Given that traffic laws are slightly different in every jurisdiction, those who are not from New York could very easily end up violating traffic statutes unintentionally. And, ultimately, an out-of-state license doesn’t automatically prompt an officer conducting a traffic stop to let someone off with a warning.
There are also certain traffic laws that people regularly violate despite knowing about them. Many people don’t think it is a major issue to drive through a four-way stop without completely slowing their vehicle or to drive at speeds far over the current speed limit, for example. The majority of people who commit minor traffic violations don’t incur any repercussions, but some people end up getting pulled over and ticketed.
People have the right to fight traffic citations, but the process requires attending traffic court. How can those who live in another state expect to fight a New York traffic ticket if they’re located elsewhere?
They can plead not guilty
Every traffic citation is effectively an allegation that someone has violated the law. By signing the ticket and submitting the fine, an individual effectively admits their guilt. That admission can have an impact on their insurance costs or their eligibility for licensing in some cases.
Drivers can plead not guilty by checking the not-guilty box on the ticket, filling in additional information and signing it before sending it to the state. A lawyer can represent them in court. Typically, individuals fighting traffic tickets have to personally show up in traffic court to defend themselves against the citation. An out-of-state motorist always has that option, but they may choose to retain a New York lawyer to defend them in traffic court instead. That way, they won’t need to take time off of work period. Many people also choose to hire attorneys to increase their chances of success when defending against a ticket if they commit the time and effort to return to New York for traffic court.
Those who successfully defend against a ticket will not only avoid the fine associated with it but also the licensing consequences and the multi-year impact that a ticket can have on their insurance rates. Realizing that even out-of-state drivers have the right to plead not guilty can help individuals to make informed decisions response to a recent New York citation.