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Law enforcement officials issue traffic tickets in New York for a wide range of offenses. Drivers can either complete the process to pay driving tickets or they can plead "not guilty" and schedule a traffic ticket defense hearing. Regardless of the method chosen to settle an NY traffic citation, you must take an action prior to the date displayed on the ticket in order to avoid a default conviction of guilty. In such circumstances, the violation will be entered on your driving record and you may be subject to further fines and penalties.
Fighting a New York Ticket
The process of fighting traffic tickets in New York varies based on the location where the driver has received his or her traffic citation. The Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes tickets issued within Rochester and the five New York City boroughs. Note that only non-criminal moving traffic violations are processed through the TVB. NY traffic tickets issued outside of these areas are processed by the traffic and criminal courts of the city, county, town or village where the offense was committed. Therefore, the methods to initiate the procedure to fight traffic tickets in NY will vary depending on the institution that is in charge of handling the issue. Because legal proceedings can be complex, it is advisable that drivers seek advice from a qualified legal representative. Drivers can contact the best legal representative for their case online by capturing an image of their traffic ticket and answering some questions about the citation.
After receiving your decision, the TVB or the corresponding court will schedule your hearing. Regardless of where you are contesting a traffic ticket in NY, you will be granted an opportunity to present your case. After delivering your testimony and evidence, the judge will render a decision regarding your case. The hearing officer will dismiss your traffic citation if he or she finds you not guilty. If you are found guilty, on the other hand, you will be required to pay the applicable traffic fines and the conviction will be reported on your driving transcript, which may inadvertently lead to increased car insurance premiums.
Paying a New York Ticket
Paying traffic tickets online in New York is an option that is available to drivers who have received a TVB traffic ticket within the state. TVB tickets can also be answered in person and by mail. Drivers who commit an NY traffic violation outside of Rochester and the NYC boroughs must pay their traffic fines directly to the presiding court. The methods available to pay driving tickets in NY in such circumstances may vary from court to court. Learn more about the process of paying a speeding ticket and other types of citations in New York by visiting the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page.
Lost Tickets in New York
To successfully settle a New York traffic citation issue, drivers will often be required to utilize the information contained within the ticket, such as its number, the traffic fine amount, the deadline date and the available payment methods. If you lose your NY traffic ticket, you may encounter certain difficulties in either providing the ticket violation payment or scheduling a trial date to contest the issue. Depending on the type of citation and where you received it, the methods available to retrieve a record may vary. Drivers who were issued a TVB traffic fine, for instance, can easily recover their tickets via the bureau's internet services. After providing your driver's license number, your full name and your birth date, the system will provide you with a copy of your lost ticket. If you were issued a non-TVB traffic citation, on the other hand, you will be able to obtain the required information by contacting the presiding court.
New York Fines and Penalties
During the process of paying driving fines in New York, drivers will often be required to provide payments for additional costs and surcharges. Both the base NY traffic fine and the additional fees may vary based on factors such as the nature of the offense, the area where the offense was committed and the current status of your driver's record. For instance, drivers who were convicted of certain types of traffic violations, and those who have accumulated six or more points on their records, will be required to pay an additional driver responsibility assessment fee for three consecutive years.
Review several offenses and their corresponding New York traffic fines in the following list:
- Various vehicle equipment malfunction violations: $208
- Driving without a seat belt: $238
- Driving without valid license plates: $288
- Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle: $338
Note: The examples of traffic tickets payments outlined above are a combination of the base fine and the additional surcharge costs. Those who wish to avoid paying these penalties will need to fight their traffic ticket. This is best done with the help of a licensed legal representative. Fortunately, drivers may find these representatives online.
Points in New York
Drivers who are convicted of traffic violations in New York also incur a certain number of demerit points on their records, which generally vary based on the severity of the offense. Review several infractions punishable by traffic citations in NY and the resulting point penalties:
- Failure to yield right-of-way: 3 points.
- Operating a vehicle with malfunctioning brakes: 4 points.
- Passing a stopped school bus: 5 points.
- Speeding 21 to 30 mph over the posted limit: 6 points.
- Driving at a speed 40 mph over the posted limit: 11 points.
Note: You can reduce your total point count by completing a state-approved defensive driving course (DDC). A certificate of completion of a DDC course can also help you to reduce your auto liability insurance premiums.
How Tickets Affect a New York Drivers License
Drivers who receive multiple traffic citations in New York may also lose their driving privileges, as a result of the provisions of the state point system. Since traffic tickets result in a specific number of points, drivers who commit offenses that lead to 11 or more points within an 18-month period will be penalized with a license suspension. Also, if you cannot dismiss traffic tickets in NY for certain types of offenses, you may be punished with an immediate suspension or revocation of your license to drive, regardless of the number of points currently assigned on your record.
New York Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Another serious offense leading to traffic tickets in New York is operating a vehicle without the proper car liability insurance coverage within the state. Police officers also issue NY traffic citations to drivers who allow other individuals to drive their vehicle without the proper coverage, and to those that forge their insurance proof. The traffic fines issued as a result of no-insurance offenses can be as high as $1,500.
Note: Drivers who commit several traffic infractions within a certain time period may reduce their chances of obtaining favorable vehicle insurance rates as well, as violation convictions are an indicator of an unsafe driving behavior.