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5 Common Traffic Ticket Mistakes to Avoid

Getting pulled over by a police officer and receiving a ticket can be frustrating. Making a misstep that hurts your chances of pursuing a favorable result can be even more upsetting.

At Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C., we recognize that not all are familiar with the process for resolving a traffic ticket in New York. A lack of insight can make it more likely that someone makes an avoidable error and ends up suffering substantial consequences. For instance, they might immediately pay the ticket without talking to a lawyer about their options. That is why we have compiled a list of common mistakes to steer clear of. Of course, the information here does not cover all situations. Thus, we invite you to reach out to us to discuss your case.

To schedule a consultation, please call us at (212) 235-1525 or submit an online contact form today.

Arguing with the Officer

Being pulled over and given a citation can be upsetting but staying calm and avoiding arguing with the officer is important. It's unlikely that expressing your irritation will get you out of a ticket, and it may even make the situation worse.

The officer may also ask questions, but you're not required to answer them. In fact, it's often best to say as little as possible. In trying to explain yourself, you may inadvertently admit to the alleged traffic violation or give too much information.

By remaining composed, you may have a better chance to fight the ticket at a hearing.

Not Responding to the Ticket

If you have been issued a traffic ticket, you must answer it. You'll typically be required to either plead guilty or not guilty within a certain number of days, and the instructions on how to do so will be listed on the citation itself.

Not responding to the ticket could result in the following:

Your information may also be sent to a debt collection agency that will contact you to recover the outstanding amounts you owe.

Responding to the ticket can save you significant time, money, and hassle in the long run.

Paying the Ticket Without Consulting an Attorney

If you receive a traffic ticket, paying the fine is not your only option. You can challenge the allegations against you in court or at a Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) office.

Paying the fine means pleading guilty to the violation. Before doing so, talk to a lawyer. They can discuss your options. In some cases, an attorney can find errors or mistakes made by the police officer who issued the ticket. This may be enough to get the ticket dismissed outright. Even if it's not, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges with the prosecutor (for tickets issued outside of the five boroughs of New York City) or get the judge to agree to a more lenient sentence.

Paying a fine might seem like the easiest way to deal with a traffic ticket, but it may not be in your best interests. Consult with a lawyer who can help you understand the legal avenues you can pursue and can assist in challenging the citation and seeking a favorable outcome.

Not Requesting a Hearing

When you receive a traffic ticket, you typically have the option to plead guilty or not guilty. Pleading guilty means admitting that you violated a traffic law and are accepting the consequences. Pleading not guilty means challenging the allegations and requesting a hearing.

The hearing is your chance to present your arguments, evidence, and testimony to fight your ticket. You may be able to avoid points on your license or other penalties.

If you do not request a hearing, you are essentially pleading guilty and may be convicted without having your voice heard.

Not Preparing for the Hearing

Showing up unprepared for your hearing can hurt your chances of seeking a favorable outcome.

A lot goes into preparing for a traffic ticket hearing:

  • You must understand what you received the ticket for and whether there are any possible defenses.
  • You must prepare questions to ask witnesses or the officer who issued the ticket.
  • You must gather any evidence you want to submit, such as photos or character witnesses.
  • You must understand the court's or TVB office's rules and procedures.

An attorney can help with all of these steps and help you make more confident and strategic moves in your case.

No one wants to get a traffic ticket, but if you do, it's important to know how to handle the situation and the things to avoid. Although you can try to fight your citation on your own, having an attorney help with your case may be beneficial. They can give advice and guidance on how to proceed and offer legal insights gained from years of experience handling matters similar to yours.

If you need representation in New York, contact Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. at (212) 235-1525 today.