Reckless driving tickets in New York are quite serious for the following reasons:
- They are criminal (misdemeanor) charges where technically you could be sentenced to jail
- They carry five points on your New York driver license
- A conviction will likely result in your auto insurance rates being increased
- Substantial fines will be imposed
The good news is that reckless driving tickets in New York City are not heard at the Traffic Violations Bureau. Therefore, a favorable outcome via a plea bargain can often be negotiated to avoid a criminal record, lessen points and keep your auto insurance from being raised. Dismissal of these tickets is also possible when there is a defect in the original ticket filed with the court.
Our firm has fought 100s of reckless driving tickets in New York and has a favorably resolved the vast majority of them.
So what do you do if you get one?
The first thing is to be polite to officer. Rudeness has bought many a motorist extra tickets. Indeed, technically the officer could “run you through” the system which would mean, at least, 24 hours locked up while you wait for your case to be called.
The next thing you do is to note the court date toward the bottom of the ticket. This is the date on which you must appear to enter a plea. On that date, you always plead not guilty. It is at this time that you or your lawyer can inspect the original ticket for defects. In New York City, the back of the ticket must establish how you were reckless driving. A mere conclusion is insufficient. If you are unsure, I would still ask the court for a dismissal on the grounds that it is defective. You have nothing to lose.
If you cannot get it dismissed, then the court will often propose a plea bargain which involves no points and just a fine. If you are offered such a deal, take it! This will avoid the need to go to trial as well as the risk of points, a criminal record and an insurance hike. Usually,the fine is between $150 and $300 with such a plea bargain.
Below is a list of courts in New York City which handle reckless driving tickets (also known as pink tickets).
Manhattan (New York) Criminal Court
New York, NY 10013
New York Midtown Community Court
314 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
Queens Criminal Court
120-55 Queens Blvd
Kew Gardens, NY 11375
Bronx Criminal Court
215 East 161 Street
Bronx, NY 10451
Kings (Brooklyn) Criminal Court
120 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Kings (Brooklyn) Community Court
88-94 Visitation Place
Red Hook, NY 11201
Richmond (Staten Island) Criminal Court
26 Central Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301