A Staten Island traffic ticket attorney can help protect your money, your license, your insurance, and in some cases, your livelihood.
If you were given a ticket in Richmond County, feel free to reach out for a free, no-obligation case review.
Feifer & Greenberg fights many tickets in each Traffic Violations Bureau every day and understands how to effectively fight tickets through the administrative DMV TVB system which handles all moving violations issued in NYC.
With 479,000 residents, Staten Island is the least populous of New York City’s five boroughs. At the same time, there are a large number of people driving on and through Staten Island each day.
With no connection to the NYC subways and as a conduit for travel between Long Island / Brooklyn and New Jersey, it’s ripe for traffic enforcement and the issuance of a variety of traffic tickets.
As of 2022, Staten Island averages around 600 speeding tickets per month, around 50 cell phone use tickets per month, and around 250 tickets per month for disobeying a traffic control device. Overall, a little more than 2000 moving violations per month are issued in Staten Island.
A ticket issued in Staten Island may mean hefty penalties and a potential legal and/or financial burden. A Feifer & Greenberg Staten Island traffic ticket attorney understands these concerns and want people to know that they don’t have to just accept every ticket they are handed.
When we contest NYC traffic tickets the goal is to earn a complete dismissal of the charge.
It may be tempting just to pay your ticket to avoid the time and energy and potential expense that it would take to fight the ticket. However, our experienced Staten Island traffic ticket attorney can tell you, that paying your traffic ticket in Staten Island will earn you steeper penalties than you might expect. Paying your ticket and pleading guilty is the same as being found guilty after a trial. Fines, surcharges, points and insurance increases are all in play.
Take for example two tickets issued on a highway in one stop, one for driving 71mph in a 50mph zone and the other for failing to signal on a lane change. This single incident would amount to $300+ in court fines/surcharges, $450 from a DMV points assessment, eight points on your license and a likely insurance increase. These are hefty penalties for a single incident that arguably may not have presented any danger to the driver or others on the road. This is how quickly moving violations can amount to big problems in NYC.
Note that the $450 assessment is called the Driver Responsibility Assessment. This starts at $300 for the accumulation of six points on a license and then increases by $75 for every additional point.
The points are also of note because a driver is generally allowed 11 points total before a suspension is issued. You can see how quickly those points can accumulate if a simple incident like this one can amount to eight points. Points are calculated by looking at tickets issued in an 18 month period so in this scenario the driver would need to make sure no more tickets were issued for at least 1.5 years after this incident.
If you have been pulled over and issued a ticket, the first decision that needs to be made is whether you are pleading guilty (just paying the ticket and accepting the points) or not guilty (scheduling a hearing and fighting). While we like to see everyone fight their tickets even if they represent themselves, we know some people do choose to just pay the ticket and end the case.
We recommend that no matter what you do, you try to do it online through the TVB web portal so you aren’t left “hoping” any mail you send gets properly processed in a timely manner. You do have the option of going to a Traffic Violation Bureau office in person to enter pleas as well but in the post Covid world you should always check to make sure walk-ins are permitted in your particular court before trying to do that.
Keep in mind that the TVB (as it says on your ticket) wants to hear from you one way or the other within 15 days of getting the ticket. While they won’t always hold you to that as an absolute deadline, we wouldn’t suggest pushing too far beyond that if you want to make sure you have no issues with the ticket or your license status.
With a relatively quick response necessary, right after getting the ticket tends to be a good time to reach out for a quick consultation with an Staten Island traffic ticket attorney. Even if you are leaning toward paying the ticket and pleading guilty, or perhaps leaning towards fighting it yourself, it may be worth a quick chat before doing anything that cannot be undone.
Pleading “not guilty” to your ticket gives you the opportunity to have a hearing on a scheduled hearing date in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
At your hearing, you (or your Staten Island traffic ticket attorney) would dispute whether there is “clear and convincing evidence” that your violation occurred by trying to poke any holes you can in the testimony provided by the issuing police officer who will also be there.
During these hearings, it is a big advantage to know the specific elements of the charge(s) you are facing as well as which of these elements the particular ALJ may deem most necessary to the case. Knowing what the judges are looking and listening for and thus what errors or omissions or contradictions to look for in the officer’s presentation is key.
Anyone can fight their own ticket, but the average person who isn’t there and appearing in front of these judges daily is naturally at a bit of a disadvantage compared to an Staten Island traffic ticket attorney who fights these tickets regularly. It’s no different than any other professional service provider hired for their experience and ability with a particular job or task.
Staten Island has the reputation of being the most difficult of all the TVB offices in NYC. The culture and reputation there is one of being a little less fair than the other offices. Motorists who have appeared in Staten Island over the years have expressed their dissatisfaction with this particular office in many ways over the years. Simple online searches will probably bring up some of the public complaints.
Staten Island TVB’s reputation extends to the severity of the penalties they impose as well. With “discretion” to act as they see fit, judges in Staten Island tend to suspend motorists more quickly than motorists with the same driving records and situations might be in other TVB offices.
With a propensity for exceedingly harsh consequences for common violations, the judges of the Staten Island TVB often intimidate those appearing on their own and don’t provide a forum for a fair hearing. We’ve seen too many people walk into that court with what they thought was a good “defense” or “easy” case only to leave with a conviction and in some cases suspension. Our Staten Island traffic ticket attorney handling your case can’t offer any guarantees but we an experienced one can certainly increase one’s chances of avoiding these particular harsh penalties.
Knowing what to expect and what to try to avoid at the Staten Island TVB is a big part of the battle, perhaps more than any of the other boroughs.
If you do fight a ticket there and are not successful in getting it dismissed, there is always the right to file an appeal within 30 days of the conviction. While the process for filing appeals is simple and there’s little harm in trying, the reversal rate on appeals of TVB decisions in Staten Island or any other office is very very very low. We will never recommend heading into a Staten Island TVB case on your own with the expectation that it’s “no big deal” because you can always appeal. Appeals are rarely the solution. The real chance for success is at the TVB hearing itself, even in Staten Island. The original hearing is your best chance to win.
Typical traffic violations can get costly. Fines and surcharges can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars and points-based assessments make everything that much more costly once a driver hits six points total on a license. Accumulation of six points in an 18 month period triggers a driver responsibility assessment fee starting at $300 and going up $75/point after six points total.
Point accumulation can also lead to issues with employment or license suspension at the eleven point mark in most cases. Seven or more points can mean that your license gets suspended.
Insurance is another big potential cost to consider with any moving violation convictions. Insurance in NY is all about how much of a risk you are to incur or cause damage (and thus require insurance payment(s)) with your vehicle regardless of whether it’s your fault. The more you speed, talk on your phone while driving, fail to use your signal or drive too close to pedestrians or cars, etc then the more likely it is your insurer will end up covering some damages. Every situation is different but even a single moderate violation can cause your car insurance rates to go up. In some situations with multiple claims and violations it could get to the point where the insurance is either completely unaffordable or even no longer offered (you become effectively uninsurable).
Not every case is going to bury you with fines, points and insurance hikes. Just think twice and make sure you’ve considered your options before simply pleading guilty to any charges. The purpose of a consultation with an Staten Island traffic ticket attorney is sometimes just to confirm there’s nothing you’re missing or failing to consider before handling your own case.
Really, it’s free. If you have any questions, just reach out. Whether it’s Staten Island traffic tickets or Broome County or Buffalo, this is what we do. Let us know if we can answer any questions about any moving violations anywhere in NY. Our attorneys can help point out what your options are and help you figure out the best course of action for your particular situation.