Without anyone knowing it, new surcharges on traffic offenses and parking violations went into effect last week throughout New York State.
As of now, a new $25 surcharge is in effect for certain parking violations and the mandatory surcharges for traffic tickets went up by $8.
Furthermore, New York State also increased the surcharge cap for accidents with multiple violations from $180 to $196.
Unfortunately, many drivers are not even aware of the fact that there is a surcharge attached to their traffic ticket. They are under the false impression that the fine is the total extent of their monetary penalty.
However, in reality a mandatory $80-$85 surcharge is tacked on top of the fine. This surcharge is what just went up by $8. These surcharges are collected by local courts and, eventually, end up going to the state.
Moreover, many New Yorkers find it next to impossible to find parking and are constantly being slapped with parking tickets. Now, with this new $25 surcharge on top of the standard fine, some feel as though they are being set up to fail.
One driver—who frequently parks in busy Kingston—is already facing economic difficulty due to the new fees on top of the standard fines for parking tickets. According to her, “It’s outrageous. There’s not enough parking around here anyway.”
These increased surcharges and fees went into effect on the same day that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced higher penalties and fines for those motorists found texting while driving or using a cell phone while driving.
For a first offense, distracted drivers face a minimum fine of $50 and a maximum fine of $150. For a second offense committed within 18 months, the maximum fine increases to $200. For a third or subsequent violation, distracted drivers could face a maximum fine of $400.
The amount of points you can get on your license for texting while driving or using a cell phone also went up to 5 points and you only need 11 in order for your license to be suspended.
Remember, it is absolutely vital to know that there are hidden fees like these surcharges lurking within each and every NY traffic ticket you receive.
If you think you are getting away with pleading guilty and paying a fine, you have another thing coming. Besides these surcharges, you face serious insurance increases and (depending on the severity of your charge and the points already on your license) an expensive driver responsibility assessment.
Ultimately, it pays to hire an experienced NY traffic ticket attorney to help reduce your ticket and all of these hidden costs that fly under the radar.