Sometimes, going to court can seem like too much of a hassle if you get a traffic ticket. For example, you may not want to return to New York to address your ticket if you live out of state.
However, consider these reasons why it may be worth it to fight your traffic ticket in court.
You face a significant fine
Speeding in New York carries fines of up to $975 if you were traveling more than 30 miles an hour over the speed limit. The minimum fine for driving 1 to 10 mph over the posted limit is $525. In either case, you must also pay a $93 surcharge. However, Rochester and several other New York cities allow negotiation of traffic ticket fines. If you want to potentially save a few hundred dollars, it might be worth the trip to court.
You already have license points
You can lose your driver’s license in New York if you accumulate too many points on your driving record. If you receive 11 or more points in 18 months, the state will suspend your driver’s license. Receiving six or more points in 18 months results in a minimum fee of $100 over three years. If a traffic ticket conviction would put you closer to losing your license or result in significant added expense, consider fighting the ticket in court.
You face a serious driving charge
Some motor vehicle convictions can result in automatic license loss or even jail time. You should plan to attend court if you face charges of:
- Speeding more than 31 mph over the limit, which results in eight to 11 license points
- Reckless driving, which carries five license points
- Cell phone use violation, which carries five license points
- Failure to stop for a school bus, which carries five license points
- Violation of a railroad crossing, which carries five license points
Regardless of the charge, you have a right to defend yourself from a traffic ticket in court. You also have the right to have an attorney speak in court on your behalf.