Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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2 lessons from proposal to double cost of traffic tickets in NY

A new proposal by a Nassau County executive could double the cost of traffic citations in New York. The proposal, as discussed in a recent CBS piece, could lead to a $100 increase to many different citations.

Traffic violations are particularly frustrating since, unlike other charges, the accused is generally not innocent until proven guilty. Instead, the accused must either pay the fee or go to traffic court to prove his or her innocence.

New Yorkers are voicing frustrations over the proposal, calling it unfair. Even AAA has criticized the proposal, stating it the suggested increase would make for "bad precedent."

Just how bad would the traffic ticket proposal be? This may be best illustrated with an example. A red light violation in this area can result in a ticket that costs approximately $100 after the ticket and administrative fees are taken into account. If this proposal goes into effect, the cost of this offense would double.

Will this proposal go into effect? The ticket hike is not currently in effect. It is part of the proposed budget for Nassau County for 2017, made by County Executive Ed Mangano. The budget proposal may still be adjusted.

This means the proposed increase could either go into effect as planned, be amended or be excluded completely.

What does this mean for those who currently facing traffic citations in New York? Those who currently have traffic citations in New York can learn two things from this proposal:

  • Evolving nature of the law. The laws that govern traffic citations change regularly. What was true for a traffic citation you received in the pat may no longer be true today or tomorrow.
  • Importance of taking traffic citations seriously. This proposal also demonstrates how even a relatively small traffic citation can quickly add up to cost hundreds of dollars.

Those who are issued a traffic citation have options. Contact an experienced lawyer to discuss the best option for your situation.

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