Call Menu

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.

How do you reschedule a Traffic Violation Hearing in New York City?

TVB reschedules can be done on-line (in most cases) unless you are seeking a second reschedule. In that case, you need to appear in person and make a request and the Judicial Hearing Officer has the discretion to grant or deny that request.

Can I get a traffic ticket for failing to yield ‘Right of Way’?

Failure to yield right of way carries three (3) DMV points. The consequences can be more serious if you fail to yield to an emergency vehicle or fail to “move over

Do traffic tickets violate probation in New York?

Depending on the conditions set forth in your probation, it is possible to violate your probation if you receive a traffic violation. It would be more likely to be a violation if you are charged with a traffic misdemeanor or convicted of an offense.

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

On the bottom of the ticket, it will indicate whether you can plea via mail/in-person, or whether a personal appearance is required. You can always check with the Court to confirm.

What will happen if I fail to notify the Court of my change of address?

In addition to receiving a traffic violation for failing to notify DMV of the change of address, you can also miss important Court notifications and deadlines.

Can I get a traffic ticket for driving with a broken headlight?

You can certainly receive a traffic violation for any equipment violations such as broken headlights, mufflers, or tint-related issues.

Can I get a restricted license after having my driver’s license suspended or revoked?

You can apply for a restricted license if you haven’t received one in the past three (3) years, and you must clear any unanswered tickets or unpaid fines which form the basis for any suspensions.

What traffic violations are criminal offenses in New York?

Traffic misdemeanors and felonies (crimes) can include the following violations: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Impaired by Drugs, Reckless Driving, Driving with a Suspended License, Driving a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended Registration, and Engaging in a Speed Contest.

How Can I Challenge a Red Light Camera Ticket?

You would plead not Guilty and a hearing would be scheduled where the video showing the incident would be presented into evidence by the prosecution and you (or your attorney) would have the opportunity to cross examine.

Are There Any Specific Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use While Driving?

VTL 1225(c)(2)(A) (operating a motor vehicle- using a mobile phone) and VTL 1225(d)(1) (operating a motor vehicle- using a portable electronic device) are the two primary statutes dealing with phone/mobile device use while driving. A violation under this statute carries five (5) DMV points.

What are the penalties for Speeding in A School Zone?

Points based on how many MPH over the limit you were driving and enhanced fines due to the speed in a school zone. Prosecutors tend to treat speeding in school zone more harshly than other speeding violations.

Can I Get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt as a passenger?

You can absolutely receive a traffic summons for not wearing a seatbelt as a passenger. Penalties with points exist if a child is seen not having a seatbelt or proper seat restraint while motorist is driving the vehicle.

What are the penalties for reckless driving?

Reckless driving (VTL 1212) is a traffic misdemeanor (crime) that carries with it heavy fines, mandatory surcharges, five (5) DMV points, possible jail time, and a criminal record if convicted.

Can I attend traffic school or defensive driving courses to reduce the impact of a traffic violation?

You can attend and complete a NYSDMV-approved defensive driving course to either reduce up to four (4) points from your record (IF completed within 18 months of the violation date) OR to reduce up to 10% off your auto insurance premium.