Top 20 Questions About Traffic Tickets | Law Office of James Medows

29 May Top 20 Questions About Traffic Tickets

Top 20 Questions About Traffic Tickets

Anyone can get a traffic ticket, given that even the most careful drivers can sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the law. This article will look to help you understand more about traffic tickets by listing the top 20 questions about them, as well as answers to these questions.

What are my options when I get a traffic ticket?

If you get a New York traffic ticket, as outlined at, on the back of your ticket, you can find information on how to respond to the ticket. It is important to respond and mail the ticket back to avoid consequences such as your driver’s license being suspended. You must either choose to plead guilty and mail the fine in with your ticket or check a box for “not guilty” and mail the ticket back. If you plead not guilty, you will receive information on a court date.

Should I just plead guilty?

While it may be tempting to simply plead guilty, pay the fine, and get the ticket over and done with, you should consider how a traffic violation conviction will impact your driving record and finances in the long term. A traffic ticket violation will lead to points being added to your driver’s license, which could lead to additional fines and penalties, higher insurance premiums, and other consequences.

Should I still fight my case even if I really am guilty?

Yes. You should always fight your ticket as the People must prove its case against you, and not the other way around, while you may remain silent. Many times, wins cases because the People cannot meet its burden, or works out favorable deals.

I am from out of state and got a New York traffic ticket. Do I need to return to New York to attend a traffic court date there?

In most cases, your traffic violation defense attorney will appear in court on your behalf so that you don’t need to make a return trip to New York. This means that, if you are from out of the state of New York, hiring a New York State attorney like will ensure that you don’t have to show up in court.

How will a traffic ticket or car accident affect my driving record?

A traffic ticket conviction will go on your driving record and will add points to your driver’s license. After accumulating a certain amount of points, you will be required to pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment. After a certain amount of points, your driver’s license will be suspended. A traffic ticket conviction will also show up on background checks, could lead to increased insurance costs, and could damage your career if you drive for a living.

Can I use a cell phone while driving?

No. as covered at, it is against the law in New York to use a handheld cell phone while driving, except to call 911 in an emergency. It is also illegal to use a cell phone to send or receive text messages while driving, send or read emails, access the internet, take photos, or play games. If convicted of improperly using a cell phone while driving, or texting while driving, you could receive three points on your driver’s license.

Do I need a lawyer to fight my traffic ticket?

No. you do not need an attorney to fight a traffic ticket in most cases, but a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced in your state’s traffic violation defense can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. Having an advocate on your side when facing traffic violation charges can effectively help you end up with fewer points on your record and a lower fine.

What if I don’t answer my ticket?

If you choose to not answer your traffic ticket, you will be suspended and possibly found guilty by default. Also, as covered at, a $70 suspension termination fee will be imposed which must be paid (in addition to any fine or surcharge) to restore your driving privileges.

Will a trial be required?

For tickets issued in New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, and western Suffolk County, a trial or hearing is always required if you decide to fight your New York traffic ticket. In the traffic courts in these areas, it is “all or nothing”, which means you are better served getting an experienced NY traffic lawyer to help you fight your case. Most other courts allow for plea bargaining or deals.

How long do the points last on my record?

Points last for 18 months from the date of the offense. However, it is important to note that insurance companies can use a conviction to raise your rates for up to 36 months from the date of conviction if you get convicted of a traffic violation.

How can I find out if I have too many points?

As outlined at, for each conviction, add up the number of points for 18 months before the date of the offense and 18 months after the date of the offense. If you have 11 or more points during either one of these 18-month periods, then your license is subject to suspension.

What is a bond?

At the Traffic Violations Bureau, you are sometimes required to post a bond to secure a date or a new date. This occurs if you are late in answering your court summons, or if you have previously asked for a date.

How does a bond work?

Now that we know what a bond is, it is important to know how it works. The bond is refunded if you win the case. If you lose the case, however, then the $40 bond amount is credited towards the fine. The only way you lose with a bond is if you fail to appear, in which case your bond will be forfeited. If your bond is not returned, then you should submit a TVB bond refund form.

What if my license is on probation?

It is worth noting that a motorist is placed on probation for the first 6 months following the issuance of his or her first license. There are special rules about traffic ticket convictions for those with a probation license as covered at, including having your license suspended for 60 days if you are convicted of speeding, reckless driving, tailgating, participating in a speed contest, illegal use of a cell phone while driving, or any other two moving violations.

How can I reduce my points?

You can reduce your points by taking a New York Driver Safety Class. After you complete this program, you will get 4 points off of your driving record, as well as a 10% savings on your automobile insurance.

Do points or convictions transfer from other states or provinces?

Other than the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, convictions and points from states or provinces will not transfer onto your New York State driver’s license. Ontario and Quebec convictions will transfer as if the offense occurred in New York. An out-of-state conviction, however, will be reported to New York and can be used by your insurance company in determining your insurance rates. Out-of-state suspensions and revocations, as well as alcohol and drug-related driving convictions, do transfer to your New York license.

Will a New York conviction transfer to my out-of-state license?

It is worth noting that each state has got different laws regarding whether (and to what extent) a New York conviction affects your out-of-state license. You should contact the top-rated if you want to find out about your particular state.

What is the Driver Responsibility Assessment Program (DRAP)?

As of November 2004, DMV now penalizes drivers for three years when they accumulate 6 or more points within 18 months or are convicted of an alcohol or drug-related offense. The defensive driving class will not avoid the DRAP.

What is the DRAP penalty?

This penalty dictates that motorists with an alcohol or drug-related offense must pay $250 per year for three years, and motorists with 6 (or more) points on their driver’s license within 18 months must pay $100 per year for three years for 6 points, plus $25 per year for three years for each additional point.

Do I have to pay the DRAP if I’m an out-of-state license holder?

As per, yes, you will have to pay the DRAP even if you are an out-of-state license holder. This is because all motorists are required to pay the DRAP, regardless of where they are licensed. Remember, a suspension will be issued if the DRAP is not paid which your host state will usually honor.

For more information on the above questions, as well as answers to other questions you may have but may not have been listed in this article, don’t hesitate to reach out to