If you ever find yourself dealing with a speeding violation, then you have to act quickly to resolve the matter. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. In fact, things are likely to get worse as unanswered tickets will result in license suspension. Driving with a suspended license is another offense that will harm your driving record and worsen the penalties. You will be given ample time but it is best to answer before the 15 days are up. You have two choices: pleading guilty or fighting a NYC speeding ticket. A New York City lawyer will be helpful should you decide on the latter.
The Consequences of Pleading Guilty
Let’s consider the first scenario. If you know that you were in the wrong, then you can go ahead and plead guilty. Fill in the needed information on the back of the ticket and send it to the authorities promptly. You will have to pay the fine, the amount of which will depend on various factors. These include the number of offenses, the accumulated points, responsibility assessments, court surcharges, and other aggravating circumstances. The worst cases can result in thousands of dollars in fines after all of the elements surrounding the offense have been accounted for — quite a large sum however you look at it.
If the speeding violation is already the third within a period of 18 months, then the driver will have to endure a license suspension. This can be a big inconvenience as you lose your autonomy to go where you need or want to be. Those who are living alone are especially vulnerable, more so if their home is located in the suburbs and they are working in the city. It can be difficult to use public transport for at least parts of the journey. It will be months of disrupted routines and other difficulties.
Another consequence is an increase in insurance premiums. The service providers are all about minimizing risks to their company. Therefore, clients who have a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to their behavior on the road are asked to pay more for their coverage. This is because they are more likely to ask for claims given their known behavior. Driving above the speed limit increases the likelihood of collision so expect insurance payments to soar after the incident. The effects may be mitigated by taking safety driving classes and the like. However, the best thing is not to incur this blot on your record.
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in NY
If you truly feel like you were falsely accused of the traffic violation, then go ahead and plead not guilty to the charge. You have every right to be fighting a NYC speeding ticket. Be sure to make your intention clear by following the instructions at the back and checking the “not guilty” box. Send this to the address written on the paper. Wait for the letter from the DMV providing instructions regarding the date and location of the hearing. The Traffic Violations Bureau or TVB of the Department of Motor Vehicles will take care of the matter. An Administrative Law Judge will have the authority to judge guilt or innocence.
TVB hearings are open to anyone who might be interested to watch. It is possible for you to attend other cases being heard prior to your date in court. This exercise should provide you with more knowledge about the proceedings. Those who are unfamiliar with how traffic violations are handled will greatly benefit from this. This is especially helpful to those who are planning to represent themselves in court. Lack of legal training, experience, and familiarity with the process can be hard to overcome. This bit of diligence is a good way to improve chances of success. Gather as much evidence and witnesses to support your claims.
The hearing may be postponed upon your request. Let’s say that your defense is not yet fully organized or a key witness will not be available on the said date. Then things could be rescheduled provided that you mail the TVB about your request about 10 days in advance of the scheduled date or longer. If the first one was granted and you need another postponement, then you would have to appear personally to ask for the rescheduling. Be at the office the day before the hearing or earlier. You need to provide a good cause for this to be considered.
Why You Should Hire a Speed Ticket Lawyer
The good news is that you are considered innocent until proven guilty. The standard being followed by the judge is the presence of clear and convincing evidence. Of course, there will be some subjectivity in this. Some judges are more lenient than others. Some cases are easier to prove or disprove. You can go in there alone according to the rules of procedure. There is no need to bring a lawyer to the court but it is definitely advisable that you do so. Lawyers that specialize in speeding tickets know how the system works. They will increase your chances of success.
Witness Presentation and Cross Examination
One of the most important witnesses to testify will be the police officer who apprehended you and gave you the ticket. He or she will have to explain why this was done. The complete narrative will be detailed in court. However, this will not be the end of the story. You have the chance to ask questions to expose any loopholes and highlight inconsistencies. The goal is to create uncertainty and put doubts in the mind of the ALJ. It takes skill to do this right. Lawyers are great at cross-examinations because they have training and experience under their belt. You can call your own witnesses as well.
Evidence Gathering for an Airtight Case
If multiple witnesses say different things, then it will be difficult to predict the outcome. It may come down to how much the judge believes the testimonies. To improve the chances of an acquittal, it is necessary to gather strong evidence for submission to the court. These materials should ideally support the testimony of your witnesses, giving them a good foundation that cannot be denied by the other party. If the current evidence that you have are paltry and weak, then hire a lawyer to remedy the situation. An experienced legal professional will know where to look.
Making an Appeal to Reverse the Decision
Do not be disheartened in case the judge rules in favor of the authorities and finds you guilty of speeding. You can always make an appeal by citing the facts that support your claims and laws that should have been considered. Get a TVB appeal form, fill in the details, and file it when you are ready. Have a lawyer help you to make sure that everything is accomplished according to the rules. Filing is possible within 30 days of the decision. There will be fees involved in this process. Talk to the Appeals Processing Unit of the DMV for more information.