Default Convicted in New York City – What Now?

Have you been default convicted in a New York City DMV Traffic Violations Bureau? If so, you may wonder: What now? Do I have any options?

The good news is that being default convicted is not the end of the story. First, we need to address what it means to be “default convicted.”

What is a default conviction?
A default conviction is when a motorist is issued a traffic ticket and does not “answer” (enter a plea of guilty or not guilty) the ticket. When the DMV court fails to receive a plea, they will, on their own accord, convict the motorist of the ticket. This is the equivalent of pleading guilty or being found guilty by the judge after trial.

What are my options?
There is an option to attempt to overturn a default conviction. This is done by application to the DMV. The application is a formal written request to have a default conviction reopened. The application itself is straightforward and among other information asks for a written explanation of why the driver did not answer the ticket. This part is important because the DMV is looking for a valid and reasonable explanation as to why the motorist was unable to answer the ticket. “I forgot; I didn’t the hearing notice; the DMV had my old address” are not valid reasons to the DMV. A good thing, however, is that there is no time limitation on when an application can be submitted. For example, a motorist can apply to reopen a default conviction years after being convicted.

Why apply to reopen a case?
Applying to have a NYC default conviction case reopened is very important for drivers who have been default convicted of driving without insurance. This traffic violation (VTL § 319-1) carries a mandatory, and automatic, license revocation for at least one year. PLUS, a mandatory $750 civil penalty. This is because New York State law requires all motorists to carry car insurance. Click here to read more on the difference between a driver’s license suspension and a driver license revocation.

What happens after I apply?
After applying to have a traffic case reopened, one of two things will happen. The application will either be granted or denied.

If the application is granted, the DMV court may dismiss the ticket or schedule it for trial. Should a trial occur a judge will decide whether the driver is guilty of the original charge. Upon a finding of guilty, points will be added to motorist driving abstract (driving history) and other negative consequences can accrue, like a DMV assessment fee.

A not guilty verdict ends the case; It is as if the ticket was never written; no points will be added to the driver’s driving record nor appear on a motorist driving history.

Let us help you
It is not too late to fix things if you have been default convicted. Your personal traffic ticket defenders are here to help you. Contact The Claro Law Firm today at 917-300-3334 or online to learn more about your options. New York traffic attorney and traffic lawyer, Elisa Claro, has handled thousands of traffic cases and is waiting to talk to you. The Claro Law Firm handles traffic tickets throughout the state of New York, including New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island; and Westchester County – Peekskill, Mahopac and Briarcliff Manor.

Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2018
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2017
Contact Information