Feifer & Greenberg, LLP

New York Red Light Tickets Lawyer

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Want to fight a red light ticket in New York? A NY red light ticket lawyer with Feifer & Greenberg, LLP can help.  We understand the laws and procedures at the courts handling traffic matters and our experience provides our clients with an excellent chance of reducing or outright dismissing many red light summonses.

Read more below about how a NY red light ticket lawyer might fight the violation and prevent points on your license.

The full text of the relevant law, NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Sec 1111(d)1 can be found here.


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.


A conviction for violating VTL 1111(d)1 will include a fine and surcharge that can range from $250 to $800+ depending on where you get the ticket and your existing driving history.

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.


In New York, a conviction for running a red light will result in three points on your license. If you accumulate six or more points in 18 months, you’ll be required to pay a driver assessment starting at $300.  If you accumulate 11 or more points, your license will be in the suspension range (some judges have some give with this number, so it’s not an automatic suspension at eleven).  The penalties can add up, and a red light ticket should not be taken lightly.


No.  These are treated like non-moving parking violations and issued to the registered owner of the vehicle, not the individual driver. Camera tickets do not result in points to your license or insurance increases.


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.


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, the 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.


A red 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.


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.


Before worrying about any particular strategy for fighting red light tickets in New York it’s worth taking a quick law at the legal statute in question.  In this case, it’s pretty simple.

Intersections have a stopping point. This may be a crosswalk, or a specific stop line, or even the curb line in the absence of painted lines on the roadway.  This stopping point is the point where drivers cannot cross if the light in question is in the red phase. This is what an officer is looking for, and this demarcation point will be an important part of any hearing or trial regarding the matter.  The central question at hand is always: what was the color of the light at the time the driver enters (crosses that stopping point) the intersection?

The classic situation that may lead to the issuance of a red light ticket is the driver who blatantly drives straight through an intersection after the light has already entered its red phase. However, there are also situations where a driver may have entered the intersection literally at the same time the light changed from yellow to red — a virtual tie where the officer has simply decided it was too close to let go and chose to issue the driver a summons.

We also see many situations where the driver entered while the light was in a green phase but was delayed getting through the intersection. This could be a situation where someone is waiting for vehicular or pedestrian traffic to clear before turning or someone going straight but is moving slowly through the intersection due to congestion.  These “delay” situations are completely legal maneuvers that sometimes can appear to an officer at the scene as if it was a violation in situations where they weren’t paying close enough attention to the entire intersection and the cycle of the light.

Note that regardless of your situation, simply stating to a prosecutor or testifying during a hearing that you didn’t do it or the officer made a mistake is unlikely to get you very far.  Whether you went through the light while it was blatantly green, blatantly red or it was a close call you can expect the police officer to argue that the light was blatantly red.  The officer isn’t going to come to court after issuing a red light ticket and say anything other than that.

As with all moving violations, some people will choose to plead guilty and pay and some may choose to fight. As a three point violation in New York, we’ll almost always recommend hiring a NY red light ticket lawyer and trying to fight the ticket to avoid the conviction and points.


Any driver who receives a red light ticket has the option to plead guilty or not guilty regardless of any other factors at hand.  Pleading guilty means accepting the full penalties.  While some will choose to do that it’s not a decision that should be made lightly.  Pleading not guilty will afford you an opportunity to contest the ticket and avoid some if not all of the consequences.

If you’ve entered a not guilty plea, what comes next depends on where you received the ticket (which court is handling the matter). Outside NYC, a conference date is set which is an opportunity to negotiate a lesser charge with the prosecutor. Our goal in such cases is to try to avoid any points or conviction on a driving record (just a fine). In NYC (at the Traffic Violations Bureau) there is no negotiating.  Any not guilty plea there will lead to a hearing date where there will be an all (guilty as charged) or nothing (case dismissed, no fine or points) hearing held.


If you end up at a TVB hearing in NYC or if you bypass the negotiation option elsewhere and end up at a trial, your goals are the same — a dismissal of the charge. The officer will testify regarding what he observed and you’ll want to listen for the basic “elements” of the charge.

  • Where (how far prior to the stopping point) were you when the light turned red?
  • What color was the light when you finally reached the stopping point?
  • Was the light working properly (when did the officer observe it, what is the typical light cycle, etc.)?
  • Did the officer have your vehicle in sight from the time he first saw you until the time he pulled you over?

These are just some of the basics. It will be your job (or for your NY red light ticket lawyer) to listen closely, ask questions, review notes and find some argument that can be presented to the judge as a reason to dismiss the charge.


Camera tickets are a whole other thing. Our firm doesn’t handle these. Few lawyers do because there are no points or impact on one’s license or insurance. They are a pain and can be costly and may not always be issued fairly but they are significantly better to receive than the three-point, officer-issued moving violation version discussed above.


Forgot to pay a red light ticket? Failing to properly and promptly handle a red 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 up for a hearing date, and 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 were issued in Manhattan South, Queens North, or one of the other TVB offices within one of the five boroughs of NYC, you’d 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.

Red Light Ticket FAQs

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?

Red 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 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.

Can you do traffic school for a red 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.

Is it true that if the charging officer fail to appear my ticket will be dismissed?

The portable electronic device section of the law covers this. If using GPS requires holding the device in your hand, you are in violation. Regardless of why a device is in use, the law wants devices to be attached to the car in some fashion that allows their use to be “hands-free.”




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