In spite of what you have heard about not being able “to fight City Hall,” there are ways to fight a traffic ticket and win. With the help of a savvy traffic defense attorney, you can keep from paying costly fines and accumulating points on your license. Although your first impulse may be to check the “guilty” box on the ticket and simply pay the fine as a matter of convenience, don’t do it.
Instead, get in touch with an efficient and skilled local traffic defense attorney and fight back. If you reside in Syracuse, other parts of Onondaga County or surrounding areas of Central New York, seek out the services of Carden Dotzler Hammond, a reliable team of defense attorneys with a well-deserved reputation for successfully fighting “City Hall.”
Don’t Make the Mistake of Viewing Traffic Tickets as a Minor Annoyance
So many seemingly insignificant things can become unexpectedly dangerous — small debts, dismissible medical symptoms, tiny mechanical defects. Into this category put traffic tickets. First of all, it is never a good idea to plead guilty to a charge for which you bear no blame. Second, the fee you pay, though it may be painful, is hardly the worst part of your guilty plea. Traffic violations in New York can result in other painful consequences, including:
- Late fees and surcharges
- Points on your driver’s license which will remain for 18 months
- License suspension
- Increased insurance rates
- Jail time
- Possible conviction for a misdemeanor or felony
If you ignore a traffic ticket, you will be in even more serious trouble since the traffic court will suspend your license and will enter a default conviction for the maximum fine. In addition, your auto insurance rates will increase even more due to your license suspension.
If you receive a traffic ticket, you have been accused of breaking the law. As with all accusations of violating the law, this one should be taken seriously. Be proactive and contact our traffic defense attorneys as promptly as possible to protect yourself against the tough legal penalties you may be facing. The sooner you have legal representation, the sooner law enforcement is likely to consider you a worthy adversary and treat you with respect. CDH Law represents a great many clients facing traffic violations and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your charges.
Our Traffic Ticket Lawyer Will Negotiate You A Fair Deal
Once CDH Law gets involved, you’ll be advised of the steps to take in order to avoid or minimize additional legal consequences. If you’re facing a serious traffic offense, we will act quickly to have your charges dismissed or to negotiate a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors. Should your case proceed to trial, you’ll get aggressive representation by experienced litigators every step of the way.
The Way New York’s Point System Works
New York’s “Driver Violation Point System” assigns “points” to your driving record if you are convicted of certain traffic violations. If you’re not extremely careful, these points can quickly add up. If you accumulate 6 or more points within an 18-month period, you must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. The fee is $100 per year for 3 years, plus an additional $25 per year for each point over 6. If you accumulate 11 points in an 18-month period, your license is likely to be suspended.
As if New York’s point system weren’t complicated enough, insurance companies have their own point systems which they use, as you might expect, to increase your premiums. Since they do not make their system’s public, it may be difficult to decipher exactly how much your particular insurance company will increase your rate after a traffic ticket.
Common Traffic Violations
Even if you are a very careful driver, you are liable to get a traffic ticket once in a while for speeding or going through a red light. Depending upon how seriously the law takes your offense, and what your past driving history shows, penalties will vary as follows.
- Speeding (Vehicle & Traffic Law 1180) — Any speeding violation will result in at least 3 points on your license; points will increase with the number of miles you were driving over the speed limit: 4 points for 10 mph; 6 points for 20 mph; 8 points for 30 mph and 11 points for 40 mph.
- Reckless Driving (VTL 1212) — Not only will this offense add 5 points to your license; it is also a misdemeanor. Conviction of this offense will result in a criminal record.
- Passing School Bus (VTL 1174) — If you fail to stop for a school bus, you will receive a fine of $250 and 5 points.
- Tailgating (VTL 1129(a)) — This offense means you were following the vehicle ahead of you more closely than is “reasonable or prudent” and will add 4 points to your license.
- Inadequate brakes (VTL 375(1)) — Having defective brakes will not only add 4 points to your license. If you are convicted, you will be considered guilty of a misdemeanor and will, therefore, now have a criminal record.
- Failure to Yield — There are several types of failing to yield offenses. You may fail to yield the right of way at an intersection (VTL 1140), for oncoming traffic while turning left (VTL 1141), for emergency vehicles (VTL 1144), or for pedestrians (VTL 1151). Any of these violations will add 3 points to your license.
- Disobeying a Traffic Control Signal — (VTL 111) Running a red light will cost you 3 points.
- Disobeying Stop Signs or Yield Signs — (VTL 1172) Ignoring a stop or yield sign will cost you 3 points.
- Improper passing (VTL 1123-24) — Improperly passing another vehicle, such as leaving the pavement to pass on the right, or passing on the left despite a double-yellow line, is 3-point offense.
- Improper or Unsafe Lane Changes (VTL 1122 & 1128) — Changing lanes unsafely is a 3-point offense.
- Child safety restraint violation (VTL 129-c) — If your child is not in an appropriate child car seat, it is a 3-point offense.
- Cell phone violations (VTL 1225-c, 1225-d) — As we are all aware, drivers distracted by texting and other use of electronic devices are an increasing hazardous on the road. Such violations will cost you 5 points and a maximum fine of $200 for a first offense.
- Any other moving violation — All other moving violations will add 2 points to your license.
- Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (VTL511) — This offense, also known as AUO, can occur in the first, second, or third degree, and may be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on circumstances. Punishments for driving with a suspended license range from $75 to $300 or 30 days in jail to a maximum fine of $5,000 and a jail sentence of 1 to 4 years for the Class E felony conviction of AUO while intoxicated.
Contact Our Syracuse Traffic Ticket Attorney
The clever, knowledgeable attorneys at CDH Law can prevent your traffic ticket from morphing into a complex problem that may affect several areas of your life. We have strategies that have worked for our clients in the past and will work to protect you in the future. Call us for a free consultation so we can show you the tremendous advantage of confronting law enforcement with a capable traffic defense attorney at your side.
We are committed to saving you from fines, points on your license, increased car insurance premiums, suspension or revocation of your driving privileges, jail time, and a criminal record.We will work diligently to get your charges dismissed completely or significantly reduced. Simply fill out a contact form on our website and we’ll get started.
Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC represents clients in Syracuse and in the following towns: Camillus, Cicero, Clay, Dewitt, Elbridge, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus, Onondaga, Salina, Skaneateles, Baldwinsville, East Syracuse, Fayetteville, Liverpool, North Syracuse, and Solvay
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