Do I Need To Hire an Attorney

Posted on 
May 17, 2013
A motor officer writes a traffic ticket for a ...

You’ve recently gotten a traffic ticket and now you are asking yourself this very question. When the police officer gave you the ticket, he explained what sounded like a simple process for answering this ticket. This “process” even allowed for you to respond by mail and it appears to eliminate any “red tape”, allowing you to more quickly put this mistake behind you. Also, fighting the charge could mean that you may have to appear in court a long way from your residence, depending on where you received the ticket. Doesn’t it make sense to just follow the easy path and mail the ticket in without representation?

On the surface, the obvious answer seems to be yes. But, as anyone who has dealt with a government process can tell you, there is no such thing as simple when you are dealing with a government entity. The most obvious pitfall to pleading guilty by mail is that you have now opened yourself up for the maximum punishment that the court can administer. Additionally, you have also opened yourself up for the maximum points on your license, which could lead to an increase in your insurance premiums or a possible suspension of your license.

By hiring an attorney, you have hired an ally who knows the inner workings of the court system. This ally cannot only help you through the pitfalls of traffic court, but in the State of New York, he can also appear in court for you. Additionally, your attorney has most likely dealt with the judge and the district attorney on previous matters. This “working relationship” helps streamline the process and work in your favor when your attorney seeks to procure a reduction in your case.

Another matter that may be affecting your decision to hire an attorney is that you are not sure whom to turn to. We are constantly barraged by TV commercials from attorneys who are seeking your business. I can only advise you to look for an attorney the same way that I did. Before I decided to affiliate myself with a law firm, I made sure that their goals were the same as mine. I wanted to make sure that the attorney that I associated with was not looking to just make a dollar, but that he truly saw how complicated this process is, and that they had a plan to make it simpler, easier and less painful for his clients to resolve their traffic issues.

I will close by saying that in my 25 year law enforcement career, I have never seen anyone do worse by hiring an attorney for a traffic case, but I did see the majority of clients do considerably better.

Author Bio

Travis Hall

NY State Police Of Rosenblum Law

Officer Travis Hall is a 25-year veteran of the New York State Police.

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  1. If anyone has any questions or comments, please post a comment here and I would be happy to answer them.

    1. Hi. I am 18 years old and got my license at 16. A couple weeks ago I got my first speeding ticket going 70 in a 55 And it was a work zone. The officer said he did not mark it as a work zone ticket but when I recurved the ticket I did undead see “workzone” on it. What are the penalties and is there anyways I can fight this without a lawyer

      1. Abbigail - you are currently facing a 4 point work zone violation. This ticket entails a penalty of $600, along with a $93 court fee. Furthermore, this ticket will likely have a substantial impact on your insurance rates - particularly due to your age. While you are not required to obtain an attorney to fight a ticket such as this, it is often recommended to assure the optimal outcome is received. In order to provide any additional information, we will need to know what court has jurisdiction over this case as the policies and procedures vary among the court system.

    2. I received a speeding ticket and i have a temporary registration on my car that expires on 1/2/2015 but for some reason he wrote down that my registration expires 8/15/2015 without looking at the one on my windshield. He only took my driver license and insurance card is this grounds for dismissal? Or does this not matter.

  2. If I represent myself in court for a speeding ticket and the Judge decides to order me a lot of points and a high fine, can I then afterward hire an attorney to appeal the verdict or fight the decision of the court? I was speeding to avoid a dangerous situation so I feel my actions where justified. Also I keep reading if you postpone the case as long as you can eventually the officer will not show up or forget the case.

  3. I just received two tickets, one for speeding and another for my vehicle being unregistered. We just moved to the state of NY from Utah and apparently the registration expired on 12/31/2014 (although on my ticket he put that it expired on 12/31/2013). We are currently underway of getting our car registered in the state of New York, however our vehicle has a rebuilt title and after we got it inspected and everything we went to get it registered and they told us a rebuilt title requires a different and special inspection (this is different than the state of Utah) and that it could take 2-4 months. However, I work and I am our only source of income and I HAVE to drive to work. I hope you can help me know what to do. Thanks

  4. i just received 2 tickets one for speeding and 2nd for changing lane without signal
    i checked on ticket and that my lead to 6 point for speeding and 2 for
    not signal .
    i know i was above the speed limit but not 22 mph above.( the speed limit was 50)
    regarding the signal later than i found out that one of my signal fuse is not working
    so i went to replace it and got a receipt for that. can it help.
    i was sure i did signal but the officer said i didn't and just took my license.
    what are my chances to fight this two ticket or reduce the points.

    thank u

  5. Just received a ticket in Canandaigua New York 1151A.

    "Fail To yield Right Of Way To a Pedestrian"

    The pedestrian waived me and the car to my right onward and HE WAS NOT in the crosswalk, but standing by it.
    An aggressive police offer choose to pull me over and let the other car go.

