Speeding Ticket, Red Light Camera Violation, Reckless Driving — these are all NYC Traffic Violations that incur a fine and may or may not add points to your license. Whilst some people will simple plead guilty and pay the fine, the majority of people will fight a NYC traffic ticket.
WHERE TO FIGHT THE NYC TRAFFIC VIOLATION:
NYC traffic violations are handled by a special Bureau (court), which is the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). The TVB does not handle criminal driving offenses, such as driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended or revoked (aggravated unlicensed operation), or NYC parking violations.
If you plead not guilty to a traffic ticket in a TVB ‘court’, your case will be heard by a DMV Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An ALJ is an experienced attorney with special training in the Vehicle and Traffic Law and will decide whether or not you are guilty and will set a fine if you are found guilty. An ALJ also has the authority to revoke or suspend your driver license and/or auto registration when required by law or when the ALJ believes it is in the interest of traffic safety.
If you need to know how to fight a traffic ticket issues OUTSIDE of NYC, please visit the NYC Department of Motor Vehicles.
HOW TO FIGHT A NYC TRAFFIC TICKET
Deal with the Ticket Immediately: whether you’re going to plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’, do it within the required time. If you delay past the deadline, your license can be suspended and you can be found ‘guilty’ by default because you didn’t respond.
No Deal-making or Plea Bargaining: unlike most courts, the Traffic Violations Bureau courts generally do not allow deal-making or plea bargaining. Simply put, you plead either ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’. Pleading ‘not guilty’, you will be issued a date to appear in court and you either win or lose.
Go to the Hearing: as long as you responded within 15 days of the recorded violation date by mail, you’ll get a letter from the DMV telling you where and when to go for your hearing.
At the Hearing: According to the DMV, ‘You are considered innocent of the charge against you unless you are proven guilty at your hearing. You cannot be found guilty unless there is “clear and convincing evidence” that you committed the violation.’
The police officer will give sworn testimony explaining why you were given the ticket. Then it’s your turn. You can speak, or your attorney may ask the officer questions. You can also bring witnesses to testify for you along iwth any written evidence. The judge may ask witnesses questions to better understand their testimony.
You do not have to testify but you may if you wish. You cannot be found guilty just because you do not testify.
Why Bring a Lawyer?: An attorney is experienced at listening to an officer’s testimony and realizing that the officer may have left out key pieces of information, (i.e. ex., date, time, location, direction, your ID information), that would dismiss the case. An attorney will also know what questions to ask the police officer.
This type of careful follow-up could cause the judge to dismiss the case. Being prepared and observant may be worth the effort of hiring a lawyer. Additional Info
USE AN EXPERT
Need help to fight a NYC traffic ticket? Contact our friends at Weiss & Associates, PC by calling (888) RED LIGHT. Or go to Traffic Lawyer to visit their web site. They handle any type of moving violation (such as speeding and disobeying a red light) as well as truck tickets (such as overweight and unsecured load). You can stay home while they fight your case, and they charge one reasonable flat fee for any traffic ticket issued in New York.