When you’ve received a traffic ticket, don’t plead guilty without consulting a Broome County traffic violations attorney about your legal rights and options. Pleading guilty or paying a traffic ticket can have long-lasting financial or professional consequences like increased insurance premiums or loss of driving privileges. You can fight your charges or negotiate a more favorable outcome to your case. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers for an initial consultation to discuss your case with our legal team. We will go to court for you if you choose to contest your ticket, using our knowledge and skills to pursue the best possible resolution of your citation.
Consequences of a Traffic Ticket
Many people who get a traffic ticket pay the fine without considering the consequences. Paying a traffic ticket means you admit your guilt for the violation. When you get ticketed, you have the right to a hearing where a judge will determine whether you committed the infraction. Depending on the violation, paying the ticket may expose you to additional penalties and consequences, such as:
- Points on your driving record, which may require you to pay fees or result in suspension of your driver’s license
- Surcharges that require you to pay additional money on top of your fines
- Automatic suspension of your driver’s license
- Higher insurance rates if your insurance company deems you a higher risk due to your violations
- A criminal record if you plead guilty to a misdemeanor or felony traffic violation
New York’s Point System
The New York DMV operates a Driver Violation Point System. Under the point system, drivers accumulate points for every conviction for a moving violation. Most offenses impose two points for a conviction, although more serious offenses may result in the imposition of three to 11 points. Drivers who receive six or more points within an 18-month period must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. The DMV will suspend the license of a driver who accumulates 11 or more points within an 18-month period. After 18 months, a violation no longer counts towards your point total, although the conviction will remain on your driving record.
Car insurance companies have their own points systems, imposing points when they receive notice of an insured driver’s traffic violation and increasing premiums for drivers who accrue points. Insurers keep their point systems private. The only notice you may have that your insurer has imposed points may come in the form of increased premiums.
Traffic Violations We Can Help With
At The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers, our Broome County traffic violations attorneys can help you resolve traffic tickets involving violations such as:
- Speeding (VTL §1180): Exceeding the posted speed limit may result in a ticket that imposes fines and points on your license. The number of points you receive for a conviction will depend on how much you exceeded the speed limit, with four points imposed for driving more than ten mph, six points for driving more than 20 mph, eight points for driving more than 30 mph, and 11 points for driving more than 40 mph.
- Driving Without Insurance (NYS §319-1): New York requires all drivers to have auto insurance that meets minimum coverage requirements. If the police pull you over for a traffic violation and discover that you don’t have valid insurance, you may receive a license suspension for up to one year.
- Driving Without an Inspection Certificate (NYS §306b): State law requires vehicles to undergo annual safety inspections. Driving a vehicle without a valid inspection certificate carries a fine of up to $100 plus surcharges. However, courts frequently dismiss these tickets if the driver’s vehicle passes inspection.
- Driving Without Registration (NYS §401-1a/512): Driving an unregistered vehicle carries a fine of up to $300. The amount of the fine is based on the length of time that the vehicle has gone unregistered.
- Driving Without a License (NYS §509-1): Driving without a driver’s license may result in a fine of up to $300. Repeated offenses may result in a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation, which may constitute a felony charge under certain circumstances.
- Passing a Stopped School Bus (VTL §1174): Drivers may not pass a stopped school bus with flashing lights or extended stop signs. This rule also applies to traffic traveling in the opposite direction on an undivided road. Failing to stop for a stopped school bus carries a penalty of a fine of $250 and five points.
- Following Too Closely/Tailgating (VTL §1129(a)): The law requires drivers to leave a reasonable distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them. Police can pull over a motorist who is following other vehicles too closely or cite a motorist after an accident caused by tailgating.
- Inadequate Brakes (VTL §375(1)): In New York, driving with inadequate brakes qualifies as a misdemeanor offense, which means a conviction will give you a criminal record.
- Failure to Yield (VTL §§1140/1141/1151): Failing to yield for pedestrians or traffic with the right of way at intersections/rotaries may result in three points for a conviction.
- Disobeying a Traffic Control Signal (VTL §1110a): Running a red light carries penalties of fines, surcharges, and three points on your driving record.
- Disobeying a Stop/Yield Sign (VYL §1172): Ignoring a stop or yield sign will result in fines, surcharges, and three points.
- Improper Passing (VTL §§1123/1124): Passing a vehicle without signaling, crossing over a double yellow line, or leaving the roadway to pass a vehicle carries penalties, including fines and three points.
- Improper/Unsafe Lane Change (VTL §§1122/1128): Changing lanes where prohibited or without signaling constitutes a traffic violation that may result in fines and three points on your license.
- Failure to Keep Right (VTL §1120a): Drivers must return to the right lane after completing a passing maneuver. Remaining in the left passing lane constitutes a traffic violation carrying a penalty of fines up to $150 and three points on your license.
- Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident (NYS §600-1a): Failing to contact a vehicle/property owner or leave your information and to report a property damage accident can result in a fine of up to $250 and three points. Commercial drivers may receive a one-year license suspension.
- Failure to Restrain Child in Car/Booster Seat (VTL §1229-c): New York requires drivers to ensure that children under eight or less than 4’9” or 100 pounds ride in an age/size appropriate car or booster seat. A ticket may result in fines and three points on your license.
- Failure to Wear a Seat Belt (§1229-c3): Police officers in New York can pull you over if they see you not wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in a moving vehicle. The resulting ticket can impose a $50 fine plus surcharges.
- Using a Mobile Phone/Handheld Electronic Device While Driving (VTL §§1225-c/1225-d): In New York, “texting while driving” constitutes a primary offense, meaning a police officer can pull you over if they see you using a handheld electronic device while driving. A conviction carries penalties that include a fine of up to $200, surcharges, and five points – almost half the number needed to suspend your license.
- Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (VTL §511): Driving on a suspended driver’s license carries severe penalties in the event of a conviction. A first-time conviction carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. A second or subsequent conviction or driving on a license suspended for alcohol-related offenses or failure to answer a summons/pay a fine carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 with mandatory probation or incarceration. Driving on a permanently revoked license or driving on a suspended license while intoxicated constitutes a felony offense with a penalty of one to four years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
How Our Broome County Traffic Violations Attorneys Can Help You
When you’ve received a traffic citation, it’s in your best interest to speak with legal counsel as soon as possible. However, paying a ticket may not seem like a big deal, a conviction on a traffic ticket can impose serious consequences, including fines, suspension of your driver’s license, or even jail time.
At The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers, a Broome County traffic violations attorney can help you protect your rights and interests by helping you understand the details of your traffic ticket and explaining the potential consequences of a conviction. Our firm can evaluate your legal options for contesting your charges, such as negotiating with the prosecutor for a reduced charge with lesser penalties. If the prosecution’s case lacks evidence, we can also file motions to dismiss your ticket. When you choose to fight your ticket in court, our firm will aggressively advocate for you, presenting a vigorous defense to pursue a dismissal of your case.
Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers for Help with Resolving Your Violation
After getting ticketed by a police officer in a traffic stop, get experienced legal representation to fight your citation and avoid or minimize the consequences of a conviction. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today for an initial case review. Let’s discuss how our firm will fight to reduce or dismiss your charges and advocate on your behalf if your case goes to trial.