Do not plead guilty to traffic violations tickets. You can do something about it.
Too often, people receive a traffic ticket and view it as a minor annoyance. Then they simply mail in payment for the fine. By doing so, these people are pleading guilty to the violation without even attempting to negotiate a better deal. Do not fall into this trap. Traffic violations in Central New York can have painful consequences:
- Fines and surcharges
- Driver’s license points
- License suspension
- Higher insurance rates
Traffic violations can be as minor as failing to signal when changing lanes or as serious as reckless driving. By Central New York law, some traffic infractions are considered criminal offenses because they put people in danger.
Don’t Wait to Take Action in Central New York
If you were recently cited for a traffic violation such as speeding, it’s important that you obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. While one traffic infraction may not seem like a big deal, if you’re found guilty of committing such a violation, you may face monetary fines and in some cases, jail time. Additionally, multiple violations may result in the loss of your driver’s license.
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers represent individuals facing traffic violations and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your charges. Even though you may think that you’re dealing with a simple infraction, the reality is that you’re being accused of breaking the law. You should therefore do everything you can to protect yourself from tough legal penalties, and the first step includes obtaining representation from an attorney.
New York’s Point System is Applied in Central New York
The “Driver Violation Point System” assigns “points” to your driving record upon conviction of certain violations. These points can add up.
- If you accumulate 6 or more points within an 18-month period, you must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. The fee is $100 per year for three years, plus an additional $25 per year for each point over 6.
- If you accumulate 11 points in an 18-month period, your license may be suspended.
Also, your auto insurance company will see the violations on your record and will likely increase your premiums based on their own “points” system. Insurance companies use a separate “points” system and each company’s system is different. These companies do not make their systems public, so you will need to monitor your rates to understand the consequences in your individual situation. However, do not just call your insurance company and inadvertently report yourself—it may take a while for them to notice your record and increase your rates.
Common Traffic Violations
Speeding (Vehicle & Traffic Law 1180): Any speeding violation will result in at least 3 points.
- More than 10 mph is 4 points.
- More than 20 mph is 6 points.
- More than 30 mph is 8 points.
- More than 40 mph is 11 points.
Operating Without Insurance (319-1): If you operate a motor vehicle without insurance, your license will be suspended for one year if convicted.
No Inspection Certificate (306b): Fines up to $100 with a surcharge of $93. Can be dismissed if the inspection issue is corrected.
Unregistered Motor Vehicles (401-1a/512): If you drive with an unregistered vehicle, you can be fined up to $300 and the fine increases based on the amount of time the vehicle has been without registration.
Unlicensed Operator (509-1): Operating a motor vehicle without a license can result in a fine off up to $300 and repeatedly violating this law will result in a misdemeanor charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and eventually a felony AUO charge (Information on AUOs found below)
Passing School Bus (VTL 1174): If you fail to stop for a school bus, you will receive a fine of $250 and receive 5 points.
Following Too Closely (“Tailgating”) (VTL 1129(a)): This offense prohibits following another vehicle more closely than is “reasonable or prudent.” Accidents are often involved with this charge. 4 points.
Inadequate brakes (VTL 375(1)): More serious than it sounds. Not only 4 points on your license but also a misdemeanor, a conviction of which will result in a criminal record.
Failure to Yield: Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection (VTL 1140), for oncoming traffic while turning left (VTL 1141), for emergency vehicles (VTL 144), or for pedestrians (VTL 1151) will result in 3 points.
Disobeying a Traffic Control Signal (VTL 1110a): Running a red light will cost you 3 points.
Disobeying Stop Signs or Yield Signs (VTL 1172): Running a stop or yield sign will cost you 3 points.
Improper passing (VTL 1123-24): Improperly passing another vehicle, such as leaving the payment to pass on the right, or passing on the left despite a double-yellow line, is a 3-point offense.
Improper or Unsafe Lane Changes (VTL 1122 & 1128): Changing lanes unsafely is a 3-point offense.
Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident (600-1a): Failing to report an accident can result in fines of up to $250 and 3 points on your license. CDL drivers will lose their license for at least a year if they fail to report an accident.
Failed to Keep Right (1120a): Remaining in the left (passing) lane on the highway is a violation that will result in 3 points and fines of up to $150 with a surcharge of $93.
Child safety restraint violation (VTL 1229-c): If your child is not in an appropriate child car seat, it is a 3-point offense.
Adult Seat Belt Violation (1229-c3): Civil fine of up to $50 with a surcharge of $93.
Cell phone violations (VTL 1225-c, 1225-d): 5 points–more information below.
Any other moving violation: 2 points.
Cell Phone Violations (“Texting While Driving”)
Police officers in New York are vigilant about drivers using their cell phones—for good reason—traffic fatalities are on the rise due to the increasing use of electronic devices on the road. If the police see you using your phone or other electronic devices while driving (yes, taking selfies counts), they will cite you for violating VTL 1225-c for use of a “mobile telephone” or 1225-d for use of a “portable electronic device.”
A conviction of one of these traffic violations results in painful consequences. Not only are you looking at a maximum fine of up to $200 for your first offense and a surcharge of up to $93, but these violations are 5-pointers. In other words, you’re almost halfway to a suspended license. And if you have any points at all on your record in the last 18 months, a conviction will result in your requirement to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee each year for 3 years.
Don’t plead guilty to this offense. Hire an experienced attorney to fight to reduce the ticket to a lesser violation, possibly one carrying 0 points. It will be well worth the relatively minimal expense given the potential ramifications: fines, points, higher car insurance premiums, and possibly a suspension.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Vehicle and Traffic Law section 511 mandates some harsh penalties for driving on a suspended license. My office handles these cases frequently and can achieve an outcome that minimizes the consequences. The degree of this offense dictates whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, and the maximum punishment.
- AUO in the 3rd degree: Driving on a suspended license. A misdemeanor with a maximum $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
- AUO in the 2nd degree: Driving on a suspended license when you’ve been convicted previously of AUO 3rd, or your suspension is related to certain previous or pending alcohol-driving related offenses, or you have in effect 3 or more suspensions for failure to answer a summons or pay a fine. This misdemeanor carries a maximum $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail. There is also a mandatory sentence of imprisonment or probation.
- AUO in the 1st degree: Driving on a suspended license while intoxicated, or while you have 10 or more suspensions, or while your license is permanently revoked. This Class E felony has a maximum fine of $5,000 and a possible jail sentence of 1 to 4 years.
Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers Today If You’ve Been Accused of Traffic Violations!
Once our Central New York traffic lawyers get involved, you’ll be advised of the steps to take in order to avoid or minimize additional legal consequences. If you’re facing a serious traffic offense, we will act quickly to try to have your charges dismissed or reach an agreement with prosecutors. And should your case proceed to trial, you’ll get aggressive representation every step of the way.
If you’re ready to become informed of your legal options following a traffic violation, call today to set up a consultation.
- CDL Commercial Tickets
- Disobeyed Traffic Control Device
- Emergency Vehicles Failure to Yield
- Failed to Stop at Stop Sign
- Following Too Closely
- No Seat Belt (1229-c3)
- Operating Without Insurance
- Out of State Residents
- Reckless Driving
- Red Light Violation
- Speeding Tickets
- Train Crossing Ticket Violation
- Unsafe Lane Change
- Use of Cell Phone
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers handle all traffic violations throughout Central New York including Albany County, Erie County, Onondaga County, Orange County, Saratoga County, and Warren County.