiae of fighting a traffic ticket so you don’t have to. Are you ready to fight your traffic ticket? Contact us now for that free case consultation.
CAN I SIMPLY PAY THE FINE AND GET NO POINTS OR REDUCED POINTS?
Reductions are possible in local courts, with most cases reduced via plea bargain.
However, a point reduction in the TVB is not a possibility. There is no plea bargaining. Either you pay the ticket and plead guilty to the original charge or you plead “not guilty” and have a hearing.
The outcome of any hearing on any individual ticket will always be “all” (guilty with the points and fine that come with the ticket) or “nothing” (no points, no fine). No judge or DMV official can “waive” the points – they come attached to the particular violation. This is TVB policy.
IF I DON’T PAY THE TICKET OR APPEAR IN COURT WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
It might be tempting to ignore a traffic ticket. The TVB likely issues tons of tickets per week, so perhaps you can fly under their radar. It’s not like they would notice your missing response, right? Wrong.
If you ignore a traffic ticket, refuse to pay the related fine, and do not appear in traffic court, your driver’s license will be suspended. Once your license is suspended, it becomes a crime to drive. But you may be able to restore your license by answering the ticket as soon as possible and paying a $100 suspension termination fee.
1. What happens if I continue to ignore the ticket?
If you continue to ignore the ticket or summons once your license is suspended, you’ll be automatically convicted of the charge alleged in the ticket and your license will now be suspended for failing to pay the ticket fine.
Depending on how many driver’s license points you’ve accrued in the past 18 months, you may be able to get your license reinstated, but the process is more expensive. The default conviction triggered by ignoring the ticket and any related summons means points will accrue on your driver’s license. Depending on how many points are already imposed, the additional points may result in mandatory suspension or revocation. If either status is demanded by law, you’ll be on the hook for much more money and time than it would have taken to challenge or address the traffic ticket in the first place.
Fortunately, a skilled NYC traffic ticket lawyer will know how to handle this. If you’ve ignored a traffic ticket for longer than you’d like to admit, contact us today for a free consultation. In some cases, it’s possible to reopen a default conviction. And if that happens, you’ll want us on your side.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I PLEAD NOLO FOR A TRAFFIC TICKET?
Across the country, many courts will accept Alford or nolo contendere (NOLO) pleas in place of guilty pleas. Entering either plea is usually part of an agreement in which prosecutors lower the severity of the initial charge, resulting in a lesser punishment. In addition, these pleas cannot be used against you in civil lawsuits while a guilty plea can be.
1. Nolo contendere plea
Nolo contendere, which means “I do not wish to contend” in Latin, means to not contest the case brought against you while not admitting guilt.
2. Alford plea
An Alford plea is a little different in that the accused maintains their innocence while essentially admitting that the court has enough evidence to convict them if they were to challenge the charge.
While a NOLO plea seems like a viable alternative to fighting a traffic ticket or admitting that you deserved a ticket, New York does not currently accept NOLO pleas for traffic violations.
Considering the complexity of New York traffic law, it’s best to work with an experienced New York traffic ticket lawyer so you are aware of all the current and viable legal options available to you. In states that do accept NOLO pleas, the conviction goes through and the ensuing penalties are imposed, sometimes without any driver’s license points.
I HAVE A COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE (CDL), IS FIGHTING A TICKET ADVISABLE?
We advise that drivers should usually challenge traffic ticket allegations. Working with an experienced NYC traffic ticket lawyer is likely to result in lesser fines, fees, and penalties. In cases in which a commercial driver has been ticketed, consult with a NYC traffic ticket lawyer immediately. The best potential outcome is only possible if you fight the traffic ticket.
Being convicted of a traffic violation as a commercial driver can endanger your career. Not only are you at risk of being let go of your current job, but you may also be at a disadvantage when it comes to future employment. As a commercial driver, companies may decide that your driving record makes you too expensive to insure.
Considering the professional responsibility that commercial drivers have, authorities are quick to impose harsh penalties for commercial driver violation convictions. We at Feifer & Greenberg, LLP regularly work to defend commercial drivers of allegations ranging from weight issues to generic traffic violations.
If you’re concerned about how a traffic ticket may affect your commercial driver’s license and employment, contact us today for a free CDL traffic ticket case consultation.
IF THE OFFICER DOESN’T SHOW UP IN COURT WILL MY TICKET BE DISMISSED?
The myth that a ticket will be dismissed as soon as the issuing officer is ruled late or absent is just that: a myth. New York City even has officers specifically dedicated to traffic enforcement agents. It is part of these officers’ jobs to attend traffic court and testify against you if necessary.
If your ticket was issued by an officer outside the dedicated traffic enforcement team, assume they will also appear in court as it’s part of their job. If an officer doesn’t attend a traffic court hearing, the judge may use their initial report as their statement. However, your ticket challenge is more likely to be upheld when an officer is absent from court because they aren’t there to answer any clarifying questions from the judge or to provide additional information contrary to your testimony and case.
