Is a New York Speeding Ticket Worth Fighting?

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New York Speeding Ticket Potential Fines and Points

Speeding Ticket Fines

There are many different kinds of speeding offenses in New York, and each one has its own associated points and fines. As you might have assumed, the faster you are traveling, the higher the fine and points. On the contrary, getting caught speed racing in New York could cost you up to $525 (and a revocation) even if your speed is relatively low. While relatively uncommon, drivers are rarely cited for driving too slowly, even though it is listed as a 3-point offense with a maximum fine of $150.

Speeding Ticket Points System

The New York State Driver Violation Point System is a way for the DMV to identify and take action against high-risk drivers. Different traffic violations have a different number of points assigned, and if you total 11+ points in an 18-month period, your driver’s license may be suspended. There are also other ways to lose your license besides the point system too.

In calculating NY points, you use the date or dates of the violation and add up the ones that occur within the 18 months of one another.

Types of New York Speeding Tickets

TVB Speeding Tickets VS. Non-TVB Speeding Tickets

If you receive a speeding ticket in New York City, your case will be heard in the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). The TVB handles traffic court cases for violations committed in all 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island).

If you receive a speeding ticket in New York but outside of the five boroughs, then your case will be held in regular traffic court. It is possible to enter into a plea bargain with a prosecutor and plead guilty to a reduced charge in these traffic courts.

The TVB operates under its own set of rules, so it pays to hire an attorney who regularly handles TVB cases. A TVB lawyer is usually very helpful in maximizing your chances for success.

School Zone Speeding Tickets in New York

A ticket for speeding in a school zone in New York costs between $45 and $1,200, depending on (among other things) your speed, your past driving record, the time of day, and the day of the week. These fines are twice as much as regular speeding tickets if the incident occurs within a school day. The attorneys at Weiss and Associates, P.C. can attempt to reduce a non-TVB speeding in a school zone ticket to a lesser offense saving potentially points, money, and an insurance hike.

Speed Not Reasonable And Prudent

In New York, your speed must always be reasonably prudent under the circumstances regardless of the posted speed limit. The speed not reasonable and prudent takes into account the weather, the road conditions, and other relevant circumstances.

Inclement weather can cause decreased road visibility or slippery surfaces, which is why an officer is allowed to issue you a ticket in these circumstances even if you are going the speed limit. Although being cited for speed not reasonable and prudent is relatively rare, it happens more often than you might think.

Over State Speed Limit of 55 MPH

This portion of the statue sets New York State’s default speed limit to 55 mph unless otherwise specified. This default speed limit may be enforced even in the absence of a sign. This ticket often occurs on the Taconic Parkway, New York Thruways, and similar state highways. Note: In New York City, the maximum highway speed limit is 50 mph (not 55 mph) and is often lower.

Speeding in a Zone: Driving in Excess of Posted Speed Limit

This is the portion of the statute that most of us are already quite familiar with. The most common type of speeding ticket issued in New York is for traveling faster than the posted speed limit on the road. The essence of this clause is that a person is not allowed to drive in excess of whatever the posted speed limit is, whether it be on a regular road, highway, throughway, restricted highway, etc.

Driving at an Appropriate Speed

Driving and operating a motor vehicle comes along with a certain level of responsibility, and the law requires you to exercise that privilege in a responsible manner. That includes slowing down when you approach a curve, go over railroad tracks, pass by a car crash, pass through a construction zone, passing an emergency vehicle to the side of the road. 

This portion is similar to New York’s Move Over Law, which requires a motorist to slow down and move over from the lane he or she is currently in and into the next one, further away from an emergency vehicle that is off to the shoulder.

Speeding in a Work or Construction Zone

The definition of a work zone or work area is a location on a highway that is used or being occupied for highway work and where workers, vehicles, equipment, materials, supplies, excavations, or other obstructions may be present.

It is important to note that actual construction does not need to be taking place in order for you to get a ticket for speeding in a work zone. Most times a work zone will be marked off by orange barrels or cones and work zone speed limit signs.  If there are just tell-tale signs, you can still get cited even if there is no actual work being conducted at that time.

Speeding Laws Pertaining to Large and Heavy or Commercial Vehicles

This provision is designed to discourage drivers from using law enforcement detection equipment, such as radar, while driving vehicles that are inherently dangerous due to their size and weight. This is considered a serious traffic violation for those with commercial driver’s licenses.

Unlawful Speed Contest: New York Racing Tickets & Violations

Racing is illegal unless special accommodations have been made. This statute also prohibits a person from “aiding and abetting” any motor vehicle in a race on a highway. Racing is considered a crime, unlike all other speeding offenses. If you are convicted, this will show on your criminal record and you can even go to jail for up to 30 days.  Further, if convicted, your license will be revoked.

