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Traffic Law FAQs

What is the effect of a traffic ticket on your car insurance rates?

The more serious the traffic violation, the higher the rates will be in the event of a conviction.

How do I plead Not Guilty to a Speeding Ticket in New York?

Depending on the Court/Traffic Agency, not guilty pleas may be entered in person, by mail, by fax, or via e-mail/on-line.

Do I need a lawyer to contest a ticket in New York?

It is not required, but it is recommended. However, a business (i.e. corporation, LLC) must be represented by an attorney.

If one of my traffic tickets is a misdemeanor, can I resolve the ticket by mail?

Misdemeanor traffic violations require your personal appearance in Court.

Can I resolve a traffic ticket infraction by telephone?

In most cases, the answer is No.

What if I ignore my traffic ticket or traffic violation?

Depending on the ticket, your license or driving privileges will be suspended and a warrant my issue for your arrest.

My ticket is in warrant status. What do I need to do?

You need to appear in Court to recall the warrant, appear, and have the warrant vacated. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting arrested and brought into Court. It is better to voluntarily appear to recall the warrant.

Can my driver’s license be suspended if I am licensed in another state?

You can only be licensed in one state, however, your driving privileges can certainly be suspended in another state for a variety of reasons (i.e., unanswered tickets, accumulation of enough points to merit suspension).

What do traffic attorneys do?

Represent motorists who are charged with VTL violations or misdemeanors. They also represent companies charged with violations of the VTL and Transportation Law (TL) (“trucking tickets”).

Is it illegal to pass on the shoulder in New York?

Yes, it is a three (3) point violation for improper passing on shoulder.

Which traffic violations affect insurance in New York?

Most moving violation convictions will have some effect on insurance. The more serious the violation, the more of an effect on your premium rates.

Can I get a traffic ticket for failing to yield right of way?

You can certainly get a traffic ticket for failing to yield the right of way. It is a three-point violation. You can fail to yield to another vehicle, a pedestrian, or an emergency vehicle.

What traffic violations are criminal offenses in New York?

Some examples of traffic misdemeanor crimes in New York include: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), driving with a suspended registration, driving with a suspended license (aggravated unlicensed operation), engaging in a speed contest, and reckless driving.

Does every vehicle in New York need to carry liability insurance?

Yes, you need liability insurance.

What can happen in New York if you do not show up to answer your traffic tickets?

Your license can be suspended, a warrant can issue for your arrest, a default judgment may be entered against you.

When should I hire a lawyer for a traffic ticket?

It is always a good idea to consult a lawyer if you receive any traffic ticket.

Can I pay a traffic citation online?

Some traffic courts and agencies have mechanisms to pay tickets on line. But remember that if you pay your ticket, it is assumed that you are pleading (or have plead) guilty to that particular violation.

What is the Difference between a moving violation and a nonmoving violation?

Examples of moving violation include: speeding, failure to yield, driving while using a cell phone, unsafe lane change. Nonmoving violations include most equipment-related violations and parking violations.

How Long do Traffic Violations Stay on your Record in New York?

Most convictions for traffic violations remain on your driving abstract for three (3) calendar years following the year of conviction. Some stay longer, including convictions for DWI and DWAI.

The officer who gave me a ticket said it was mandatory that I appear in Court. Is that correct?

Certain traffic violations that rise to the level of misdemeanors (i.e. reckless driving, DWI, driving with suspended license) require appearances by the motorist. Other traffic violations will also require your personal appearance unless you retain an attorney to appear on your behalf with authorization.

I didn’t mean to speed. Can I still get a ticket?

In short, yes. No affirmative defenses for speed absent extreme, exigent emergency circumstances.

How do I get my driver’s license back?

You must clear any open suspensions and revocations on your driving record in order to reinstate your New York license or driving privileges. Check your driving abstract to see your record.

How Can I Minimize the Points on my driving record after receiving a traffic ticket?

Complete a DMV-approved Defensive Driving/Accident Prevention Course to reduce up to four (4) points on your driving record. This can be done every 18 months for point reduction purposes.

Can I negotiate a plea bargain in a traffic case to reduce fines or avoid points on my license?

Depending on the seriousness of the offense and your driving record, some traffic violations can be reduced via plea bargaining. It is best to consult with an experienced traffic attorney.