Speeding tickets in New York are probably the traffic ticket we receive the most questions about. NY speeding ticket points range from three to eleven (enough for a suspension from a single speeding ticket) depending on how far over the limit you were driving. Speeding tickets are not good for your driving record and certainly not good for your automobile insurance.
Motorists who have been issued a speeding ticket will usually claim one of the following:
- I wasn’t driving as fast as the officer said I was
- I was driving above the speed limit but I have a good reason
- I was just keeping up with traffic
- I was speeding and I simply got caught
As NY speeding ticket lawyers, our strategy generally does not depend on which category applies to our client. The issuing officer is likely to offer the same testimony regardless of the category in question. In the officer’s opinion, you were speeding, it wasn’t justified and it doesn’t matter how fast anyone else on the road was driving. If you have reasons you feel you were not guilty, don’t expect the officer to agree (he wouldn’t have issued the ticket if that was the case).
In some cases, it is possible for an individual to have a defense or justification for speeding that couldn’t be explained to the officer (or the officer simply wouldn’t accept) during the car stop. Of course, we’ll be happy to discuss any potential defense or justification in your case.
That said, we make sure you understand that offering a defense or justification is a strategy that must be considered carefully. It’s basically an admission as far as the speed in question. If the judge doesn’t agree with or believe the defense or justification, you’ve admitted to speeding and the judge doesn’t think you had a good reason for driving too fast.
Speeding Ticket Law
Section 1180 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic law is the most commonly cited section on a ticket. This section includes information regarding school zone and work zone speeds as well.
In NYC, while many will be charged under Section 1180 of the VTL, we’ll also see some people charged under Section 4-06 of the NYC Traffic Rules. This is a section specific to NYC that also sets forth the default speed limit of 25 mph where there are no signs indicating a higher speed limit.
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 one 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 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 as we might pursue outside NYC–true plea bargains are never an option at the TVB in NYC. 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.
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 NY speeding ticket lawyers. No attorney can 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.
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When Do I Need a New York Speeding Ticket Lawyer?
If you choose to fight your speeding ticket in court, you will always have the option of representing yourself or hiring an attorney as your representative. When people ask if they need a NY speeding ticket lawyer for a speeding violation, the answer isn’t always absolute one way or the other. Some people may have better records than others or higher speeds than others. Some people may live closer than others to the court or have a more flexible schedule. There are different situations and not always a one size fits all answer.
We’ll often tell prospective clients that there’s an upside and a downside to hiring an attorney. The upside is not having to go to court personally, having someone take care of all the paperwork and court communications and giving yourself (assuming you hire the right attorney) the best chance possible of a good outcome. Moreover, an attorney should be providing you with an honest assessment regarding your chances of achieving that good outcome. The downside is that the attorney will be charging a fee and that no attorney can ever guarantee a particular outcome. It is possible to pay an attorney for representation on any legal matter and perhaps not have the case turn out as you might hope it to but again–an honest attorney should help you understand the likelihood of success on your particular case.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a NY Speeding Ticket Lawyer?
The cost of hiring a speeding ticket lawyer largely depends on the size of the speed, your overall driving record and where (which court) the case will be heard. Regardless of your specific situation, our firm always charges low, fair, flat fees for traffic violation matters. We’ll always try to quote a fee we feel is fair for the situation and once hired we go to court as many times as necessary to finish a case for that one time fee.
If the fee you are quoted seems high, remember the potential costs and penalties involved. Cases have fines, points on a license, potential assessments from DMV based on these points, potential insurance increases and of course in some cases there can be short or long term loss of the privilege to drive. An “investment” in a lawyer can often be a relatively small fee to pay in exchange for a realistic chance to avoid some or all of the potential penalties.
Note that points on one’s license for a speeding ticket vary depending on how much over the limit you are convicted of driving. Points can range from three all the way to 11. Fines can vary depending on which court the case is in, how fast the speed is and what the person’s existing driving history looks like.
With the fines, surcharges, assessments, increases in insurance and even suspension or revocation as potential penalties, hiring an NYC speeding ticket lawyer to fight for a reduced charge or a complete dismissal of your case is often a good idea. The attorneys at Feifer & Greenberg are intimately familiar with the state and local laws regarding speeding, and we know what it takes to help you get a better outcome in your speeding case. Give us a call today at (888) 842-5384 (TicketHELP).
Speeding in a Work Zone
In the state of New York, speeding in a work zone has stiffer penalties than an average citation. Driving above the speed limit through a work zone will not only increase your fines and other penalties, but it can cause a dramatic increase in your auto insurance premiums.
Speeding through a work zone is considered a serious offense. Drivers who move recklessly through these zones endanger the lives of construction and road workers. In fact, speeds through these areas are typically lowered in an effort to keep these men and women safe. Hundreds of workers are injured or killed every year due to reckless drivers.
Under state law, a “work zone” is any location along a roadway or highway where workers, their equipment and supplies are located. Drivers should note that the absence of workers does not mean that the area is not considered a work zone. If there are barriers and/or signage, the area is designated a work zone even if no work is actively taking place.
In New York, driving up to 10 miles per hour over the posted work zone speed limit results in 3 points. Driving 11 to 20 miles per hour over the limit will net 4 points on a driver’s license. In addition, fine amounts of a typical citation are doubled. If a driver is caught traveling 21 miles or more over the speed limit and found guilty of the offense, 6 points will be given and the driver must pay the NYS Driver Responsibility Assessment.
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I have been using Feifer and Greenberg for all of my driving ticket issues for about 10 years. They are always reliable, professional, and have been able to dismiss or reduce many tickets I have received. I highly recommend them to anyone I know and am thankful I always have them to consult for any issues I may have.
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