You are on your way to a client meeting or your kid’s basketball game when you see the lights in your rearview mirror. You pull over and sheepishly nod your head as the officer asks if you knew why they pulled you over. You knew that your speed was too high, but you were in a rush. You just want them to write you the ticket so that you can move on with your day.
For many drivers in New York, a ticket seems like a source of temporary frustration and expense, rather than a real risk. It might only be after you pay several tickets in a row that you realize you have made a major mistake.
New York might suspend your driver’s license if you keep paying tickets for traffic offenses.
Those tickets could add up to cost you your license
When you pay a traffic fine, you plead guilty to a traffic offense in New York. That offense will result in a certain number of points against your license. If you accrue 11 points in 18 months, the state might suspend your license. A single speeding ticket for going over 40 miles per hour over the posted limit would add 11 points to your license at once.
Most other infractions carry far fewer points. Disobeying traffic signals or running a red light will mean three points on your license, as does leaving the scene of a crash. An improper turn or failure to use your turn signal could add two points to your record. Reckless driving, texting while driving or failing to stop for a school bus could all add five points to your license.
You can defend yourself against a traffic citation
Your right to defend yourself doesn’t just apply to criminal charges that carry jail time. You can also defend yourself against any traffic citation. If you successfully defend against the ticket, you won’t have to pay the fine or worry about any more points the crewing on your license. Especially if you already have several tickets in the last year-and-a-half, paying another citation may not be the best choice.
Fighting back against a pending traffic ticket can help you protect your license.