While the absence of an officer may make the path forward easier to tread, you should not assume that an officer will not attend your hearing. Again, this is their job. They are usually required to be there.
IF I HAVE PAID THE TICKET ALREADY, IS IT TOO LATE TO HIRE YOU?
The act of paying a traffic ticket is essentially admitting guilt. By paying the ticket, you not only admit to the alleged offenses but you also waive your right to challenge the ticket in court.
In certain cases, it may be possible to vacate your plea. This is a rare and complex exception that needs to be handled by a skilled NYC traffic ticket lawyer.
If you don’t want to plead guilty and admit fault, then you must challenge your traffic ticket. Though the process may sound intimidating or troublesome, we’re here to help. We at Feifer & Greenberg, LLP have experience with nearly every court in the state. We are more than prepared to fight for you wherever the case was filed.
Challenging a traffic ticket with the TVB will lead to a hearing, which you typically won’t have to attend. Before, during, and after the hearing, we will analyze all relevant evidence, including testimony, to ensure you have the strongest case possible.
1. I’m worried that challenging a traffic ticket is an all-or-nothing risk
If you decide to challenge a traffic ticket — and we advise that you should — it’s possible that the ticket will get dismissed entirely, erasing it from your driving record and allowing you to avoid the imposition of any driver’s license points.
If the ticket was issued by a local court, such as those issued in a city, town, or village, we may be able to negotiate the alleged offense to a lesser charge. That would mean you face less harsh penalties (and possibly return to the road sooner) than if you paid the ticket outright.
As part of a negotiation, you may be required to attend defensive driving courses, some of which can be completed in a single sitting. With these tactics, our statewide network of skilled NYC traffic ticket lawyers has gotten client tickets reduced or dropped completely, saving them time, money, and energy.
HOW MANY POINTS WILL I GET FOR A NY MOVING TRAFFIC VIOLATION?
The number of driver’s license points imposed for a NY moving traffic violation depends on the severity of the violation. Moving violations are exactly what they sound like: violations you’re accused of committing while your vehicle was moving.
As such, these types of violations include failing to signal, driving in the wrong direction, running a red light, speeding, and so on. Points imposed for the most common moving traffic violations are as follows:
1. Eleven points
Speeding more than 40 miles over the posted speed limit
2. Eight points
Speeding 31 to 40 miles over the posted speed limit
3. Six points
Speeding 21 to 30 miles over the posted speed limit
4. Five points
5. Four points
Speeding 11 to 20 miles over the posted speed limit
6. Three points
7. Two points
HOW DOES A NEW YORK TRAFFIC TICKET IMPACT A PROBATIONARY LICENSE?
It’s nerve-wracking enough to be a new driver on a New York road, but New Yorkers who get their driver’s license when they’re 18 years old or older have to go through a six-month probationary period during which they’re extra vulnerable to harsh penalties for violation convictions.
This period is also invoked for New Yorkers who are getting another driver’s license after previously losing theirs to revocation. During this time, if the driver is convicted of one of any of the following violations, their license will be suspended for 60 days:
If you are convicted of enough traffic violations and your license is suspended, a new probationary period will begin when your license is reinstated. If you’re convicted of any driving violations during this second probation period, your license will be revoked for at least six months and the probation process will start all over again upon reinstatement.
Fortunately, getting a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted of the alleged violation. If you were issued a traffic ticket during a New York driver probationary period, contact Feifer & Greenberg, LLP for a free case consultation. Let us help you focus on the road instead of on a court date.
DO INSURANCE RATES GO UP IF I GET A NY TRAFFIC TICKET?
Insurance rates don’t increase if you get a traffic ticket in New York. But they’re likely to increase if you’re convicted of the offenses alleged by the ticket. Prior to paying a ticket or entering a guilty plea, you have the option to challenge the ticket. Such a challenge means you may not be convicted of the alleged offense or see any points imposed on your driver’s license.
1. How can I avoid higher insurance rates?
No one wants to pay higher auto insurance premiums. When it comes to avoiding higher insurance rates from a traffic ticket, the best way to avoid this consequence is to successfully challenge the ticket.
Insurance companies keep a traffic ticket on file for 36 months, which means you’ll be paying for the alleged offense for at least three years. Being convicted of going a single mph above the posted speed limit can cost you hundreds of dollars more per year for auto insurance than if you had avoided the conviction.
If you are concerned about a traffic ticket affecting your insurance rate, contact us today at (888) 445-9886 (TicketHELP) or tickethelp.com for your free case consultation. The next best way to avoid a higher insurance rate triggered by a traffic ticket may come into play if your charge is lowered through negotiation: defensive driving courses.
In New York, successfully completing a DMV-approved defensive driving course may save you up to 10% on auto insurance rates. In addition, you may qualify for other discounts offered by your insurance provider. Even if you aren’t dealing with the fallout from a traffic ticket, you should call your insurance provider to see if there are any available discounts that you haven’t taken advantage of yet.