Do You Have to Respond to a NY Traffic Ticket Within 48 Hours?

Posted on 
September 7, 2018
No Comments

Drivers who get a traffic ticket in New York State will notice that the ticket says drivers must respond within 48 hours. This is not a lot of time and many drivers miss this deadline. This begs the question: Does this deadline matter? And what happens to drivers who miss it?

What Does it Mean to “Respond” to a Traffic Ticket?

Responding to a traffic ticket means entering a plea: either guilty or not guilty. Drivers who plead guilty admit that they committed the traffic violation noted on the ticket and agree to pay the fines and accept possible points on their license.

Entering a not-guilty plea means the driver denies that the charges and refutes the claim the he/she committed a traffic violation. Drivers who plead not guilty will have the opportunity to fight the charges in court. With the exception of the Traffic Violations Bureau, the court will usually allow drivers to negotiate the ticket down to a lesser charge.

What is the 48-hour deadline?

Technically, drivers are required to respond to a New York traffic ticket within 48 hours. VTL 1806 defines how drivers may enter a plea in response to a traffic ticket. The statute clearly states that drivers must reply within 48 hours.

The full statute reads as such:

Plea  of not  guilty by  a defendant charged with a traffic infraction. In addition to appearing personally to enter a plea  of not guilty to a violation of any provision of the tax law or the transportation law regulating traffic, or to a  traffic infraction for the violation of any of the provisions of the vehicle and traffic law or of any local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation relating to the  operation of motor vehicles or motorcycles, a defendant may enter a plea of not guilty by mailing to the court of appropriate jurisdiction the ticket making the charge and a signed statement indicating such plea.

Such plea must be sent: (a) by  registered  or certified  mail, return receipt  requested or by first class mail; and (b) within forty-eight  hours after receiving such ticket.  Upon receipt of such ticket  and statement, the court shall advise the violator, by first class mail, of  an appearance at which no testimony shall be taken. If the motorist requests  a trial, the court shall set a trial date on a date subsequent to the date of the initial appearance and shall notify the defendant  of the date by first class mail but no warrant of arrest for failure to appear can be issued until the violator is notified of  a new court appearance date by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and fails to appear.

What happens to drivers who miss the 48-hour deadline?

Most of the time, nothing happens. VTL 1806 requires drivers to respond within 48 hours but does not prescribe a penalty for missing the deadline. At most, drivers may get a notice in the mail stating they have missed the deadline to respond.

What is the real deadline to respond to a NY traffic ticket?

There is a second deadline listed on the ticket that requires drivers to “respond to or appear by.” This deadline is far more critical. Drivers who do not enter a plea or appear in court by that deadline can have their license suspended. Drivers from any state other than New York who fail to respond to a NY traffic ticket can have their right to drive in NY suspended. If the ticket was answerable to the Traffic Violations Bureau, failure to respond will usually result in a default conviction as well.

What should I do if I miss the 48-hour deadline?

Drivers who have already missed the 48-hour deadline but not the “respond to or appear by” deadline should enter a plea right away and send it in or hire an attorney who will do so. A qualified attorney can also appear in court on a driver’s behalf (in most cases) to help get the charges reduced or dismissed.

Who Should I Call to Help Me with My NY Speeding Ticket?

If you or a loved one has been ticketed for speeding in New York, it is advisable that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the fines, points, and insurance increases associated with a conviction. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in fighting tickets for speeding and other traffic violations. Call 888-883-5529 or email the Rosenblum Law today for a free consultation about your case.

Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum

Founding Attorney Of Rosenblum Law

Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced and skilled traffic violations and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Rosenblum provides expert and aggressive representation to those facing points on their drivers’ licenses and the associated fines and surcharges.

Read Full Bio

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Consultation

Call us now for a quick, free, and no obligation colustion with one of our attorneys.

Featured Experts

Kent Ng

NYPD (Ret.)
Read More

Mike Gheller

NYPD Officer
Read More

Travis Hall

NY State Police
Read More

Related Articles

Learn more about traffic tickets and criminal matters in New York and New Jersey.

Operating An Uninspected Motor Vehicle In New York – VTL 306

Life can get pretty busy, so for many drivers one of the last things on your mind is making sure...
Read More
January 21, 2013

Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Authority Is Open For Business

We reported previously that Suffolk County was changing the way they handle traffic violations beginning April 1, 2013.  As of...
Read More
April 8, 2013

Are U.S Postal Service Workers Immune To Traffic Tickets?

The short answer is no. You may have seen police officers violating traffic laws in non-emergency situations, such as officers...
Read More
April 10, 2013

We've Fought Over 50,000 Traffic Ticket Cases

Call us now for a quick, free, and no-obligation consultation.
chevron-down Free Consult Call Now linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram