If you received a speeding ticket, you probably want to know:
- How much the speeding ticket will cost
- How many points you will get on your New York license if convicted
If you are convicted of speeding in New York, the amount you end up paying and the number of points that will be assessed depends on how fast you were going and where you were caught speeding.
For your reference, we have provided a schedule of fines and points for speeding offenses below. Higher fines and penalties than those listed below will apply if you have more than one speeding ticket in the past 18 months.
Also, New York automatically imposes an $88 or $93 surcharge (depending on whether you are in a city or town/village) in addition to the fine you will pay on the speeding ticket. No matter what your case is, it is always advisable to consult with a speeding ticket lawyer and discuss your case before you decide to plead guilty.
How Your Ticket Will Affect Your Insurance
Insurance companies can increase your premiums based on the points you have on your driving record. Rates can rise dramatically with just one speeding ticket. If an insurance company examines your record to find that you are in a high risk category, they can cancel your insurance altogether. A study by insurancequotes.com found that a single traffic ticket can lead to up to an 80% increase in your auto insurance premium. This factor alone provides a significant incentive to fight your speeding ticket.
Complete List of New York Speeding Fines
Below is a chart explaining the maximum fine and court surcharge for all New York State speeding ticket violations. The violations are listed by their New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) section. (This can be found in the section sub-section part of your traffic ticket). These fines are increased if you are charged with speeding in a work zone, speeding in a school zone or if you have a CDL license. It is also important to note that if you accumulate 6 points or more on your license in NY State you will be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (i.e. $100 a year for 3 years and $25 per year for 3 years for every point over 6.)
List of Points for Speeding in New York
*11 points means that your license is suspended
The Pre-Trial Conference
For all speeding tickets issued in New York State, the court schedules a pre-trial conference date (NY Vehicle & Traffic Law §1806). This is often a problem for people who cannot take off from work or live out-of-state or in Canada and do not wish to return to NY for their pre-trial conference. Individuals who choose not to show up to traffic court can get their license suspended due to failure to appear in traffic court. To avoid getting your license suspended, hire The Rosenblum Law Firm whose speeding ticket attorneys can represent you in traffic court and negotiate a reduction of the fines and points.
New York Driver Responsibility Assessment
With every moving violation (even repeated minor infractions) that you are convicted of, you can expect more points to be added to your license. If you get 6 or more points within an 18 month period, the DMV will fine you a surcharge known as the “Driver Responsibility Assessment.” For drivers with 6 points, the fine is $100 and it must be paid once a year to the DMV for 3 years. An additional $25 per year for three years will be added to the Driver Responsibility Assessment for every point over 6 for tickets received within a given 18 month period.
Taking a Driver Safety Class
Contrary to popular belief, taking a driver safety class in New York does not actually remove points from your driving record. This means your auto insurance company will still be able to see the points and can still increase your insurance rates if warranted.
What the driver safety class does is give you a credit of up to 4 points for tickets you have already received at the time you take the class, thereby expanding the total number of points you’re allowed to accumulate before your license gets suspended.
New York State allows for you to accumulate up to 11 points on your license before it will be suspended. Consequently, if you receive 6 points and you take a driver safety class which gives you a 4 point credit, your point accumulation total will be reduced down to 2 points and you will need to accumulate 9 more points before your license will be suspended. However, you can only get credit for a driver safety class once every 18 months.
Hiring an Attorney to Fight Your Speeding Ticket
The Rosenblum Law Firm can represent you in any New York State court and fight your speeding violation, which will save you points and money on car insurance. In most cases, a lawyer with significant experience handling speeding tickets can go to court for you so you can sit back and relax as we do all the work. For more information and a free consultation call us at 888-883-5529 or contact us.
The Results You Can Expect in Hiring an Attorney
For the vast majority of traffic violations in New York State, we can reduce your speeding ticket to a non-moving violation such as a parking ticket or failure to obey a traffic control device (a 2 point non-speeding violation) so long as it is not a high-speed situation or you have a bad driving record. While there are courts that will not reduce speeding tickets to a non-speeding offense, those are the exception and not the rule.
Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB)
The TVB is a special Department of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing office that has its own set of rules and procedures. Individuals who are charged with non-criminal traffic tickets in New York City and Rochester are required to report to the TVB for a trial if they plead not guilty. In the TVB there are no “plea bargains” or settlements, so a traffic ticket attorney cannot go into court and negotiate a reduction of the charges with the prosecutor. Since a trial is a complex circumstance, there is a major advantage in hiring an experienced trial attorney who is familiar with the ins and outs of the trial process. Our job is to listen to the police officer’s testimony and question or “cross examine” the officer at trial. Those questions can often lead to a dismissal if the judge concludes that the officer has not proven his case. At times we can make a motion to dismiss the ticket on technical grounds. In the speeding context, we will often make a motion to reduce the speed by 5 MPH on the grounds that the radar used to catch speeders is not completely accurate; if you are within 5mph of the next points category there might be some points savings to be had. The bottom line is that a trial is best handled by an attorney who is trained and experienced in trial tactics and methods.
