If you get a traffic ticket in New York, you don’t have to automatically pay the ticket. In fact, when you pay the ticket, you essentially plead guilty and accept the penalties, which could haunt you for years to come. It’s important to understand that many people end up regretting simply paying their traffic ticket rather than getting help from a traffic ticket attorney.
If you pay the ticket without first challenging it, you could get points on your license, have to pay heavy fines, face higher insurance premiums, and, depending on the severity of the charge, even face jail time. Instead of paying the ticket, you might want to hire an attorney to defend you in court.
Important steps to take
- Make a copy of the ticket for yourself. It’s important to save a copy of the ticket so you can provide it to us, and we can review the details in preparation of your case. Having a copy also allows you to review the police officer’s entries.
- Understand the points and consequences of a conviction. How will a conviction affect your driving privileges? How will a traffic conviction affect your insurance premiums? Would a conviction affect your ability to earn a living? Our pages on traffic violations and trucking license defense have more information about New York’s point system for traffic tickets.
- Don’t simply pay the fine before speaking with a traffic ticket lawyer.
Can you represent yourself in court?
It’s not unheard of for people to represent themselves in traffic ticket hearings. However, that is not a good idea. Rather than trying to navigate the court process, you should let an experienced traffic ticket professional handle your case. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may question the officer who wrote the ticket, uncover any errors or admissions on the part of the prosecution, and generally fight for the best possible outcome for you. Even when they initially believed they violated a traffic law, many people are pleasantly surprised by the outcome of their case after hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney. An attorney can help you throughout the entire process and present the strongest possible case on your behalf, so it’s worth getting professional representation.