The first rule of thumb is before entering a plea to any traffic ticket, you should speak to an experienced traffic attorney. As a general rule, you should not immediately plead guilty to a traffic ticket. New York does not have “no contest” plea on the simplified traffic information (Uniform Traffic Ticket), although there can be room for a guilty plea with an explanation. In either event, you would be found guilty and the only issue would be the determination as to fines. The Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) sets forth statutory minimum and maximum fines for all traffic violations with the inclusion of mandatory state surcharges.
Without speaking to an attorney, you may be pleading guilty to violations that have points attached to them, and therefore, your New York license or driving privileges could be adversely impacted. Some violations (i.e. speeding, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, illegal railroad crossing) require a mandatory Court appearance because they are either deemed traffic misdemeanors or the fine needs to be set by a Judge. One of the most adverse impacts can be felt by a guilty plea to a violation of VTL 319-1 (uninsured vehicle). In addition to the Court fines, a guilty plea under this section of the VTL will result in a mandatory one (1) year license revocation, and the imposition of a DMV civil penalty in the sum of $750.
The best strategy would be to enter a not guilty plea to any traffic violation if it can be done so by mail. However, even before taking that step, your best bet is to consult an experienced and compassionate traffic lawyer first.