Unpaid Traffic & Speeding Tickets

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New York Traffic Ticket

Forgetting to pay your traffic ticket can result in your license getting suspended

Recently a Brooklyn Councilman begged the local City Council to help him go to the State Legislature so that bring about change concerning the current laws concerning unpaid traffic violations. The Councilman proposed to the City Council that people who forget to pay traffic tickets should not be arrested and jailed but instead should only be fined. This proposal was in response to several horror stories in which people that lost their court notice or simply forgot to pay their fine were arrested and hauled off to jail. One story in particular involved a father being arrested in front of his children.

Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying A Simple Traffic Ticket?

When you do not show up to court or pay your traffic fines (including simple parking tickets) you can have your license suspended and a warrant may be issued for your arrest for contempt of court. Under Section 503 (j-l), any operator who has been suspended for failure to pay a fine, penalty or mandatory surcharge or has failed to answer an appearance ticket or summons shall not have that suspension terminated until they pay a suspension fee to the court that initiated the suspension. 

The problem is that when your license gets administratively suspended for failure to pay a speeding or traffic ticket, you are exposing yourself to serious problems if you are caught while driving on a suspended license.  The fines for driving while suspended can be up to $500 (first offense) plus surcharges and possible jail time.

What If I Lost My Traffic Ticket?

It’s not always easy to track down a lost traffic ticket.  You can request a substitute traffic ticket for violations that are answerable to New York’s Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). If you wish to print a substitute ticket you can visit the TVB’s website here. If your ticket is a non-TVB ticket you can usually contact the local court in the city or town you were ticketed in. Click here for a list of local courts throughout the State of New York.  If you do not have that information you can contact New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles and have a representative assist you.

What Are My Options To Take Care Of My Traffic Ticket?

The best advice when dealing with traffic tickets is taking care of them sooner rather than later. Remember that if you get a traffic ticket in New York you generally are afforded 3 options.

  1. Plead guilty and pay the fine: [Not Recommended] When you just want to get it over with, you’re automatically admitting guilt. This option means that you fully accepting the charges, which will be a part of your driving record, and you accept any points which in turn can have a negative impact on your insurance rates.
  2. Plead guilty to a lesser charge: This option you will try to get the charges reduced and accept a plea.  Note that in New York, cases heard by New York’s Traffic Violations Bureau will not entertain plea bargains.
  3. Plead not guilty: Take the matter to trial and try and beat the ticket.

Should I Hire An Attorney?
When it comes to traffic tickets you should always try and fight the charges.  Experienced traffic attorneys are skilled negotiators and are in the best position to fight to get the charges dismissed or bring you a more favorable outcome.  Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm is a traffic ticket lawyer licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey. He also handles complex NY & NJ driver’s license matters and criminal offenses. Call today Toll Free at: 1-888-883-5529

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This post was written by Adam Rosenblum

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  • Ignac Vucko
    December 17, 2014

    I am Canadian & live in Ontario. I got unpaid traffic fines in NY state from 1995, I do not remember to which court could be Sevona, NY, Speeding ticket I get near Bath on route 86

    • Adam Rosenblum
      December 17, 2014

      You would need to contact the court to determine the status of your ticket. The DMV can also possibly help you track down where you had received your ticket.