New York City is unique for its skyline, but also for its traffic courts. The NYC courts are the only courts in New York State that issue Default Convictions.
With that truth in mind, a motorist needs to be armed with the answers to the following questions: What does it mean to be default convicted? What are the consequences of such? How does this affect me?
A Default Conviction – The Court System
The first step in understand a default conviction is understanding the structure and procedures of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island New York City Courts.
The courts in these boroughs are run by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Traffic Violations Bureau (NYC DMV TVB). Since these courts are run by an Administrative Agency and not the city they set their own rules on how to handle a traffic case.
The largest rule that distinguishes a DMV TVB from other courts is a motorist cannot get points reduced or eliminated. Nope, this means that you cannot talk to the officer and ask for a parking ticket instead of the original charge.
Instead, every ticket has a hearing where direct testimony and cross-examination takes place. At the end of the hearing a judge will then issue a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If the judge decides that the driver is guilty, then points will be added to his or her driving abstract (driving history) and other negative consequences can accrue, like a DMV assessment fee. Click here for a more detailed discussion of the New York State Driver Responsibility Assessment.
A Default Conviction – How It Happens
After a ticket is issued the motorist must return the ticket to the court notifying the court whether he or she is pleading guilty or not guilty to the violation. After a period of time goes by and a plea is not entered with the court, the DMV TVB will enter a guilty plea on behalf of the motorist, “convicting” him or her of the charge. This is big because the conviction is the same as entering a guilty plea or being found guilty by the judge after trial.
How It Affects You
Does being default convicted really matter? Yes it can! For example, being default convicted of a 6-point speed will cause 1) six points to accrue to a motorist NYS driving abstract, 2) trigger a $300 DMV Assessment and 3) aggregately increase auto insurance by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Charged with fewer points? It does not matter and can still be a big deal. For example, consider a person who holds a commercial driver license and drives for a living. Those points could cost the driver his job. No work, no money.
Default convictions do not discriminate; they affect both NYS and out of state motorist.
It is not too late to get help if you have been default convicted. Discover your options and what can be done for you after a default conviction by contacting 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 New York State, including NYC and Westchester County – White Plains, Yonkers, and Bronxville.