    Either way, it appears that there is a $150 1st offense fine and $85 surcharge and a 3 points added to my license.

    Is there a defense for this situation and whom might I want to work with in my area. Do you have an attorney to refer to zip code is 14564

    Thank you for your reply.

    Hal B. Victor, NY

  6. I got an speeding ticket for doing 47 on 25, tracked by radar on 1st Avenue in Manhattan, NYC. I think this gets me 6 points + DRA.

    At that time, the officers had arrived in teams and were also stopping several other cars. It was close to midnight.

    When he handed over the ticket to me, the officer said "Go to the court and Plead Not Guilty. Let the Judge decide what he wants to do".

    I am not sure why he made that specific comment.

    How should I respond to the ticket ?

    1. TB - I suggest you plead not guilty and fight these tickets, as there are significant financial implications. Please be advised, however, that there is no plea bargaining in this court system. You may contact us to discuss your case in further detail.

  7. Hi,

    I got a ticket for doing 96 in a 65 in NJ but I have a NY license. Do I have to worry about the points transferring or should I just pay the fine? Are there any other implications?


    1. Max - Points from NJ will not transfer over to NY. However, New Jersey will communicate the violation to New York, where it will be listed on your driving record for your insurance company to see. Your insurance rates can significantly increase based on this violation even if points are not incurred in New York.

  8. Hi, I just received a ticket for doing 99 in a 65 in NY. I have a PA license. This is my first ever speeding ticket. Will I get points on my license? If so how do I get them removed?

    1. you are currently facing an 8 point violation, that carries fines of $693, and assessment fees of $450. While we are not licensed in PA, and thus can not comment on the point system of that state, the violation will transfer for insurance purposes. Because of these substantial consequences, I strongly advise you to fight this ticket. You may reach us at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation.

  9. I received a ticket under 1160D together with a "supporting deposition" which reads as follows:

    "Operator observed traveling east bound on Pondfield Rd at Garden Ave. The Operator did make a left turn to travel west bound on Pondfield Rd. the Operator did disobey turn restriction sign. Sign being a No U-Turn Sign. The Operator did fail to produce his New York State Photo Driver's License"

    (I received a second ticket under "5091" but I have a licence; just thought I left it home. It was in my shirt pocket. Long story) My question is this: It seems the description is technically incorrect. I never made a left turn, though I did initiate my U-Turn from the left side. Unfortunately, I had passed the sign before I decided to make the turn (i.e., it was not in the intersection, but preceded the intersection where I made the turn). I figure I have to go to court to show the license, and wanted to know if I should fight the u-turn ticket. In addition to the description seeming off, it looks like they cite the wrong section of the code rather than 1160E governing U-Turns.

    1. Generally speaking, 1160D carries 2 points and maximum fines of $243. 509-1 carries 0 points, and has a maximum penalty of $393. In order to provide further informationm, we need additional details about your case - particularly as it relates to which court has jurisdiction over your case.

  10. I was driving in Harlem showing a friend City College and the churches travelling on Convent Ave when
    the police pulled me over for running a stop sign. I did stop at signs but was driving very slowly and stopping to point out buildings which probably looked very suspicious. I was given a ticket vtl 1172a. Will this be points on my license if I pled guilty and paid the fine? How much will it cost to hire an attorney?

    1. This is a 3 point ticket that carries a fine of $243. I suggest you contact us for a free consultation at 888-883-5529.

  11. Does NYS offer safe driving courses instead of points for some kinds of offenses?
    Where can I find our more on this. If I call the local police they may think I'm negotiating
    or hassling them. What is the best way to find out alternatives in specific regions?

  12. Was pulled over by a NYS Trooper on I-87 in Albany (jurisdiction City of Albany) for speeding. Comment on the ticket states "Sameway radar far right lane at 83mph". The trooper also discovered my NYS registration expired a few weeks ago (6/12). He issued two tickets, one for speeding and one for driving an unregistered vehicle. I registered the vehicle online immediately after completing the trip. Should I plead not guilty? Does the City of Albany hold plea bargin sessions to negotiate reductions?

    1. I recommend pleading not guilty and contesting your ticket. While this court does allow for plea bargaining, I would advise you to pay close attention to the offer presented to you. We have often found that certain offers may be more or less favorable to you based on your particular situation.

