29 May 20 Tips: What Happens if I Do Not Pay for My Traffic Ticket?
20 Tips: What Happens if I Do Not Pay for My Traffic Ticket?
It is easy to get a traffic ticket in New York, and easier still to forget about one, given that there are so many reasons that may contribute to this including your busy schedule. However, according to ny-defense.com, no matter what your excuse is, you should never neglect to respond to a traffic ticket. For more context, here is what would happen if you were not to pay your traffic ticket, and other related considerations.
Penalties for unpaid tickets and related things to consider
If you don’t pay a traffic ticket on time in New York, you could face the following penalties:
Suspension of your license
If you fail to respond to the ticket within the prescribed time frame, your license will be suspended as per ny-defense.com, as an indication that you failed to pay the ticket. This means that you will have to go through administrative hurdles and pay a penalty to get it reinstated, and, until you do, you will not be allowed to drive.
What if you continue to ignore your ticket?
If you continue to ignore your ticket even after your license has been suspended, then you might be convicted of the charge you were ticketed for. This is known as a “default conviction” according to the New York DMV. If this happens, you will have to pay the ticket, the mandatory surcharge, and suspension termination fees.
Will the DMV send me notice before suspending me?
It is also worth pointing out that while the standard practice of DMV is to send out a notice before they suspend, the State of New York is under no legal obligation to keep you updated about the status of your license on traffic tickets. Therefore, once you receive the ticket, it becomes your responsibility to stay informed and respond by mail and/or by appearing in court.
What if I’m unsure of what to do?
A common reason for missing to respond to traffic tickets is that people find themselves being unsure of how to respond to the ticket, and before they know it, the deadline has passed. If you are in such a situation and are unsure of what to do, ny-defense.com recommends that you plead not guilty to satisfy the deadline, as you can always change your plea to guilty later on if that is what you really want to do. If you plead guilty, you can’t change it to not guilty.
Higher insurance rates
If you fail to respond to your traffic ticket, your license will get suspended as already mentioned. When this happens, you risk having your insurance rates being hiked by your insurance provider as a result of the suspension of your license.
Traffic violation points
Moving violations come with points added to your driver’s license in New York as covered at ny-defense.com. If you are convicted of your charge by default as mentioned earlier on, the associated points will be added to your record, and they can stay there for up to 18 months.
You risk getting charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation
Once your driver’s license gets suspended for failing to respond to your traffic ticket, you can’t drive legally. If you drive while your license is suspended and you get pulled over, you will be charged with an Aggravated Unlicensed Operation misdemeanor which will take you to criminal court. An AUO can lead to jail time, hefty fines, and a criminal record, among other consequences.
The price of your ticket will increase
If you don’t pay your traffic ticket, you run the risk of the price of your ticket increasing as outlined at ny-defense.com. For camera tickets, after 30 days, your fine will increase by $10. After 60 days, it will increase by $20 in addition to the initial increase. After 90 days, it will increase by $30 on top of both initial increases, equaling $60 in penalty fines. After around 100 days, the case is entered into judgment. 9% interest per year will be added to the total amount due until the debt is paid.
Towing of your vehicle
In addition to the debt that you will accumulate by failing to pay your traffic ticket as outlined in the previous point, vehicles registered in your name may be subject to towing or booting once your total debt eclipses $350. You will have to pay additional fees for the tow or boot, plus any storage fees.
These are some of the consequences you might have to grapple with if you fail to pay your tickets.
What if you enter a not guilty plea, set a hearing date, and then miss your hearing date?
In such a situation, the court allows for a 30-day grace period for you to come in and explain yourself. The judge may not accept your explanation but you still have 30 days to try. If you fail to fix the situation within 30 days, a suspension will kick in (and the extra $70 suspension fee). If you don’t fix the situation within 60 days, a default conviction will kick in.
What if you do everything on time up to the hearing date, are unfortunately convicted, and fail to pay the fine on time?
As is revealed in discussions on the same over at ny-defense.com, if you do everything on time up to the hearing date, but are convicted and fail to pay the fine on time, a suspension will kick in after the fine due date and another $70 will be added to your bill.
A New York suspended license will be reported to other states
Given that New York has reciprocity with many other states, it will notify the state where you hold a driver’s license about any suspensions due to unresolved New York traffic tickets that you have. Then, the state where you are licensed can move to suspend your driver’s license.
What if I lost my traffic ticket?
If the reason why you didn’t respond to or pay the ticket was that you lost, then you should know that tracking down a lost traffic ticket possible, albeit difficult. First, you need to figure out which court issued the ticket. If the ticket was issued in New York City, you can request a substitute traffic ticket for violations that are answerable to the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). TVB’s website even lets you print out substitute tickets. If your ticket is a non-TVB ticket, you can usually contact the local court in the city or town you were ticketed in.
What to do if you didn’t pay your ticket
Pay the ticket
If you missed your deadline, one of the options you have available to you is simply paying the ticket, as well as any additional fines. While this may seem unfair and frustrating, it could save you more headaches and fines down the road as discussed at ny-defense.com.
Enter a plea
If you truly believe that your ticket is unjust and if you have not yet had your license suspended, you can enter a plea. You can plead not guilty to a traffic ticket. You will be given a notice for a court hearing and you might need to pay a suspension fee. Given that this can be a complicated process, it is best to work with a qualified attorney like ny-defense.com.
Hire an attorney in case of a suspension
If you have already had your driver’s license suspended, then the best course of action is to work with an attorney. In such a situation, you can’t simply pay the fines and be done with it. A license suspension is serious and you will need legal assistance.
Avoid pleading guilty
Pleading guilty to a ticket could result in license revocation depending on if you have alcohol-related driving points on your driving record. Therefore, you should consult an attorney before pleading guilty to a violation that results in 5 or more points.
Will the traffic ticket expire?
No. The traffic ticket will only go away if you resolve it, either by paying the fines and other charges (if you plead guilty or are convicted) or if you get the ticket dismissed in court. If you ignore it, you will continue accruing debt as already mentioned, not to mention that your license will be suspended. Ignoring your ticket is not an option according to ny-defense.com.
What if I can’t pay my traffic ticket?
If you can’t afford to pay your traffic, you can explore the following two options:
For some drivers, traffic school can be a good option for dealing with a ticket. Traffic school participants usually save money because, while they have to pay a fee for the course, they don’t normally have to pay the fine for their ticket. By completing traffic school, the driver can also save money by avoiding points on their record and related insurance rate increases.
Payment plans and other options
If you don’t have the money to pay a ticket, you can ask the judge about options such as payment deadline extension, a fine reduction, or whether you can do community service in lieu of paying the fine. Many jurisdictions also offer payment plans to drivers who can’t pay their tickets upfront but can make monthly payments.
Remember, if you failed to respond to a New York traffic ticket, then don’t hesitate to reach out to ny-defense.com for assistance.