Your best bet for winning a Traffic Violations Bureau traffic ticket is if the police officer is unavailable. At the TVB, there is no plea-bargaining. If you fight a traffic ticket, it is “all or nothing”. The TVB is an arm of the Department of Motor Vehicles and has established all types of rules to make it hard to win. Without the issuing officer, the case cannot proceed against you, however.
If the police officer who issued your traffic ticket does not appear for any reason, the judge will either dismiss the ticket, or mark it against the officer and re-schedule it. On a second non-appearance, the traffic ticket is usually dismissed.
City-wide, 11.7% of contested hearings were dismissed due to police officers’ non-appearance in 2009. A motorist is three times more likely to get lucky, however, in at the Suffolk, Buffalo and Rochester TVBs. And this figure is actually 5 times more likely when comparing these three TVBs to the Queens North TVB.
So where does a motorist have technically the best chance to beat a New York City traffic ticket due to an officer’s unavailability? Based on statistics from 2009, the best NYC traffic courts are the Manhattan South Traffic Violations Bureau and Brooklyn North Traffic Violations Bureau.
And the worst places in New York City … Queens North Traffic Violations Bureau and Staten Island Traffic Violations Bureau. These two TVBs are the least likely places to get lucky in New York City. Indeed, you have double the chance of getting lucky in Manhattan South and Brooklyn North than you do in Queens North and Staten Island.
Below is the breakdown of percentage of TVB dismissals based on police officer non-appearance from highest to lowest:
Suffolk County Traffic Violations Bureau – 35.7%
Buffalo Traffic Violations Bureau – 35.2%
Rochester Traffic Violations Bureau – 33.5%
Manhattan South Traffic Violations Bureau – 14.3%
Brooklyn North Traffic Violations Bureau – 13.9%
Bronx Traffic Violations Bureau – 12.4%
Manhattan North Traffic Violations Bureau – 12.0%
Queens South Traffic Violations Bureau – 11.7%
Brooklyn South Traffic Violations Bureau – 11.4%
Staten Island Traffic Violations Bureau – 7.4%