If you are observed to be violating New York traffic laws, you may receive a citation. However, just because you receive a citation doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. In some cases, it may be possible to have a citation reduced or dismissed if you can show that you violated the law in an effort to avoid greater harm to yourself or others around you.
You can’t be convicted based on an opinion
An officer has the right to issue a citation if there is reason to believe that you acted in a dangerous or reckless manner. However, it will likely be harder to convict you simply because of a belief that a traffic violation occurred. The state will likely need objective evidence that you were speeding, made an illegal turn or took some action that clearly broke the law to obtain a conviction.
Honest mistakes may be overlooked
Let’s say that you were ticketed for speeding while driving down a road that had no speed limit sign. In many cases, the assumed speed limit is 55 miles per hour unless there is a notice saying otherwise. If you were abiding by this rule at the time that you were stopped and cited, it may be possible to argue that you weren’t doing anything wrong and should have the citation erased.
You tried to do the right thing
If you were speeding in an effort to keep pace with surrounding vehicles, it’s less likely that a judge would convict you of such a traffic violation. If you made an improper lane change because you were trying to avoid another car or truck that had stopped suddenly, there is a chance that you will have your citation dismissed.
In the event that you’re convicted of a traffic offense, you may have to pay a fine or deal with a license suspension. Contesting a citation may enable you to avoid those penalties as well as other potential consequences such as higher insurance premiums or the need to attend driver education classes.