For many Americans, a speeding ticket is a mere nuisance. If you’re not hard-up for cash, pleading guilty and paying the fine is an easy way to make it go away. Sometimes, even if cash is tight, you may pay the ticket simply because you don’t know how to go about fighting it. You might also be unsure if the effort will be worth it. No matter the reason, paying a speeding ticket in New York is always a big mistake for five key reasons.
- Huge Fines. A speeding ticket in New York can range from $243 up to over $1,000. In addition to the mandatory surcharges, New York state imposes what it calls a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee anytime you incur six or more points on your license (even if you are not from NY). The DRA costs $300 ($100 per year for three years) plus and an additional $75 ($25 per year) for each point over the initial six. So if you get an eight-point ticket, the DRA would be $450.
- Skyrocketing auto insurance. A speeding ticket can significantly impact your auto insurance premiums. One study found that premiums rose 21 percent on average for speeding between 1 and 15 mph over the limit and 28 percent for going 16 to 30 mph over the limit.
- Risk of a suspended license. In New York, if you accrue 11 points on your license it will be suspended. Your license can also be revoked if you plead guilty to three or more speeding (or two work zone speeding) tickets within an 18-month period. In addition to being unable to legally drive while your license is suspended, you may have to pay a fee to in order to have it reinstated.
- Loss of employment. If your job requires you to have a valid license or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), pleading guilty or being convicted of speeding can put your job at risk. CDL holders are held to more strict standards than those with regular driver’s licenses. For instance, your CDL will be suspended for 60 days if you are convicted of two “serious traffic violations” (which includes going 15 mph or more over the limit) within a three-year time frame.
- Driver safety courses are no quick fix. It’s a common misconception that you can plead guilty and then get the ticket removed from your record by taking a driver safety course. Completing a DMV-approved driver safety course only reduces up to four points from your license and it does not remove the conviction from your driving record. It also has no effect on any of the surcharges or other penalties.
The only way to avoid the multiple consequences of a speeding conviction in New York is to fight the ticket in court. It is best to hire an attorney with experience getting traffic tickets reduced and/or dismissed rather than risk handling it yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam H. Rosenblum, Esq. is the principal of The Rosenblum Law Firm. An experienced and skilled criminal defense and traffic violations attorney, Mr. Rosenblum has a reputation for aggressive representation for anyone facing criminal charges and traffic violations that may result in jail time, heavy fines, points and license suspension or revocation. Mr. Rosenblum is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in both New York and New Jersey and takes cases statewide in both states.