Failure to Appear In NY Traffic Court – VTL 226(3)

By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:

VTL 226(3) prescribes two very serious penalties for failure to appear in court.

  1. First, VTL 226(3)(a) says that if a person fails to appear at a hearing, his driver’s license, registration or driving privileges may be suspended.
  2. Second, VTL 226(3)(b) states that when a person fails to appear at a hearing, it will be considered an admission to the charges that he faced. In relation to our hypothetical, when you failed to appear in court at the date and time stated on the speeding ticket that you received in December 2010, your driving privileges were suspended and you might have been found guilty of the speeding charge in absentia. Now, when you were stopped for violating the Move Over Law, you are facing a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO) of a motor vehicle, i.e. driving on a suspended license. VTL 511 says that a person operating a motor vehicle while his license is suspended or revoked faces a criminal charge that varies depending on whether the offense is in the first, second or third degree.

Fines and Charges For Failure to Appear in Court

The following is an all too common scenario for many New York drivers:

While on vacation, you received a speeding ticket for travelling 70 mph in a 55-mph zone. You tucked the ticket in your glove compartment and continued on your merry way. Within a short time, the ticket, fine and/or court appearance were forgotten. Just last week, a NY State trooper stops you for violating the new NY Move Over Law, VTL 1144-a NY. The police officer checks your license and discovers that you failed to appear for the previous speeding ticket. Your license was suspended by DMV. Though you were pulled over for a relatively routine traffic violation, you are now facing a criminal charge for driving with a suspended license.

The minimum fine is $200 to $500 and the jail sentence can span from 30 days up to whatever time is prescribed. If you faced VTL 511(1)(b), which is aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, a conviction for such a charge could result in a minimum fine of $200 and 30 days in prison. Needless to say, a simple forgetting of a speeding ticket may result in a very serious criminal charge and attempting to combat such criminal matters without an attorney is NOT recommended.

Another consequence of skipping a court date is increased fines & fees. Once DMV suspends the person’s license for failure to answer a ticket or appear in court, the person will have to pay a suspension termination fee of $70 per ticket just to have their case heard. It tends to cost more than just showing up and paying fines and can lead to some hefty charges. Having a license suspended is also a major hassle and will drain precious time, money and energy. In the end, showing up to court – and even better, hiring an attorney to do so on your behalf – is the least time-consuming option.   Hiring an attorney at the beginning of your case can save you a lot of unnecessary legal problems and ensure that you get the best results in your case.

New York Suspended License Defense

An aggressive NY traffic attorney has proven methods to properly handle AUO tickets. First, an attorney can resolve any outstanding tickets that brought about the suspension. This is a critical step because resolution of the ticket that caused the suspension can lead to reinstatement of your driving privileges.

Secondly, the attorney will handle all court appearances and attempt to negotiate reduced charges for the AUO offense. The importance of hiring an experienced and aggressive cannot be underestimated if you failed to appear for a traffic violation. Rosenblum Law has a proven track record resolving these matters.