Nobody wants to deal with a speeding ticket. In fact, the majority of New York drivers who find themselves faced with a ticket for speeding end up paying the ticket, hoping to “make it go away.” Unfortunately, this is a terrible idea. The consequences of a speeding ticket go far beyond the fine. The impact of pleading guilty to speeding (which is what happens when you pay the ticket without contesting it) can follow a driver for three years or even longer. The only way to truly make a speeding ticket “go away” is to plead the ticket down (if applicable) or get it dismissed.
The Fines for Speeding in NY Are Hundreds of Dollars on Average
When a driver decides to just pay a speeding ticket, the fine for the violation is not the final cost. A speeding ticket in New York starts at $150 but can cost as much as $600 for a first conviction. However, every speeding ticket also comes with a mandatory NYS surcharge of $88 to $93.
Moreover, if the speeding ticket puts the number of points on a driver’s license at six or higher, he/she will face an additional charge known as a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA). The DRA costs $100 plus $25 for each point over six. Drivers hit with a DRA will pay the fine each year for three years. As such, a speeding ticket fine totaling nearly $700 ($393 fine + $300 DRA) is quite common.
An attorney can help avoid these costs by either negotiating with prosecutors to reduce the fines (all courts except NYC) and reduce or eliminate the points and fines or take the ticket to trial with the goal of getting it dismissed.
Points Carry the Risk of Driver’s License Suspension
Drivers who choose to pay a speeding ticket accept that they will get points on their license. These points carry a lot of risks. As mentioned above, when a driver reaches six points in 18 months, he/she could be required to pay a DRA.
Too many points can also lead to a suspended license. If a speeding ticket puts the point total over 11 in under 18 months, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles may choose to suspend the license for one year from the date of the last offense. In addition, 3 regular speeding tickets, or 2 tickets for speeding in a work zone within 18 months will lead to license revocation.
And out of state drivers are in the same boat – NY will suspend or revoke the NY driving privileges of any driver who accumulates 11 points, 3 speeding tickets, or 2 work zone speeding tickets within an 18 month period. In addition, their home state could honor the NY suspension and suspend them in the state in which they are licensed as well.
Since drivers who face a speeding charge are at risk for suspension, they should contact an attorney to help get the ticket reduced to a no-point violation or dismissed altogether.
Insurance Premiums Can Skyrocket
Paying a speeding ticket also means a driver’s auto insurance carrier could find out about the offense. While the points associated with paying a traffic ticket only count toward the total for 18 months, the conviction will stays on a person’s driving record until January 1 of the fourth year after the date of conviction (e.g. if a driver pleads guilty in May of 2018, that conviction will remain on their record until January 2022).
Insurance companies pull driving records periodically, especially when drivers sign up for a new policy or change coverages (e.g. upon purchase of a new vehicle). An insurer can adjust a rate for as long as the conviction is on the driving record.
A single conviction for speeding in NY can increase premiums by as much as 21 percent or more. With New Yorkers typically shelling out between $1,400 and $2,700 annually for auto insurance, even the smallest speeding ticket could result in an additional $294 to $567 per year. Multiply that by 3-4 years and you have a huge financial consequence.
The only way to keep a speeding ticket from costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in auto insurance increases is to fight the ticket.
The Consequences of Ignoring a Speeding Ticket
Drivers who think ignoring a speeding ticket in New York will help avoid the consequences of a conviction should think again. Failure to respond to or pay a speeding ticket can result in a suspension of New York driving privileges.
How A New York Speeding Ticket Lawyer Can Help
By now it should be clear that drivers should always fight their speeding ticket in New York. Here are the reasons drivers should hire a lawyer rather than represent themselves:
- No Need to Show Up to Court. All traffic courts in New York State allow a lawyer to represent a client on their behalf (with limited exceptions). That means the driver doesn’t need to spend hours at the courthouse waiting for his/her turn with the prosecutor and judge; the lawyer will do it all.
- Attorneys know how to negotiate. If your case has the potential to be negotiated, who better to negotiate than someone who spends his waking hours doing just that. Lawyers are trained and skilled negotiators and will know how to get you the best deal possible.
- Attorneys are trained to handle trials. There’s a reason people hire lawyers when their case goes to trial. Prosecutors and judges know how to pick apart arguments and usually have a nose for lies or excuses. Even if a person is telling the honest truth, this can be intimidating. Defense attorneys are used to this kind of scrutiny and can handle the rigorous questioning. In addition, taking the witness stand means the prosecutor can ask whatever he or she wants and the defendant might say something incriminating (perhaps even subconsciously). Not to mention, a lawyer will know how to make legal arguments and present the case in a way that is more likely to get the best results.
- Lawyers often have relationships. In addition to be experts in negotiating, experienced attorneys may have existing relationships with the prosecutors or judges assigned to the case. If this is the case, the judge or prosecutor may be less hostile and more keen to offer a fair deal since they have a relationship of trust that has already been established. In addition, they tend to view the lawyers as being less biased than the individuals who ultimately have the most to lose (i.e. the defendants).
Who Should Driver’s Contact to Fight a Ticket?
If you or someone you love recently received a New York speeding ticket, contact The Rosenblum Law Firm right away. Our team of experienced NY traffic ticket attorneys can help you avoid the high fines, insurance hikes, suspension risk and other consequences that come with a conviction. Contact us today at 888-883-5529.