14 Oct The One Thing No One Tells You About a Speeding Ticket in New York
You’ve just been given a speeding ticket in New York State, and you think your life may be over. You can’t stop thinking about how much it’s going to cost you, and the potential points on your license make you want to rip all of your hair out! In reality, though, this isn’t the end of the world at all. Read on to learn how to handle your speeding ticket in New York State without going crazy or going broke.
First, you’ll be asked to show your license and registration. The officer will glance at your documents, then write something down on his or her clipboard. If you have any outstanding fines or previous violations, he or she will ask for that information too. After that, they’ll tell you what they pulled you over for and ask if you know why it’s illegal—and whether you’ve ever been issued a speeding ticket before.
The length of your court hearing depends on whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you’ll pay your fine at that time. If you plead not guilty, your case will be assigned to a prosecutor who will decide if it should go to trial or if your charge should be reduced by way of diversion (i.e., defensive driving). If neither happens within 60 days of your arraignment, chances are high that your ticket will be dismissed for lack of prosecution.
Your first instinct may be to plead not guilty. That’s your right, but before you go that route, know that it doesn’t always turn out well. If you lose at trial, your fine goes up (and will likely include costly court costs). Plus, many courts impose additional penalties for failing to appear or refusing to pay—all of which can lead to even higher fines and lost points on your license.
If you have special circumstances that may excuse your driving behavior, now is the time to disclose them. Did you swerve into an oncoming lane because there was a car coming at you? Were you speeding to get your pregnant wife to a hospital? If these types of things apply to your situation, let it be known (and make sure all of your ducks are in order). The court can take these mitigating factors into account and lessen your fine or even cancel it completely if they see fit.