It has probably happened to you or someone you know because it happens more often than you think. What are we talking about? You get into an accident and the police arrive at the scene. After making, and issuing, a police report several tickets are handed to one of the drivers. Here is an example:

Toby works in Yonkers, New York. After a long day at work he is driving home to Elmsford, NY. Toby is a good driver and has a clean driving record. While driving on the parkway, Toby quickly checks his rearview mirror, but his eyes focus on the road just in time to see the car in front of him at a dead stop. Unable to stop in time, Toby slams into the back of the car with a load “BANG!” After an initial evaluation of the situation the police are called and the officer issues Toby a traffic ticket for following too closely (VTL § 1129-a). What? Not fair! The officer was not there when the accident happened. Can he issue Toby a ticket for a traffic infraction he did not witness?

These are excellent questions and exactly why you should consult a traffic ticket lawyer if you received a traffic violation from a police officer who did not witness the violation. At The Claro Law Firm, we will fight your ticket and fill you in on your rights, which can be the difference of having your ticket dismissed or accruing points to your driving record. The traffic ticket attorneys at The Claro Law Firm know what law firm’s who do not concentrate in traffic law do not know: a police officer cannot write a motorist a traffic ticket for a violation that happened when he was not there. The law says that in order for an officer to have authority to issue a motorist a traffic ticket, the violation must have happened in the officer’s presence. Even so, police officers often write tickets after they are called to the scene of an accident. However, if the offense you are charge with was not committed when the police officer was presence, this can be a basis for having your traffic ticket dismissed.

Here is a true story. Liza desperately needed a vacation after a long semester at college. Long days at school, studying, and temporary jobs had taken their toll. Liza met her sister AJ and they were headed for home. A road trip with her sister would be nice, but the nearly 1,000 mile drive from Idaho to California would be a killer. Liza roared through the open road, hair blowing in the wind, she smiled at the thought that home was just 50 miles away. Home sweet home! Flashing lights and a blaring police siren jolted Liza from daydreaming of home. Noooooo! Liza was being pulled over for speeding. How would this out of state ticket affect Liza’s NYS driving record?

Like Liza, many NYS drivers worry about how out of state tickets will affect his or her spotless driving record.  But, not to worry – virtually all out of state traffic convictions do not add violation points to a New York State driving record. The exception to this is traffic offenses committed in two Canadian providences. 

Moreover, New York State will not suspend a person’s driver license if he or she fails to answer a California traffic violation (scoff). In fact, California is one of six states that will not suspend a NYS driving privileges for failing answer a traffic violation.  The other states are Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin. In all other states, New York State driving privileges will be suspended until you submit proof to the NYS DMV that an outstanding ticket has been resolved. 

No one ever plans on getting a traffic ticket; and to be honest, they are annoying and confusing. They can also blemish a clean driving record or a nail in the coffin for a driver with too many points on his driver’s license. Anyone who has ever gotten a traffic violation has asked: “How do I make a traffic ticket go away?”

The truth is, traffic offense is unlikely to “go away,” but there are different ways to handle or fight a traffic violation. Some ways involve going to court and others avoid court altogether. The ways to resolve a traffic ticket in New York State are:

  • To plead guilty

The point system

New York State works on a traffic violation point system. Each traffic violation (traffic ticket) carries points. It is the New York State DMV who assesses points to a violation and the point system is referred to as the NY Driver Violation Point System. It allows the NYS DMV to identify and punish high-risk drivers.

 How points work

We have all seen the sign that says “Buckle up, it’s the law.” The truth of the matter is that seat belts can save lives in a car accident. Adults know the consequences of not “buckling up” and bear the risk. But, children are different because they no not comprehend the consequences of not “buckling up” like that of an adult. That is why the law and courts take this violation seriously, especially when it comes to children who are passengers in a car.

The Law

With few exceptions, the law basically says that in order to drive a car a driver and all passengers must wear a seat belt. Pretty straight forward, but what are the consequences if you are issued a No Seat Belt ticket?

School Zone Traffic Ticket NYS VTL § 1180cDriving carefully in a school zone is especially important because young lives are at risk. This is why the law is tough when it comes to school zone traffic tickets.

The Law

The law allows for slower speed limits around schools. The law that governs school zones is NYS VTL§ 1180c and defines a school speed zone as certain areas that border the highway. And, the law gives applicable time frames for what qualifies as a “school day.”

A car can be deadly when driven unsafely around people on foot. Because a car has been likened to a “weapon,” the law is harsh when it comes to work or construction zone traffic tickets.

The Law

The law, NYS VTL§ 1180f, defines a work zone as a highway construction or maintenance work area and does not allow a person to drive his or her car through a highway construction or maintenance work area faster than the posted work area speed limit.

A single speeding ticket is the only traffic violation that can cause an automatic suspension of driving privileges for too many points. That is how serious a speeding ticket can be.

The Law

The law is self-explanatory for speeding and NYS VTL§ 1180b says that a driver shall comply with posted maximum speed limits. But, it means that a person cannot drive faster than the posted speed limit sign. Everyone knows what a speed limit signs looks like and what it means.

Following Too Closely traffic ticket violation (more commonly known as “tailgating”) is kind of an oddball violation in that the law does not have much to say about. Even so, this small traffic ticket have can have big consequences. First, lets look at the law to see what it recognizes as Following Too Closely, VTL section 1129a.

The Law and Its Exception

Tailgating or Following Too Closely has an ambiguous legal definition. The law says that:

Running a red light is one of the most common traffic violations in New York State. Within the State and Westchester County, there are two ways to get a red light ticket: by a police officer or by mail via a red light camera ticket.

The Law and Its Exception

Every driver knows what a running a red light means. In fact, a potential driver must study this subject, be knowledgeable in it, and pass a written exam that test on this subject before being issued a driver license. So, drivers know, and the law (VTL § 1111-(d)) states that a driver cannot move his or her car until the light turns green. The only exception to the law is when an indicator (like a sign) allows a driver to continuing driving after having stopped for a red light.