Default Conviction in New York City

What is a New York City default conviction? What are the penalties of being default convicted? And why does it matter to you?

A NYC default convicted can be a very big deal and cause major headaches for a local driver and out of state motorists. But, it is first important to understand the structure or procedure of the courts in the five New York City boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

These courts are run by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Traffic Violations Bureau (NYC DMV TVB). The DMV is an Administrative Agency and is not controlled by a city, town or village court. The NYC DMV TVB has their rules. The biggest difference between the DMV TVB and other courts is that there is no “plea bargaining” or reducing points through a negotiation process. This means that a driver cannot talk to the officer or prosecutor and ask for a parking ticket instead of what he or she was originally charged with. Rather, every ticket must go to trial. Yes, a real trial in which there will be direct testimony and cross-examination. At the end of the trial, it is up to the judge to decide whether or not the driver is guilty of the original charge. If the judge decides that the driver is guilty, then points will be added to his or her driving abstract (driving history) and other unwanted consequences can happen, like a DMV assessment fee.

When a driver gets a ticket, he or she must enter with the court a guilty or not guilty plea. When a driver does not do this, a “default conviction” takes place. In other words, after a plea is not received, the DMV TVB will enter a guilty plea for the driver, “convicting” him or her of the charge. This is the same as entering a guilty plea by paying the fine, or being found guilty by a judge after trial.

Does it really matter if a driver is default convicted? Maybe. The answer depends on the charge for which a driver is default convicted. For example, being default convicted of a 6-point speeding violation will cause 6 points to accrue to the driver’s driving history, a $300 DMV Assessment and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in car insurance increases. Or, maybe a person is convicted of a charge that carries fewer points. What is the big deal? It is a big deal if that person holds a commercial driver’s license and drives for a living. It could mean loss of a job for that driver.

It is not too late to get help if you have been default convicted. To find learn more about your options and what can be done in your case, contact The Claro Law Firm today at 917-300-3334 or online. Elisa Claro, a New York traffic attorney and traffic lawyer 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 Westchester County – Yonkers, Harrison, and White Plains.