Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New York's traffic ticket surcharges broken down

The cost of a traffic ticket in New York can vary depending upon the reason for the ticket and the circumstances. In addition to paying the ticket cost, drivers may face insurance surcharges as well. Under New York traffic law, a state surcharge is applied to each ticket issued, further raising the cost of a single traffic violation for drivers.

The state surcharge was the subject of a recent news story which detailed where the money raised from these fees goes. According to the article, for every $88 surcharge assessed, the state’s crime victim assistance fund receives just over five percent at five dollars. The biggest portion of the fee—a total of $55—is given to the fund that pays for court-appointed attorneys. If this fund’s annual allotment has been met for a given year, this amount is then directed to a general fund. The remaining $28 goes to the state’s general fund.

The surcharge is consistent regardless of the cost of a ticket. One man in Albany received an $88 surcharge for a $45 speeding ticket. Additionally, if a driver receives multiple citations, he or she will face a surcharge on each ticket individually. One source quoted in the article indicated how simple speeding tickets have grown into a funding source for the state thanks to these surcharges.

Drivers who have received traffic tickets may be able to get help with their ticket defense and also surcharge fees by talking with a traffic attorney. Taking the time to discuss a case with a lawyer could save valuable dollars and points on a driving record.

Source:, “Why are surcharges on some NY traffic tickets higher than the fine?,” Alex Dunbar, February 7, 2014

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