No matter if you are visiting New York City on a family vacation or driving for your daily commute to work, falling victim to a NYC traffic ticket is as common as corner convenience stores here in New York. Over the past several years the finance department for the City of New York (along with NYPD) has been aggressive in writing more tickets than in past years. With hundreds of locations with newly installed photo speed traps, red-light cameras, and ticketing police officers on the beat it’s no wonder we’ve seen a major uptick in the number of traffic tickets issued daily.
“So, what do you need to know regarding your NYC Traffic Ticket?”
1. Receiving A New York Traffic Ticket
You’ll initially have 2 immediate choices after you receive your ticket. First is, of course, to plead guilty and pay the fine, but many of these tickets come with points to your license which can spell a whole heap of problems. Points on your license can raise your insurance premiums, make it harder to get and keep good insurance, and if you have enough violation points accumulated have your license suspended. For most of us, this is not an option. Your second choice is to plead not guilty and get a hearing date scheduled. You can do this via mail by filling out the information on the back of the ticket and mailing it in to the address listed within 15 days of receiving the ticket, or you can do it online (this is recommended).
2. Schedule A hearing
When you plead not guilty and schedule a hearing you will be given one of the specific Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) offices throughout the city. Typically the office of your hearing will be the one closest to the violation (but not always). On the day of your hearing, the Bureau’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will oversee the case and review the documents in order to make a determination. If you’re lucky or have various proofs of innocence you’ll receive a “not-guilty” verdict and the case will be dismissed completely. More than likely though is that following the police officer’s testimony and evidence the ALJ returns with a “guilty” verdict and that means points on your license, a fine, and penalties associated with the court and city.
3. Representation – Self vs. Attorney
At your NYC traffic violation hearing, you also have two choices regarding representation. You can represent yourself and bring your own evidence, or you can have a New York traffic defense attorney handle your case. For most folks who have received a ticket who are from out of state, returning to New York City at some date several weeks or months down the road for a single hearing may not be possible. Also, if you have multiple points on your license and are at risk of a suspension, you should seriously consider hiring an NYC traffic defense law firm. Everyone knows that the increase in ticketing is simply a way for the city to increase its revenue, but that does little as a defense. Knowing the ins and outs of the very complicated NYC traffic law and its variations makes a world of difference when it comes to getting tickets reduced with a plea deal or removed entirely.
4. Postponing A TVB Hearing In NYC
Typically any individual traffic case is allowed 2 adjournments of a scheduled traffic hearing. The first one is almost always authorized with little inquiries as to why needing a second adjournment however will bring up questions as to why and maybe denied without an attorney’s assistance. Postponing is an option to be utilized if you are away or have prior engagements and need the date to be moved but it typically won’t help your case. You can postpone it online for the first adjournment and then any other adjournment must be requested in person, often with a $40 refundable bond attached to it.
5. Why New York Traffic Ticket Defense Attorneys Can Help
New York City traffic law is convoluted, opaque, and downright complicated. It has been an ever-increasing source of financial capital for the city and that means facing off against the entire system and their budgeting coffers. Many tickets are given to visitors of the city who live out of state far away as well. Because of this working with an NYC traffic ticket attorney can work for a number of reasons. Firstly, they know the judges and ALJ’s of each TVB hearing location. Secondly, they know the traffic law in and out and know where there is room to maneuver (looking for pleas to reduce or remove points and fines). Thirdly, they can operate for you so that you don’t have to physically come to the hearing if you work or are out of state. Fourthly, winning or getting a case reduced without an attorney is very uncommon. Meaning that cases defended with a traffic attorney have a far great success rate than self-representation to a tune of nearly 10 times.
This is a shortlist of the process you have to defend and represent yourself after receiving an NYC Traffic Ticket. We know that its a way for the city to make money and we know that there have been more tickets given each and every year. That means protecting yourself and protecting yourself as a private citizen when the system aims to make a quick buck. Do yourself a favor, save the time, save the headache, and save your license by hiring a qualified NYC Traffic Ticket Attorney today. Call for a free no-obligation consultation and get moving towards a reduction or elimination of your traffic violation right away. 1-888-345-1202
If you have more questions, please check out our New York City traffic ticket FAQ