police officer writing a ticket

Tourists and Traffic Tickets: What You Need to Know

Tourists and other visitors to the state of New York enjoy the thousands of miles of scenic roadways across the state, from the Finger Lakes to New York City. But sometimes, they get tickets for all manner of traffic violations. 

No one wants to deal with a traffic ticket while exploring the beauty of New York. However, you should know the repercussions and obligations that go along with getting a ticket in the Empire State.

Pay or Fight

After you get a ticket, you must first decide whether you want to pay it or fight it. Certainly, paying the ticket is the fastest way to resolve the case. However, you should carefully consider the consequences of doing so. A guilty plea for a traffic ticket may carry with it serious repercussions for your wallet and driving record. 

Fighting the ticket is another option, especially when the circumstances of your ticket are suspicious. Speed traps, for instance, are a well-known feature of New York. If you do decide to challenge the violation, a traffic ticket lawyer is a valuable asset, especially for out-of-state drivers. 

An experienced advocate can confidently navigate the swath of New York driving laws and provide you with an effective defense, often without you being present. This means you can continue to enjoy your vacation and travel home on schedule without fear of running afoul of the law.

Your Home State Will Likely Know

Most states share driver’s license information through the Driver License Compact. So if you commit a violation in New York, it is likely that your home department of motor vehicles (DMV) will find out about it. This nationwide exchange of information makes ignoring the ticket a bad decision. 

But suppose that you get a ticket on your way to Niagara Falls but forget about it until you’re back at home in another state. If you fail to resolve the ticket, New York will take action against your driving privileges within its borders, including suspending your license and increasing your fines. 

This information will then be transmitted to your home state, which will also take similar action against your license. In other words, there is no ignoring an out-of-state traffic ticket anymore. It’s always better to take care of it at once, even when you’re on vacation. A traffic ticket attorney can help you, even if you’re no longer in the state.

Consequences for Your Driver’s License

Although a tourist does not have a New York driver’s license, their driving privileges within the state can be affected by a traffic conviction. New York, like most other states, utilizes a points system for violations. The more points you incur, the worse for your record. At 11 points, your driving privileges within the state will be suspended.

Under the Driver License Compact, the details of your traffic convictions and your suspension will be transmitted to your state’s DMV. In turn, the agency will suspend your license as well, which means you will have suspensions in two states with no possibility of legally driving until resolving the problems. 

You will also be assessed points in your home state, and the charge will appear on your driving record. Keep in mind that point systems vary from state to state. Your DMV will translate another state’s points into its point system and assign them to your record. 

Responding to Tickets Appropriately

At New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers, we make tourists’ lives easier with effective and skilled traffic ticket representation throughout the state. Call our office if you have been ticketed in Central New York — or anywhere else in the state — and speak with a New York traffic ticket attorney today.