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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some frequently asked traffic law questions.

Why should I fight my traffic ticket?
To avoid points, fines and surcharges, to keep your insurance rates low, and to preserve your privilege to drive. Also, to save or reduce the extra fee imposed by New York DMV for drivers with 6 or more points.
Should I fight my case if I really am guilty?
Yes. You should always fight your ticket because the People must prove its case against you (not the other way around) and you may remain silent. Many times we win cases because the People cannot meet its burden. Other times we work out favorable deals. Of course, we cannot guarantee results but that only way to obtain a more favorable result is to “go down swinging”.
How can a New York traffic lawyer help?
Our New York traffic lawyers understand the types of proof required by the People, appear regularly before many of the traffic judges and understand their practices, tendencies and nuances, are skilled questioners, appreciate the types of defenses which are worth advancing and conscientiously and consistently do our very best to obtain a favorable result.
Why should I hire your firm?
If you want the process of fighting your ticket easy and un-complicated, then we’re the right law firm for you. All of our values re-enforce our goal of simplification. We patiently explain in plain English, follow through with our commitments, promptly respond to inquiries, and (most importantly) are honest with you (even with bad news). See our values for further information as to why we are in business, which we take very seriously.
Do I have to appear in court if I hire your firm?
No. In the vast majority of the time, we can fight your case without you appearing in court and without you wasting time from your busy schedule. As we said, our goal is to make fighting your case as simple as possible.
How do you communicate with your clients?
One of values is to be accessible. We send email updates to our clients shortly after the court appearance. We have a full staff during the business hours to answer any questions.
Why shouldn't I just plead guilty?
To avoid points, fines and surcharges, to keep your insurance rates low, and to preserve your privilege to drive. Also, to save or reduce the extra fee imposed by New York DMV for drivers with 6 or more points.
What if I do not answer my ticket?
You will be suspended and possibly found guilty by default. Also, a $70 suspension termination fee will be imposed which must be paid (in addition to any fine or surcharge) in order to restore your driving privileges. Note: Even one suspension on your record can adversely affect your automobile insurance premiums.
Will a trial be required?
For tickets issued in New York City, western Suffolk County, Rochester and Buffalo, a trial or hearing is always required if you fight your NY traffic ticket. In traffic courts in these areas, it is “all or nothing” and, therefore, you really should get an experienced NY traffic lawyer to help you fight your case. Most other courts allow for plea bargaining or deals, and in these courts we usually can arrange a great deal for our clients. Regardless of the court, however, the client does not have to appear in court with us.
How long do the points last on my record?
Points last for 18 months from the date of offense. But insurance companies can use a conviction to raise your rates for up to 36 months from the date of conviction.
How do I know if I have too many points?
For each conviction, add up the number of points for 18 months before the date of offense and 18 months after the date of offense. if you have 11 or more points during either one of these 18-month periods, then your license is subject to suspension.
What is a bond and how does it work?
At the Traffic Violations Bureau, you are sometimes required to post a bond in order to secure a date or a new date. This occurs if you are late in answering or if have asked for a date previously. The bond is refunded if you win the case. If you lose the case, then the $40 bond amount is credited towards the fine. The only way you lose with a bond is if you fail to appear in which case is will be forfeited. If your bond is not returned, then you should submit a TVB bond refund form.
What if my license is on probation?
A motorist is placed on probation for the first six months following the issuance of his or her first license. There are special rules about traffic ticket convictions for those with a probationary license. Read “How A New York Traffic Ticket Impacts A Probationary License”.
How can I reduce points?
Take a New York Driver Safety Class. After you complete this program, you will get 4 points off of your driving record and get a 10% savings on your automobile insurance. We recommend the Defensive Driving Online By Improv as one of most entertaining classes. Full disclosure: we make roughly $9 when you sign up through our website.
Do points or convictions transfer from other states or provinces?
Except for the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, convictions and points from states or provinces will not transfer onto your New York State driver’s license. Ontario and Quebec convictions will transfer as if the offense occured in New York. An out-of-state conviction, however, will be reported to New York and can be used by your insurance company in determing your insurace rates. Out-of-state suspensions and revocations, as well as alcohol and drug-related driving convictions, do transfer to your New York license.
Will a New York conviction transfer to my out-of-state license?
Each state has different laws about whether (and to what extent) a New York conviction affects your out-of-state license. Contact us if you would like us to look up your particular state.
Can we help professional drivers?
Definitely. In fact, many clients are professional drivers. Note: Tickets issued while driving a private car can adversely affect a CDL or TLC license. For those with CDLs, we recommend that you read our article entitled “Your Commercial Driver License (CDL) and New York Speeding Tickets And Other Traffic Tickets.”
What is the Driver Responsibility Assessment Program (DRAP)?
Starting November 2004, DMV penalizes drivers for three years when they accumulate 6 or more points within an 18 month period or are convicted of an alcohol or drug related offense. The defensive driving class will not avoid the DRAP.
What is the DRAP penalty?
Motorists with an alcohol or drug-related offense must pay $250/year for three years, and motorists with 6 (or more) points within 18 months must pay $100/year for three years for 6 points plus $25/year for three years for each additional point.
Do I have to pay the DRAP if I am an out-of-state license holder?
Yes, all motorists, regardless of where you are licensed, are required to pay the DRAP. A suspension will be issued if the DRAP is not paid which your host state will usually honor.