The Suffolk County Traffic Violations & Parking Agency, opened as of April 2013, has been great for motorists. Motorists who plead not guilty to any Suffolk County speeding ticket or other moving violation can now negotiate plea bargains, a much better system rather than the “all or nothing” predecessor court.
Of course, this improvement is not without cost. The SCTV&PA imposes the highest fines in New York State. Recently, it added a new fee. A $25 to $50 “administrative fee” for each dismissed ticket and it is estimated that this fee will annually generate $10 million. The fee is explained as covering the cost of prosecuting tickets but it makes no sense to charge a motorist for a traffic ticket that was demised (as opposed to reduced or found guilty). Lawmakers are trying to restrict this practice but, for now, the fee stands.
This fees not without precedent. The Nassau County Traffic Violations & Parking Agency similarly charges a $30 “Driver Responsibility Fee” on most tickets processed including many types of dismissals (regardless of when issued).
Why does Suffolk County charge a $55 Admin Fee and $88 SurChg Fee on a $77 fine for VTL 1110 0A; Dis Trfc Device charge?
The $88 surcharge is imposed by NYS law. The admin fee is a fee created by Suffolk County (whether this admin fee is legal is something that I have questioned for years).
What’s the $80 surcharge on a ticket?
The surcharge is essential a NYS tax on traffic tickets. It started out as $5 and has been increased by the NYS Legislature through the years.
I never received red light tickets associted with my automobiles and are now 29 on my credit reports.
What’s my move?
John E O’Neill,
Whoa! Go to the court and ask to see the original tickets. Perhaps, you can determine from the dates and times who was driving your car and got these tickets (or perhaps that they were issued erroneously).
Both Nassau and Suffolk County Prosecutors offices have a duty to dismiss cases without extorting a $30 payoff fee if the case should be dismissed as a matter of law. They are setting themselves up for office wide lawyer misconduct, and possible a class action or punitive damage claim .
Thanks for your post. I too question whether this additional charge is legal.
Nassau County has added a $30.00 “Drivers Fee” to its $50.00 red light camera tickets for a total fine of $80.00 plus a $4.00 bank fee for on-line payments.