Failure to Pay New York Traffic Fines

By David Hammond

Whether the ticket was for running a stop sign or speeding, it is important to pay the fine for your traffic violation. Address the fine right away. It is far too easy to put the ticket in your glove box and forget the incident ever happened. Failure to pay a New York Traffic fine will turn what could be just a minor annoyance into a major headache.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Traffic Violation Fines?

No one likes getting a traffic ticket. It is an unplanned expense and can really put a damper on your day. The worst thing you can do, however, is to ignore it. The ticket will not go away on its own and pushing it to the side will only make things worse. The consequences of failure to pay your traffic violation fine include having your license suspended which means you will lose the privilege of legally driving. If caught driving on a suspended license, you may be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, which is a misdemeanor. This is no minor charge as you could be arrested and even jailed for 12-24 hours. If your license is not suspended shortly after you receive you fail to pay your fine, do not think you are in the clear. There is usually a waiting period between the ticket and the suspension that comes with processing, etc.

In addition to a suspended license, failure to respond to a traffic ticket may result in a default judgment entered by the court. When you are guilty by default, the judgment will be hard to vacate. The maximum fine will likely be imposed and you may have traffic violation points assessed. These points will stay on your DMV record for 18 months. You may also see your insurance rates increase because of this.

You have three other, better options when you receive a traffic ticket. Ignoring it clearly has the biggest downside. You may also plead guilty to the traffic violation. While we do not recommend you do so without consulting a traffic lawyer, it would be better than ignoring the ticket altogether.  To plead guilty, look at the instructions laid out on the ticket you received. Complete the form on the ticket and return it either by mail or in person. While pleading guilty means you will have to pay the fine, get the traffic points assessed to your license, and, depending on the offense, could mean a license suspension and an increase in insurance costs, the amount of the fine and the length of the license suspension may not be as severe as that which results from ignoring a traffic ticket.

You may also choose to plead not guilty to the traffic violation after you receive your ticket. Again, follow the instructions listed on your ticket. Fill in the requisite form. Mail out the form within 48 hours of receipt. You will then need to appear in court.

The best option is to let an experienced traffic attorney handle the case for you.

New York Traffic Defense Attorneys

Don’t let a traffic ticket take over your life. Addressing it head on is the best solution. The ticket will not go away on its own and ignoring it will only make things worse. The trusted traffic defense attorneys at CDH law can help you fight your traffic ticket in court. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.