The answer to this question is pretty bad. There are all types of rules in place at the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) that make it very hard for motorists to win. These rules do not exist at any of the other 660+ New York State traffic courts.
So what are those rules? Below is a list of some of them:
- Guilt must be shown by only “clear and convincing” evidence (not beyond a reasonable doubt)
- Hearsay is admissible
- The judges can ask clarifying questions (which often are not clarifying but more closer to prosecuting the case)
- There is no discovery or right to a supporting deposition
- There is no type of pre-hearing motion practice
- Direct appeals are limited to being made to a TVB appellate judge (not a true appeals court)
So can a motorist win at the TVB? The answer is “yes” but it is difficult. Most people lose. Even experienced New York traffic lawyers (like myself) often lose there. This is not because they do not care or know what they’re doing. Rather, it is because the odds are against us.
With that said, there are things that you can do to maximize your chances for success, such as being prepared, make clear concise arguments and being a good listener when the police officer testifies.
Therefore, if you get a NYC traffic ticket, you may (or may not) want to bother fighting it. Feel free to use our free Ticket Analyzer to get a recommendation on whether your ticket is worth fighting. This tool is quite sophisticated and took many years to develop. Its recommendations can be relied up. Alternatively, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.