A traffic citation is essentially an accusation by a police officer that you broke traffic laws. Most drivers don’t view a ticket as a criminal allegation but rather just a frustrating, expensive inconvenience. They pay the ticket despite recognizing the secondary consequences, like the increased insurance costs, and assume that the whole matter is essentially over.
However, those insurance consequences last for years. You may also realize that there are other consequences that make just paying the ticket a dangerously risky decision. How does New York penalize speeding tickets?
There are multiple penalties possible for a citation
Not every driver dealing with a speeding ticket only pays the minimum fine. Some drivers will face more serious penalties. The fines for the four categories of speeding infractions range from $45 to $600. Paying a ticket is the equivalent of pleading guilty to the offense, and sometimes a speeding citation can lead to prison time, although even the most serious speeding offense only carries up to 30 days in prison.
Perhaps the biggest concern is that you could lose your license, especially if you already have paid prior traffic tickets. All it takes to lose your license is just three citations for speeding in an 18-month time frame. Each of those citations will also add between three and 11 points to your license. Those points will mean that you have to pay a state surcharge for your license and possibly a Driver Responsibility Assessment.
Defending your record in traffic court isn’t as hard as you may think
A significant number of drivers just assume that they cannot possibly defend against a traffic ticket. They may think that it will be their word against the police officer’s.
However, there are numerous ways to defend against a speeding ticket, including challenging the accuracy of the radar used to establish the speed at the time of the traffic stop. Considering different options for defending against a traffic citation can be a better option for New York drivers who want to keep their licenses and avoid ongoing financial charges, including licensing fees and increased insurance premiums.