Getting a traffic ticket is never pleasant. When the violation is speeding, the fines and other penalties can be substantial and long-lasting. Various studies show that New York consistently ranks near the top of the list for speeding enforcement.
In New York State, two different venues handle speeding tickets. In New York City, non-criminal traffic violations are handled by the Traffic Violation Bureau (TVB), a division of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Everywhere else in the state, citations are handled by the local court system. This distinction is important, because unlike the court system, the TVB operates under different legal rules. A New York City Traffic attorney understands the differences between these two systems and can help you fight a traffic violation.
When to hire a traffic lawyer for speeding ticket
NYC has a speeding conviction rate of about 60% and higher. Although the odds are not favorable, they do indicate that you can get a ticket dismissed. A traffic attorney in New York who specializes in speeding tickets is an ideal advocate. They know the law and procedures, and, most importantly, how the system can be made to work in your favor. Drivers can represent themselves, but dismissals are often achieved over technical details that drivers might never know or understand. If you want to speak with a NYC Traffic Lawyer right away, reach out to Waxman & Beer in Cedarhurst, NY at 212-269-3988.
6 Tips for Fighting a traffic ticket in NYC or NY
1. Know what to wear to court for a speeding ticket
If you decide to go to court or a TVB hearing, make a good first impression by dressing appropriately. You don’t have to go full formal, but you will demonstrate that you are taking the process seriously. Here's what experts say men and women should wear to court.
What men should wear to traffic court in NYC
Men should wear a suit or business casual attire. Specifically wear shoes with socks. Long pants and a belt with a tucked in button down shirt is preferable. If you have a blazer or suit jacket, you may want to wear that as well. If you have a tie, that is helpful. If you have glasses, ask your lawyer if you should wear them.
The idea is to look professional and that you are respecting the court by not showing up in a t-shirt and shorts. If you don't look like you're taking the traffic court seriously, there is little reason for the judge to take your case seriously.
What women should wear to traffic court in NYC
According to experts, women should wear shoes, a dress, work appropriate skirt or long pants. Wearing a blouse, sweater or casual dress shirt is also acceptable. If you have a pair of glasses, ask your New York City traffic lawyer if it would make sense for you to wear them to court.
You want to look like you know how to show respect to the traffic court system and the judge's courtroom.
2. Be patient and prepared to wait in Traffic court if you don't have a traffic lawyer
You don’t have a real appointment, you have a date. Hearings are done first-come, first-serve, and you have no idea how long other cases will take. You show up on the date, sign in, and wait. And wait. And wait. Getting frustrated and impatient will make you less likely to think clearly, and you might miss something important during your hearing.
Hiring a traffic lawyer can help you to jump to the head of the line during your day in traffic court. This is one of the main benefits to hiring Traffic Lawyers for NYC traffic tickets.
3. Show up for your traffic ticket hearing
The court system and TVB handle thousands of cases a year. The system is computerized. They will know if you return a response on time, if you showed up or not for a hearing, and if you followed the rules. Ignoring the process will result in a) likely being found guilty and b) more fines and penalties. For expert guidance, seeking out an NYC traffic ticket lawyer could help you avoid unnecessary mistakes with the process.
4. Be prepared to present the facts and that your lawyer knows all the details of your case
You will only have a few minutes to make your case. Keep it simple, and keep it about the law. Do your research on traffic law. Traffic court is about legal claims, not fairness ones. The judges have heard it all. Hearings can be stressful and confusing. Many drivers find that having a traffic lawyer in NYC who knows the nuances of the law is incredibly helpful.
5. Don't be rude, there are benefits to acting professional in traffic court
No one has ever gotten a ticket reduced or dismissed by being rude, angry, or belligerent. In a very real sense, you are asking for a break from the law. You won’t get a break if you insult or annoy the people you are asking for a break. Important tip: never accuse police officers of lying. They either are mistaken or misremembering.
6. How to negotiate your traffic ticket when possible
Outside the TVB system, you have an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor before your hearing. Do it. The prosecutor knows what’s possible, what will get you out quickest, and what the likely outcome of your case will be. Better yet, an NYC traffic lawyer with experience knows the players involved and often the best way to approach a negotiation to fight a traffic violation.
Unless you are positive you have a legal case for dismissal, consider taking the plea bargain from the prosecutor. At the end of the day, it is probably more important to get the points reduced on your license than the fee. Accept it, don’t speed again, and move on.
What are the fines and points that can come with a New York Speeding Ticket?
The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, Article 30, Section 1180-1 outlines the calculation of speeding fines:
How to calculate points from a speeding ticket in New York
The DMV uses a Points System to track high-risk drivers. If a driver accumulates 11 points at any time within an 18-month period, he or she may receive a license suspension or even revocation. Violations can also cause your insurance premium to rise. A traffic lawyer in the NYC system can be a valuable asset in trying to reduce these points in ways an individual might not understand is impossible.
The DMV Point System for NYS
If a driver accumulates 6 or more points in an 18-month window a Driver Assessment Responsibility (DAR) fee is assessed. For 6 points, the annual fee is $100 for three years. For every point over 6, the fee increases $25 per point.
Finally, you will also be charged with a court surcharge of either $88 or $93 per violation, depending on the location.
Frankly, unless you have no defense whatsoever, you have nothing to lose by pleading not guilty and contesting the ticket.
Why it is worth hiring a lawyer for speeding ticket
With substantial fines and penalties involved with speeding convictions today, the investment in a traffic attorney might save money and protect you from losing your license. New York traffic attorneys work with the court system and the TVB everyday. They know the process, the judges, and what might achieve a dismissal and what won’t. You could save on fines and lower points on your license. In the long-term, you might be able to avoid an ongoing penalty fee from the DMV and keep your insurance premiums from being raised.
FIND OUT HOW TO FIGHT YOUR NEW YORK TRAFFIC TICKET!
CALL WAXMAN & BEER
With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts, our team of local traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time. We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums