In the Traffic Violations Bureaus of New York City, Rochester, Buffalo and Suffolk, there are no deals. if you fight your traffic ticket. It is “all or nothing”. The Traffic Violations Bureau is actually an arm of the Department of Motor Vehicles even though its official name suggests independence from one of Albany’s largest taxing agency.
Because the rest of the state offers plea bargains and most people usually accept them, the 10 TVB courts are the hardest places to win in the entire state. So how hard is it to win?
City-wide, 46.3% of motorists were successful fighting their traffic tickets in 2009. Does this figure sound encouraging? Technically, it is a pretty good number. However, this percentage is deceiving due to some statistic-padding (but that discussion must await a future blog post).
So where does a motorist have technically the best chance to beat a New York City traffic ticket on the merits? Based on statistics from 2009, the single best place to win a hearing is the Manhattan North Traffic Violations Bureau.
And the worst place … Staten Island which is, by far, the single toughest place to beat a traffic ticket in New York City (and the state). There are only two judges there and both are very much pro-police.
Outside New York City, the likelihood of beating a traffic ticket at the TVB are pretty bad. With the TVBs in Suffolk, Rochester and Buffalo success percentages just slightly better than that of Staten Island.
Below is the breakdown of percentage of TVB not guilty determinations from highest to lowest:
Manhattan North Traffic Violations Bureau – 53.8%
Queens South Traffic Violations Bureau – 51.5%
Manhattan South Traffic Violations Bureau – 50.1%
Brooklyn North Traffic Violations Bureau – 46.7%
Queens North Traffic Violations Bureau – 45.6%
Brooklyn South Traffic Violations Bureau – 42.7%
Bronx Traffic Violations Bureau – 42.3%
Buffalo Traffic Violations Bureau – 29.3%
Suffolk County Traffic Violations Bureau – 25.2%
Rochester Traffic Violations Bureau – 24.8%
Staten Island Traffic Violations Bureau – 24.0%