Driving fast may help you arrive at your destination quicker, but it can also result in a speeding ticket. So, now you are late, and you have a ticket to pay. This is not something that anyone plans, but it happens all the time. Have you every wondered, though, what happens if you don’t pay your speeding ticket? The simple answer is: Don’t Ignore It! When you receive a speeding ticket in New York, you have three options:
1. Plead Guilty
Follow the instructions that are on the ticket. Completely fill out the right side, sign it, and return it by mail or in person. In New York City and Rochester, we always recommend entering your plea via the DMV’s online system. The fines are within the discretion of the judge so you are usually sent thereafter in the form of a bill. Of course, if you plead guilty, you get points, have to pay monies, experience an insurance hike and could even be suspended.
2. Plead Not Guilty
Completely fill out the right side of the ticket, sign it, and mail it within forty-eight hours of receiving it. You may also choose to appear in court on the date specified. As discussed above, in New York City and Rochester, we recommend that you enter your not guilty plea via the DMV’s online system. This avoids any issues with the mail and allows you to retain the original ticket to defend yourself at your hearing.
Outside New York City and Rochester, you are also able to request additional information regarding your ticket. This document is called a Supporting Deposition and it contains more information than the actual traffic ticket. You can do this by checking “yes” in the corresponding box on your ticket. Some courts are strict about the timing and insist that you deposit your supporting deposition request in the box within 48 hours of receiving your ticket, or within 30 days after the return date stated on the ticket (but not in between). The issuing police officer then has 35 days to mail the Supporting Deposition to you and your case will be scheduled. The Court will mail a confirmation with the trial date. If you do not receive it within the 35 days, then you can make a legal motion to dismiss your case.
3. Do Nothing
By far, this is the worst of the three options. If you do not respond to your ticket (or fail to show up on your court date), your NY driving license or privilege will be suspended (albeit after a lag period). Once you are suspended, you obviously cannot legally drive and, if you are caught driving, you will be charged with a criminal offense called “Aggravated Un-Licensed”. With such a charge usually comes a full arrest and temporary incarceration (usually 12- 24 hours). Clearly, this is not the type of experience you want to have.
Further, some courts will eventually find you guilty by default if you fail to respond to a traffic ticket (or fail to show up in court). Once the default conviction is imposed, it is difficult to vacate and often a maximum fine is imposed.
Finally, a suspension on your driving record for failing to answer a traffic ticket (actually a suspension for any reason) can be devastating to your insurance rates. Further, this blemish can be used against you by your insurance company for up 36 months.
Bottom line: Nothing good comes form failing to answer your traffic tickets.
For a free legal consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us.