  13. I received a ticket for going over 26 miles over the speeding limit (Rental Car) by Glen Town Court, FultonVille. I don't believe that I was driving that fast but speeding was taken by L-laser. Should I plead not guilty? Please suggest whats the best way to proceed.

    1. RS - You are currently facing a 6 point speeding violation that will result in a fine of $393, along with a $300 driver responsibility assessment fee. Furthermore, this speeding violation will likely have a significant impact on your insurance rates. We therefore suggest pleading not guilty and contesting this violation.

  14. Hello i was pulled over in New Lebanon NY going on US20 toward Albany . I am a Mass driver and this is my first violat ever. The trooper gave me a ticket for spedding on a 55 speed zone i was with
    67 that s what he said . Can i plead not guilty??? Since it s my first violation . Please give me an opinion...

    1. Elkat - I suggest contesting this 4 point ticket as it carries fines of $393, along with a substantial increase in your insurance rates.

  15. I was driving on the Taconic State Parkway passing through Putnam Valley. I changed to the left lane and sped up to pass a slow moving car. I was followed by a state trooper for a few minutes, was pulled over and given a ticket. Trooper said I was going 20 miles over the speed limit. I didn't argue, I know better. in Lieu of a speeding ticket he issued a " Failure to obey a traffic control device" ticket. He advised me that this is better than a speeding ticket, less points, less money and said that I should mail the ticket in with a guilty plea. So should I? What are the ramifications of this type of ticket?

    1. Carla - it appears that the officer gave you a 'roadside reduction,' whereby the lesser 1110(a) charge was issued instead of the initially alleged speeding ticket. The impact of this ticket will depend on facts particular to your unique situation. We therefore suggest contacting us to discuss further.

  16. Driving on interstate 84 by Goshen NY and proceeded to pass a tractor trailer so I signaled to change lanes along with a vehicle that was in front of me. Upon changing lanes I realized that my exit was approaching in about 3/4 of a mile so when I was halfway passed the tractor trailer I put my right signal on so thay once I passed I could safely pull into the right lane and proceed with exiting the highway. The vehicle in front of me never signaled and remained in the left lane. Once passed the tractor trailer I moved into the right lane and within a 1/4 mile I exited the highway. At that point I saw the state trooper turn on his lights and pulled me over. He approached my vehicle and asked do I know why he pulled me over and I said "because I proceeded to pass the tractor trailer" and he said yes and you were also doing 83 mph. Not sure I was going that speed but I did accelerate long enough to safely pass the tractor trailer and provide a safe distance to change lanes so I could exit the highway. He said he didn't give me a ticket for speeding but he did give me one for passing on the right, it was the lessor of two evils. Once I arrived at where I was going I noticed he cited section 1123. I know he let me go on the alleged speeding charge but I don't agree with 1123 as it is a two lane highway and both vehicles were traveling in the same direction, I did not "drive off of the pavement" to pass and I used the proper signalling to make the lane change. He also instructed me that in the future I cannot pass on the right which is not what the law says, at least when it pertains to a two lane interstate. Told me to mail in the citation by a specific date. Any advice?
    PS:. This was all recorded on a dash cam.

    1. Shawn - I would suggest you contact our office we may arrange for you to forward us a copy of your dash cam footage. Reviewing this potential evidence will allow us to provide you with a more detailed analysis of your options.

  17. Coming down a steep hill into Warsaw was clocked at 52 mph in a 35 zone. I never saw the speed reduced sign, and had never driven in Warsaw before so was not familiar with the area. Never the less I pleaded guilty to avoid having to drive to NY for court. I explained on the ticket that it was my first offense ever, and all of the previous details as well. Village court mailed me a bill for $293. And then a day later I got a bill for an additional $300 from DMV for a driver responsibility assessment and 6 points. Is there anything that can be done? And is it going to cost me as much as the ticket would to contest it?

    1. Hello Michael, to answer, it is possible to file a motion to withdraw the guilty plea you had entered. Should this motion prevail, we will be able to contest the ticket on your behalf without your required presence.

  18. Hello, Was driving up to Binghamton this past weekend and got a speeding ticket 82 on 65 zone. Section 1180D. This is my first speeding ticket ever and I have been driving for 13 years. I was on cruise control at 75 but I guess it picked up speed at 82 and didn't catch it and then I saw the cop pull out so I started to slow down and he said you know why I pulled you over because you were going 82 and then suddenly slowed down to 60. I guess they don't like it when you slow down. Should I just pay this and take a defensive course and drop the points myself.

    1. Hello C Mehta, and thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, you cannot lower the amount of points you have on your license by taking a defensive driving course. Rather, defensive driving courses heighten the point threshold of which your license is suspended at, as well as provide for a reduction to your insurance rates.

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