Did you know that you accrue points each time you are convicted of a traffic ticket in NYC? And no, the points are not a good thing on your driving record. The more these points build up, the closer you get to being taxed and, even worse, having your driver’s license suspended. Further, your insurance premiums may shoot through the roof (not to mention other monies due).
What if there was a way to get around all that? If you cannot trust yourself enough to stay out of traffic violations in NYC, then why not work with a reputable team of attorneys to help you with that? A local NYC traffic lawyer has mastered their way around NYC’s traffic laws and knows when to offer free traffic advice to keep you out of trouble.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know about traffic tickets in NYC and how an experienced traffic attorney can help you.
What you need to know about pleading to or paying traffic tickets in NYC
After you receive a traffic violation ticket within the Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, your case will be handled by the DMV’s Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). The TVB adjudicates all traffic tickets issued within the boroughs of NYC that do not have a criminal component.
New York traffic tickets issued outside New York City are processed in the respective traffic or criminal court of the county, city, town, or village in which the alleged traffic offense took place. Our law firm handles such cases much differently than TVB cases.
Once you receive a NYC ticket, follow the instructions outlined on the ticket in regard to entering your please and do so timely. If you delay in answering your ticket, your driver’s license may be suspended and earn you other fees and fines.
With that said, a suspension does not indicate your guilt of the ticket issued. It only says you failed to answer it on time. To lift the suspension, appear at the court to (belatedly) answer the ticket and pay the $70 suspension termination fee. The same applies if you timely answered your ticket but failed to appear on your court date. With that said, after a certain period of time, the TVB will find you guilty by default if you fail to timely lift your suspension.
Answering the ticket simply means pleading ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ to the traffic violation.
In what ways can you pay or enter a plea to your ticket?
Should you be issued with a traffic ticket, you must promptly respond with either a ‘guilty’ plea or a ‘not guilty’ plea. You can answer your ticket in person, online, or by mail.
Sometimes reporting tickets to the DMV may be delayed. If you realize your ticket is not in the DMV’s system yet, do not panic. Simply log onto the TVB portal and request an email notification once it is updated.
1. What are the options for online pleas?
If you are thinking about pleading guilty, it is important to understand the full process. If you are pleading guilty online and are ready to pay fines associated with your ticket, you will need your ticket number and DMV ID number. Alternatively, you may have to submit your full name, birth date and social security number.
Should you plead ‘not guilty‘ and are ready to schedule a hearing, you will need the same information.
While at it, you can also reschedule a ‘not guilty’ hearing or change a ‘not guilty’ plea to a ‘guilty’ plea over the TVB online platform before your court date. The first reschedule does not require permission if you have timely answered.
2. What are the options for mail pleas?
For this option, write your plea directly into the ticket (i.e. ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’), update your address information (as needed), and sign on the back of the ticket. Send with tracking.
In case it is a guilty plea, include the requisite fee payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (credit card, check, or money order). Where applicable, you will also include evidence of equipment violation repair.
Then, mail it to:
Traffic Violations Plea Unit
P.O. Box 2950 – ESP
Albany, NY 12220-0950
3. What are the options for pleas by phone?
Before making the call, ensure you have all your personal information ready to respond to questions promptly for accurate identification as well as your credit card to make any necessary payments.
Once you have everything in order, make the call to 718-488-5710 between 8 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. any weekday except state holidays.
That said, you should consult a reliable NYC attorney prior to plead guilty, especially if you have prior convictions, multiple tickets or are charged with one serious ticket (5 or more points).
How do you plead ‘not guilty’?
If you are sure you want to enter a ‘not guilty’ plea, start by scheduling a hearing prior to appearing before the Traffic Violations Bureau in person or virtually.
1. Schedule your hearing
You have the option of scheduling your hearing online, over a call, or by mail. You can also complete a statement instead of making a personal appearance. However, we do NOT recommend appearing by statement because your chances for success are much, much lower. Your hearing will be conducted in the jurisdiction where you received the ticket.
2. Attend the hearing
The NYC TVB office is currently conducting virtual and in-person hearings. You must select your hearing date and time from ones provided by TVB. After the hearing, TVB will inform you of the outcome.
Failure to appear or submit a statement in your absence may result in:
- Suspension of your driving privilege
- Payment of additional fees
- Conviction by default
If you want to change the date of your hearing (assuming it was timely scheduled), you are only permitted to do so once as of right.
How do you plead ‘guilty’?
TVB allows you to enter a ‘guilty’ plea online, over a call, or by mail. Once you plead guilty, you are not allowed to reverse the plea. Furthermore, you are not permitted to plead guilty online if your resultant conviction leads to a possible suspension of your driving privilege. Such convictions must be done in person are are called “required appearance” tickets.
Additional fees involved
Once you have entered a ‘guilty’ plea, you may be required to pay additional fees and fines related to your ticket. One such fee is the Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee (DRA), which is paid separately.
The fee can be paid in 3 equal installments over three years and is due when you accumulate 6 or more points within an 18-month period. The 18 months is measured from the dates of offense of your convictions. It is meant to prevent a repeat of problematic traffic behaviors.
How do I look up a traffic ticket in NY?
You can check your traffic violations online on the TVB platform along with the points accrued or perform a quick PVO search using your ticket number, Notice of Liability (NOL), or your plate number.
How much is a traffic violation ticket in NY?
For a first-time traffic violation, the fines range anywhere between $ 90 and $ 600. The precise fine is discretionary and set by the judge. Below is a breakdown of the fines for certain speeding charges:
- $ 45 to $ 150 for driving 1 mph to 10 mph above the limit
- $ 90 to $ 300 for driving 11 mph to 30 mph above the limit
- $ 180 to $ 600 for driving beyond 31 mph above the limit
Besides the fine, the state of New York may also impose an $88 to $93 surcharge depending on the location of the offense (city, town, or village).
What happens when you get a ticket in NY?
The first thing you must do is answer the ticket by pleading ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ as soon as possible. All the instructions are provided on the ticket. Failure to answer in time may lead to the suspension of your license.
How do I get a ticket dismissed in NY?
To dismiss your ticket, you must first enter a ‘not guilty’ plea on the ticket. Afterward, schedule a hearing with the court to state your case. Getting help from a local traffic attorney is advisable.
What is the statute of limitations of a traffic ticket in New York?
There is currently no statute of limitations for a traffic ticket in New York state. You must respond to the ticket if issued with one since they never expire. Failing to respond exposes you to the risk of having your license suspended, among other things.
Is it worth hiring a traffic lawyer in NYC?
Yes, in many instances. Our law firm advises 1,000s of motorists annually about whether they should fight a ticket. Often the recommendation is to not hire us (or any other traffic lawyer). Other times, it a clear “yes, fight it” recommendations. Yet other times, it is a “maybe”, these are the pros and cons, what is your preference? Fighting your ticket with the help of a reputable local NYC traffic lawyer may help you save points while keeping your fines and other fees as low as possible. The lawyer will also try and ensure that your vehicle insurance rates stay down while helping you avoid a suspension or revocation.
We can help you fight your NYC traffic tickets!
Has driving in New York City led you to receiving a traffic ticket? If it has, we got your back. With a reliable attorney by your side, you can get back behind the wheel before you even know it. Weiss & Associates, PC is a leading traffic law firm in New York, and working with us guarantees you the full-time freedom to drive in NYC.
We have been around since 1991 helping motorists. We have handled 10,000s of vehicle and traffic law matters through the years so we bring a vast amount of experience (no matter what the charge), We do our best to simplify the process and minimize your inconveniencing. Want to get started with free traffic ticket advice? Get in touch with us today.