Top 20 Tips if You Got a Disobeying Traffic Device Ticket in New York | Law Office of James Medows

29 May Top 20 Tips if You Got a Disobeying Traffic Device Ticket in New York

Top 20 Tips if You Got a Disobeying Traffic Device Ticket in New York

As is covered over at ny-defense.com, failure to obey a traffic control device is one of the most common traffic violations in New York. It can also cost you a hefty fine and points on your driver’s license, in addition to insurance hikes. This is why it is crucial to understand this type of ticket and what to do when you get one, which is something this article will look to help with through the following 20 tips.

What does disobeying a traffic control device mean?

The phrase “disobey a traffic control device” means disobeying any sign, traffic light, or pavement markings on the road as discussed at ny-defense.com. Obedience to traffic control devices is covered under the Vehicle and Traffic Law 1110, which states that “Every person shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable to him/her”.

Traffic control device doesn’t only cover electronic devices

One of the biggest misconceptions among New York drivers is that ‘traffic control device’ only covers electronic devices, such as traffic lights. This isn’t the case as the term covers any object intended to guide drivers from pavement markings like double-yellow lines to yield, stop, or no-turn signs.

What happens if you disobey a traffic control device?

The total fine for a disobeying a traffic control device violation in New York is $235 and 2 points on your driver’s license. Remember, if you get 11 points on your license in 18 months, then you could have your license suspended. You could also see an increase in your insurance rates.

How often is this ticket issued?

As is covered in detail over at ny-defense.com, tickets for this kind of traffic violation occur very often in New York. In one year alone, 269,710 people were ticketed for disobeying a traffic control device. It is actually the second-most ticketed issue in the state.

What is considered a traffic control device?

According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 153, a traffic control device is defined as all “signs, signals, markings, and devices… placed… to regulate, warning, or guide traffic”. They include stop signs, yield signs, speed limit signs, ‘do not pass’ signs, ‘do not enter’ signs, ‘no turn’ signs, ‘keep right/left’ signs, ‘one-way’ signs, ‘no U-turn’ signs, ‘no turn on red’ signs, traffic lights, lane use control lights, as well as edge and lane lines.

Will insurance rates go up for disobeying a traffic control device?

The law in New York states that insurance companies are permitted to increase their client’s insurance rates if the client committed “two or more moving violations” of any variety as outlined at ny-defense.com. This means that, while your insurance policy can’t raise your rates for this violation alone, if you have just one prior violation on your record, this ticket could tip you over the edge and force you to pay higher rates.

Don’t admit guilt during the stop

Usually, when you are pulled over, the office will ask you if you are aware of the reason for the traffic stop. You should never admit to disobeying a traffic control device as this admission can and will likely be used against you in court.

Pay attention to and note the date on the ticket

When the officer hands you the ticket, you should review the information on it as soon as reasonably possible. You should pay close attention to the date by which you are supposed to either pay or challenge the ticket. This is crucial as failure to respond to your ticket on time carries its own penalties as articulated over at ny-defense.com.

Write down as much information as you can as concerns the stop

It is also important to pay close attention to your surroundings and the circumstances surrounding your stop and write down as much information as you can. You should note down details such as the lighting in the area, the amount of foliage around, how visible the sign or traffic device was, etc.

Plead not guilty

Considering the fines, points, and insurance fees that come with pleading guilty to a disobeying a traffic control device violation, it makes sense to fight this type of charge. Pleading guilty means that you will not be able to fight the charge.

Consider the law

As highlighted over at ny-defense.com, subdivision (b) of the traffic control device law contains some useful language to help you fight this charge. This section states that the charge cannot be enforced if the traffic control device was “not in proper position and sufficiently legible” at the time of the alleged violation. This is why it is important to note down as much information about your stop as possible as if you were charged for failing to obey a stop sign that was blocked, damaged, or in any way illegible, you have a good chance of fighting it.

The burden of proof is on the officer

It is also worth noting that, not only do signs and other traffic control devices need to be in proper position and sufficiently legible, but the arresting officer must also be able to prove that they were so at the time of the alleged violation. This is why you should not admit to the violation during the stop.

What the court requires

The court requires the People to prove the following about any sign they claim was disobeyed:

That it was in place at the time of the alleged violation

That it was sufficiently visible and legible to an ordinary observant motorist

That there was no police officer directing traffic

The general location of the sign, in respect to the intersection which it has been posted to control

A description of the sign, which should include its height above the ground, size, shape, color of letters or markings, and any other relevant information that distinguishes the sign

Hire an experienced New York attorney

For the best outcome if you decide to fight the ticket, and you should, as is mentioned earlier, then you should consult with and hire an experienced New York traffic attorney like ny-defense.com. This is because they will know the law, the process, what to say, and how to say it.

Know your options when it comes to a pretrial conference

You should also find out if you have the option to attend a pretrial conference or not if you choose to fight the ticket. Many New York State courts, except in New York City, will require you to do so. The pretrial conference is your opportunity to negotiate the charges and potentially get the ticket reduced. There is no pretrial conference in New York City, which means you won’t be able to negotiate your ticket.

Hire an attorney for your pretrial conference

If you have the option for a pretrial conference, then you should consider hiring an experienced New York traffic attorney like ny-defense.com to represent you. This is because an attorney will threaten the prosecutor’s conviction record, which means the prosecutor will be more open to negotiating a conviction for a lesser charge than risk going to trial and losing altogether. Experienced attorneys will also have a relationship with prosecutors, which they can leverage to get the best deals possible for clients.

Consider the plea bargain

If the prosecutor offers you a plea bargain and the chance to plead guilty for a lesser charge that carries no points, then, unless you are positive that you have a legal case for a dismissal, you should consider taking the plea bargain. At the end of the day, it is more important to avoid getting points on your record than reducing the fee.

Hire an attorney for trial

If you don’t have the option for a pretrial conference (in which case every not-guilty plea proceeds straight to trial) or the prosecutor at the pretrial conference is unwilling to negotiate or offers you a deal you find to be unsatisfactory, then your case will go to trial on traffic court. When it does, you should consider hiring an attorney like ny-defense.com who knows the process involved, including the process in the TVB, and who will handle all the questions and answers on your behalf. Additionally, in some cases, you may not even be required to show up in court in person if you hire an attorney.

When to plead guilty for this violation

It is worth noting that there are times when you are better off accepting the charge if you are handed a disobeying traffic control device ticket. If you are caught speeding, sometimes the office will issue a disobeying traffic control device ticket instead of a full speeding ticket. In such an instance, you are much better off accepting the charge because a speeding ticket can cost up to $600 and will put a minimum of 3 points on your license, while a disobeying a traffic control device ticket puts a maximum of 2 points on your license. This means that, in contrast to a speeding violation, disobeying a traffic control device is a much more lenient charge and you may be better off taking it.

Speeding ticket to a disobeying traffic device violation

Also, if you were issued with a speeding ticket, a skilled traffic attorney might be able to get it reduced to a disobedience of a traffic control device violation instead, saving you money and limiting points on your driver’s license.

If you have been handed a disobeying traffic control device ticket in New York, then don’t hesitate to reach out to ny-defense.com for assistance.