Other Types of Speeding Violations

In addition to the preceding speeding violations, there are a few less common, but also illegal types of speeding violations under New York State Law:

  • Speeding in a Vehicle that has a Gross Vehicle Weight of more than Eighteen Thousand Pounds with a Radar or Laser Detector: This status is designed to discourage motorists from using speeding enforcement equipment while driving vehicles that are inherently dangerous due to their weight.
  • Impeding the Normal and Reasonable Movement of Traffic: This law is designed to discourage motorists from driving dangerously slow that it is negatively affecting the use of the roadway.  We occasionally see this violation issued for motorists who are under the influence of drugs and is used as a basis for stopping them and investigating.
  • Driving Below the Minimum Established Speed Limit: This deals with the situation of a motorist driving on a public road, highway, or parkway that has minimum speed limit signs posted.  We occasionally see this violation issued for motorists who are under the influence of drugs and is used as a basis for stopping them and investigating.
  • Failure to Reduce Speed: This is designed to encourage motorists to reduce his or her speed when approaching or crossing an intersection or railway, an emergency situation involving authorized emergency vehicles with lights on, or whenever any special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians.

Defending a New York Speeding Ticket

Driver Responsibility Assessment

if you accumulate 6 or more points on your New York Driving Record in an 18-month period, you must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee in addition to any conviction fines and surcharges.

Will Taking a Safety Class or Participating in Traffic School Help?

A common misconception is that a driver’s safety class or traffic school will wipe away the points on your license. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. In reality, choosing to take a driver’s safety course will only give you a credit of up to 4 points for traffic tickets you already received. This essentially expands the total number of points you are allowed to accumulate before New York will suspend your driver’s license.

Your insurance company will still see that you were convicted of these traffic violations and your rate will probably still go up. Driver’s school is much less helpful than hiring a skilled traffic ticket attorney to get your charge reduced or dismissed.

Further, if you are convicted of an excessive speeding ticket (8 points or higher), the court has the discretion to suspend you (even having taken the Driver Safety Class).  Similarly, if you are convicted of 3 speeding tickets within 18 months, then your license will be mandatorily revoked for 6 months (even with the class).

Plea Bargain a Speeding Ticket

New York law outlines a great deal of discretion for prosecutors when it comes to negotiating plea bargains. More often than not you will be offered a reduced charge in exchange for a guilty plea. And when drivers are offered a plea bargain, it is hard to tell whether it is a good deal or not.

An experienced traffic lawyer can often be very helpful in getting a prosecutor to offer the best possible reduction.

Biggest Mistakes When Fighting a Speeding Ticket in New York State

Drivers who do their due diligence and try to learn how to defend themselves by researching how to properly and effectively make legal arguments in traffic court sometimes end up the most unhappy. The biggest mistakes when it comes to trying to beat a speeding ticket yourself are lacking experience and preparedness, being emotional, and acting in an abrasive manner.

So, you have decided to represent yourself (even though we do not advise it), make sure you spend enough time researching and preparing, detach yourself from the incident as best you can, and be polite and non-argumentative. Do not expect your ticket to be dismissed just by showing up and smiling, however. Some other common mistakes include:

  • Not listening
  • Talking too much
  • Repeating oneself
  • Not being forthcoming with their attorney or the Judge

How to Beat Your Speeding Ticket in New York

Evidentiary objections are what experienced attorneys use to help you win your case. Some common objections that your traffic attorney might make during your appearance include asked and answered, hearsay, an improper foundation, leading the witness, relevance, and speculation.

It is vital to protect yourself from harmful evidence being admitted against you at trial. Although a simple speeding ticket hearing will be on the short side, valid objections used in the right time and manner will help to protect your legal rights and preserve your possible appeal (if necessary).

Increase the Odds of Winning Your New York Speeding Ticket Case

  • Strict liability applies to most traffic cases. For instance, you cannot say that I did not intend to run the red light.  So many such excuses are unhelpful.
  • Be well versed in the relevant New York law. For instance, radar or laser alone cannot be the basis for a speeding conviction.  You need a second means such as a valid visual estimate.
  • As we wrote, the best way to get the results you want is by hiring an experienced New York traffic ticket attorney.

Let Weiss & Associates, PC Represent Your Traffic Ticket/Violation Case

There is no substitute for a trained traffic ticket attorney who knows exactly how and when to raise objections and has the experience needed to maintain a certain competence in their field of expertise. Since 1991, we have helped 100,000s of motorists with their vehicle and traffic law issues.

Call Weiss and Associates, P.C. at 212-683-7373 today so we can help you maximize your chances for success.

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