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Understanding Traffic Citations in New York: A Comprehensive Guide

A traffic citation is a formal notice from law enforcement indicating that you somehow violated traffic laws. This could range from speeding to running a red light or any other traffic violation. Knowing this is the initial step in addressing the situation effectively.

The consequences of traffic violations in New York can be pretty significant. Generally, a conviction can result in fines, which can be substantial depending on the offense. Additionally, New York employs a points system, with demerit points added to your driver's license for each violation. Too many points on your record can lead to driver’s license suspension, making it vital to take traffic citations seriously.

Moreover, traffic citations can have a lasting impact on your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies often raise premiums for policyholders with traffic violations on their records, potentially costing you more in the long run.

Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. has a wealth of experience fighting traffic tickets in New York. If you've received a citation, contact us at (212) 235-1525 today to discuss your case and explore the possibility of contesting the ticket.

What Are Traffic Citations?

Traffic tickets are issued for violations of New York’s Vehicle & Traffic Code.

Citations are commonly issued for the following:

It's also essential to distinguish between moving and non-moving violations. Moving violations occur when the vehicle is in motion, like speeding or running a red light. On the other hand, non-moving violations are infractions that occur when the car is stationary, like parking violations. Understanding this difference can help drivers comprehend the nature of the citation they've received and the corresponding penalties.

Traffic Violation Penalties

Traffic violation penalties in New York can vary significantly depending on the nature and severity of the offense.

Potential consequences include the following:

  • Fines: Most traffic tickets in New York are classified as infractions, which are not considered crimes. However, they can still result in substantial fines. The actual amount depends on the violation.
  • Points: The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employs a point system for traffic violations. Different offenses carry different values, typically 3 to 11 points. Accumulating 11 points in 18 months can lead to the suspension of your driver's license.
  • Possible confinement: Some traffic violations carry a jail term of up to 15 days.

Defenses and Legal Options for Traffic Citations

When individuals receive traffic citations in New York, a couple of options are available for resolving them. One option is simply paying the ticket, which is equivalent to admitting guilt. However, this can have consequences, including adding demerit points to your driving record, potentially leading to higher insurance rates and, in some cases, license suspension.

An alternative option is to contest the citation. To fight a traffic ticket, you should plead not guilty. You will then be scheduled for a hearing in traffic court, where you can present your case before a judge.

Potential Defenses

The defenses available to you will depend on the details of your case. Different violations may require different strategies.

For example, defenses for speeding may include disputing the accuracy of the speed measurement equipment or presenting evidence of a legitimate reason for exceeding the speed limit, such as a medical emergency. In contrast, failure to yield defenses could involve proving that you did yield the right of way or demonstrating that the traffic signal or sign was not functioning correctly.

Hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney

Hiring a lawyer for a traffic ticket case can offer numerous advantages, helping you navigate the legal system's complexities and seek a favorable outcome. Attorneys are well-versed in traffic laws and know how to collect and analyze evidence. They can build a robust defense and represent you in court.

When selecting a lawyer for your case, look for someone with a record of handling traffic tickets. Choosing a responsive and accessible attorney is also essential, as having someone who can answer your questions and address your concerns promptly is vital when going through the legal process.

Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. offers legal representation in New York for traffic ticket matters. Contact us at (212) 235-1525 to discuss your case and explore your options.

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