22 Oct 5 Misconceptions about Traffic Tickets in New York City
5 Misconceptions about Traffic Tickets in New York City
Everyone knows someone who’s gotten a traffic ticket in New York City, but not everyone understands how it all works. You might think you can ignore tickets and they’ll go away, or that the fines are always exorbitant — but this isn’t always the case. Below are five common misconceptions about traffic tickets in New York City that you should know before you hit the road again. This information could help you pay less and reduce your stress level!
1) Can I just pay my ticket online?
Don’t get too excited—the Pay a Traffic Ticket option on NYC.gov is simply for parking violations, not traffic tickets. You’ll have to mail in your payment for a traffic ticket, but there are a few things you should know before you do. First off, be sure to read up on penalties for overdue fines; if your ticket goes unpaid, it could lead to suspended driver’s license or even collections agencies.
2) Do I have to go to court?
There are plenty of reasons to contest a traffic ticket—there’s no need to pay if you don’t think you were at fault, or even if you do. But oftentimes it pays to contest, for instance, if your ticket was given by an officer who wasn’t wearing his uniform; or if your car was impounded while you were at work and couldn’t be notified. There are many reasons why contesting your ticket might be right for you.
3) Why should I contest my ticket?
One of your options when you get a traffic ticket is to pay it right away. Some people don’t contest tickets because they’re afraid that fighting it will be too expensive or take too much time. If that’s you, you might want to reconsider. Contesting your ticket doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated, and while fighting your ticket isn’t always worth it, sometimes saving $50 on a $100 fine is definitely worth the effort!
4) What does fighting my ticket mean?
No, but you have options. The majority of traffic violations are infractions, meaning they don’t go to trial. Instead, if you’re found guilty—which means there is enough evidence for a conviction—you can choose between paying a fine or doing community service. If you can’t pay either of these punishments, you may be eligible for traffic school.
5) Can I settle my case outside of court?
If you’re not trying to contest your ticket and just want to pay it off, you can opt for a non-appearance. You can then call 311 or visit nyc.gov/parkingticket to learn more about how to settle.