How To Read a New York Speeding Ticket
1) Section 1- The Defendant’s Information (top of ticket)
These boxes display numerous identifying data about the defendant including name, address and information about the car being driven at the time of the stop. Note: If the officer made a minor mistake in the section (e.g. the officer wrote down the wrong color of your car) you case will NOT be dismissed.
2) Section 2 – The Charges
The “Section Sub Section” box indicates which section of the law the defendant is being accused of violating. Below is a list of common New York traffic violations as well as the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law sections they fall under, the amount of points (if any) and the maximum fines and NYS surcharges attached to them. It also lists the location and officer’s information.
3) Section 3 – The Court
This particular Section shows the name of the court and its address, along with a date and time for a response, either by postal mail or in person.
4) Section 4 – Plea of Guilty
If you choose to plead “Guilty” to the charges, fill out this Section and mail it to the address of the court mentioned in Section 3. Important note: Many people think that if they plea guilty “with an explanation” there is a possibility that the court will consider their explanation and decide to find them not guilty. This is a big misunderstanding. Once you fill out this portion of the ticket and mail it in, the court will have no choice but to convict you of the offense. The only thing an explanation can do is potentially convince the judge to set a lower fine, but you will still be convicted of the charges and DMV will assess the appropriate penalties (including points, if applicable). You should also bear in mind that pleading guilty to certain offenses like “no insurance” can lead to mandatory driver’s license suspension or revocation
The only way to challenge the charges or get the charges reduced is to plead “not guilty” (see next Section). It is also a common belief that a person should plead “Guilty” if he or she knows that he was, in fact, guilty. It is important to keep two things in mind:
Under our legal system, it is the prosecution that has the burden of proof. It is every defendant’s right to plead “Not Guilty” and make them do their job which is to prove that you were guilty (or offer you a plea agreement for a reduced charge).
Entering an initial plea of “Not Guilty” does not mean that there is no going back. To the contrary, all it does is preserve your rights to a plea bargain or trial.
You can always change your plea to “Guilty” later on, and in most cases where a plea bargain is offered, you will be pleading guilty at some point, but to a less severe offense than the one you are being charged with.
5) Section 5 – Plea of Not Guilty (recommended)
If you choose to plead “Not Guilty,” fill out section 5. The Not Guilty section features a spot for you to request a supporting deposition. A supporting deposition is a written sworn statement detailing the traffic violation and it is signed by the law enforcement officer who issued the ticket. Remember, it is your Constitutional right to to plead “Not Guilty.” You can always change your plea later on, and if an acceptable plea bargain is offered, you will ultimately be pleading guilty to that reduced charge.
Case Law Analysis
New York case law reveals several crucial points to bear in mind as a driver.
First and foremost, a NY speeding ticket issued by a police officer who does not use a mechanical device like radar, and, instead estimates it will still be sufficient to convict a driver for speeding. (See People v. Olsen, 22 NY 2d 230.)
The court in Olsen explained its rationale by saying:
- “The rule is well settled in this State that opinion evidence with regard to the speed of moving vehicles is admissible provided that the witness who testifies first shows some experience in observing the rate of speed of moving objects or some other satisfactory reason or basis for his opinion.” (See People v. Olsen, 22 NY 2d 230.)
Similarly, in People v. Dusing, the court summed up in one cogent statement a governing rule that applies to all drivers ticketed for speeding in New York. The court concluded,
- “The sum of the combined Magri, Heyser and Marsellus holdings is: first, that a reading from an untested speedometer or radar device is admissible but is not[,] without more[,] sufficient for a speeding conviction; and, second, that the resulting deficiency in proof can be supplied by the testimony of qualified observers.” (See People v. Dusing, 5 NY 2d 126.)
It is worth noting that the Dusing court said “observers,” not “officers.” This means a police officer does not have to be the one to testify against you. In most cases, if the prosecution finds any “qualified observer” (e.g. another driver on the road who saw you), that person combined with the radar evidence will be enough to convict you of speeding.
Second of all, the fact that a speeding ticket is not a crime appears to cut both ways. Since speeding is usually not a crime, it does not carry with it the severity of most criminal penalties. However, since it is not usually a crime, “not all the constitutional protections normally afforded to criminal defendants need be applied to those charged with such a minor offense.” (See People v. Phinney, 22 NY 2d 288.)
Lastly, a driver might be in for a rude awakening if he expects to be able to compel the TVB to turn over pertinent documents to him. Although the TVB has the right to do so, New York law does not require it to do so.
In Matter of Miller v. Schwartz, an attorney requested certain documents and information regarding the type of radar that was used to pull over his client. The TVB denied the request and explained that traditional discovery rules do not apply in the TVB. The lawyer took the case to court to compel the TVB to give him the documents. However, the court sided with the TVB and denied the attorney’s request.
The Schwartz court based its conclusion on the well-settled rule that there is no general constitutional right to discovery in criminal cases or administrative proceedings (See Weatherford v Bursey, 429 US 545 and National Labor Relations Bd. v Interboro Contrs., 432 F.2d 854, cert. denied 402 US 915).
Ultimately, this ruling reveals how difficult it can be—even for an attorney—to navigate through the complicated TVB system. If nothing else, this case shows drivers who get TVB tickets the importance of hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney familiar with the TVB’s rules and procedures.
More Information regarding New York speeding tickets: