speeding ticket

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Suffolk County

Speeding is a factor in about thirty percent of the fatal traffic accidents in the state of New York. There’s no doubt that more lives could be saved if more motorists would drive just a bit slower. Nevertheless, if you’re cited for speeding in Suffolk County, instead of just paying the fine, speak first to an experienced Long Island traffic ticket attorney. It’s usually worthwhile – for a number of reasons – to fight a speeding ticket.

One important reason to fight a speeding ticket is because the possible penalties for speeding in this state, listed below, are severe:

– a $90 to $150 fine and up to 15 days in jail for speeding up to 10 mph over the limit
– a $180 to $300 fine and up to 30 days in jail for speeding 10 to 30 mph over the limit
– a $360 to $600 fine and up to 30 days in jail for driving more than 30 mph over the limit
– a $45 to $150 fine and up to 15 days in jail for “excessive or inappropriate” speed

Another good reason to fight a speeding ticket is this: the consequences of a speeding ticket do not evaporate and disappear just because you pay the fine. Paying the fine is an admission of guilt – a “conviction” in effect – that puts points on your driving record. When points go on your driving record, your automobile insurance rates can skyrocket.

In other words, a fine might be only the “tip of the iceberg” of a speeding ticket’s real long-term cost. “The fine is just the beginning,” according to John Bowman, Communications Director for the National Motorists Association.

HOW MANY POINTS DOES SPEEDING PUT ON YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE?

If you are convicted of three or more speeding infractions over a period of eighteen months in New York, your driver’s license is revoked, and every New York driver should be aware that if you are accused of speeding in a construction zone, the fine is doubled.

If you are found guilty of speeding in New York, along with paying a fine, you’ll also have these points placed on your driver’s license:

– for speeding up to 10 mph over the limit: 3 points
– for speeding 11-20 mph over the limit: 4 points
– for speeding 21-30 mph over the limit: 6 points
– for speeding 31-40 mph over the limit: 8 points
– for speeding more than 40 mph over the limit:11 points

Whether or not you are actually guilty of speeding, these are among the reasons why most lawyers would tell you to learn all of your legal rights and options before you pay any fine for speeding. With just a bit of research and work, along with some guidance from an experienced Long Island traffic ticket attorney, you might be able to pay a lower fine – or no fine at all – and have no points placed on your driving record.

For many jurisdictions in New York and across the United States, speeding tickets are a reliable source of revenue. The National Motorists Association, which describes itself as a “grassroots alliance of motorists joined together to protect our rights,” says that local governments collect literally billions of dollars every year from motorists who pay traffic tickets. The group encourages every driver to fight every traffic ticket.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE TICKETED FOR SPEEDING?

The truth is, if you are cited for speeding in Suffolk County, you should take advantage of every available legal measure to try to reduce the amount of your fine and to keep it from affecting your auto insurance rates. When you consider the combination of a fine, court costs, increased insurance rates, and points on your driver’s license, that’s a lot to pay for driving seven or ten miles per hour over the speed limit. But whatever you do, don’t ignore a speeding ticket. It does not go away, and overlooking it will just lead to more fines or eventually cost you your driver’s license.

Whether it’s out of fear or just complacency, the overwhelming majority of drivers cited for speeding in New York simply admit their guilt, pay the fine, and deal with the consequences. To plead not guilty to speeding in Suffolk County, obtain an attorney’s help at once, and make a copy of your speeding ticket because you’ll need to send the original right back.

Read the “not guilty” instructions on the speeding ticket and check the “not guilty” box on the back of the ticket. Complete the information requested, sign it, and return it within forty-eight to the Suffolk County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency (SCTPVA).

WHAT CAN A TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY DO ON YOUR BEHALF?

SCTPVA will respond with a letter telling you when and where a hearing – called a “conference” – has been scheduled. Your attorney will examine every detail of the speeding ticket. Anything that’s incorrect on the ticket works in your favor.

Your attorney can also file a discovery motion to obtain every available bit of information about your case – from the officer’s notes to the current calibration certificate for the radar device the officer was using. Any detail might be helpful, and any information that’s inaccurate or missing might be grounds for having the charge dismissed.

Traffic court is not felony court, so many drivers will find the judge and prosecutor willing to offer some amount of flexibility. Your attorney might be able to approach the prosecutor in your case and simply ask for a reduction of the charge and fine.

At the National Motorists Association, John Bowman says, “If you give the court the impression that you are serious about fighting the ticket, you are going to have a lot more leverage and control over the process.”

While no guarantee can ever be offered regarding the outcome of any legal procedure, a good traffic ticket attorney may be able to have the speeding citation against you dismissed or at least reduced to a lesser charge.

In Suffolk County and anywhere on Long Island or in the New York City area, if you are dealing with a speeding ticket or any traffic violation, get legal help and speak immediately with an experienced Long Island traffic ticket attorney. According to John Bowman and the National Motorists Association, “You can never go wrong contesting a ticket if you have the time and energy, because you’re almost always going to come out ahead.”

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Challenge That Ticket!

Adhering to the speed limit reduces your risk of being involved in a traffic accident, and in the state of New York, it can also help you to avoid considerable legal trouble. If you are cited for speeding in Mineola, Nassau County, Suffolk County, or anywhere in New York City, fight the ticket and the charge with the counsel of an experienced Long Island traffic ticket attorney. In New York, you can actually do a few days in jail for a speeding conviction, and if you receive subsequent speeding citations, your driver’s license could be suspended.

Don’t just pay a speeding fine without fighting the charge. Paying the ticket without fighting the charge is an admission of guilt that puts points on your driver’s license and increases your insurance rates. A speeding conviction can even disqualify you for some types of employment.

The laws against speeding are enforced every day by every local police agency in the state. Obviously, not everyone who’s speeding is stopped and cited, but if you drive more than ten miles per hour over the speed limit, a ticket is a genuine probability. The penalties for a speeding conviction in New York are:

  • up to 30 days in jail and a $360-to-$600 fine for driving more than 30 mph over the limit
  • up to 30 days and a $180-to-$300 fine for driving 10 to 30 mph over the limit
  • up to 15 days and a $90-to-$150 fine for driving up to 10 mph over the limit
  • up to 15 days and a $45-to-$150 fine for “excessive and inappropriate” speed

But there’s more to speeding ticket penalties than just a fine. Drivers also earn points on their driving record with every traffic offense.

New York Points System

In New York, the driving game is a lot like golf – the guy with the highest score walks away a loser.  In New York, “walks away” is right, because the guy with the highest score usually loses driving privileges.  The New York Department of Motor Vehicles is the state agency responsible for keeping track of driving points.  When a New York driver is cited for a point worthy offense, a copy of the ticket is forwarded to the New York DMV and annotated.

In order to help keep the streets safe from unsafe drivers, the state of New York, like many other states, uses a point system to track unsafe driving behavior.  When a person is given a ticket or convicted of a more serious vehicle related offense, points are attached to that person’s driving record.  The more points that are accumulated in a certain amount of time, the New York DMV can suspend (a temporary sanction) or revoke (a permanent sanction) a driver’s license.  For example, attaining 11 points within 18 months will trigger a suspension or revocation.  Whether or not the license is suspended or revoked will depend on the severity of the offenses.

Speeding one to 10 miles over the speed limit will get three points, 11 to 20 miles over is four points, 21 to 30 over is six points, 31 to 40 over is eight points, over 40 is 11 points.

With all that a person may stand to lose without the ability to drive, responding to allegations of repeated speeding violations is a delicate process.  Maybe a driver just paid a ticket out of frustration, not wanting to fight the ticket in court, even though there was a valid reason or defense for the speeding.  Now, the lack of effort to fight past violations has caught up with the driver, and the DMV has implemented a suspension or revocation.  As one could imagine, this can throw a person’s entire life for a loop.

How to Avoid Speeding Tickets

It’s a scientific fact. More speeding tickets are handed out in the summer than in the winter. In fact, speeding tickets peak every July and hit their low every December. There’s even a Google graph to prove it, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. With the kids out of school, great weather, and infinite opportunities for recreation and fun, summer creates the perfect environment for enjoying those long drives and maybe pressing the pedal a bit too far. If you receive a speeding ticket on Long Island or anywhere in the New York City area, don’t just pay the fine. It goes on your driving record, becomes a “prior offense,” and it can boost your insurance costs. Instead, challenge a speeding ticket with help from an experienced Long Island speeding ticket attorney.

Of course, the best strategy this summer is to avoid getting a speeding ticket altogether. Before you roll out on the road this season, consider some ways to avoid getting stopped:

  • Watch out for cameras. You can get caught speeding by a camera without any police activity whatsoever. Camera systems can record your speed, snap a photo of your license plate, and have a speeding ticket mailed to you.
  • Watch out for typical speed traps. Police tend to set up traps where speeders can’t see them until it’s too late: behind signs, around curves, and at the bottom of hills and off-ramps.
  • Don’t attract attention. Avoid arousing suspicion by swerving wildly, flashing your lights, revving your engine, changing lanes too much, or even playing music too loud.

A number of electronic devices are also available ranging from radar detectors to police scanner apps. Some are legal in some jurisdictions, but if you’re going to invest in such a device, make sure you fully understand the law governing its use wherever you use it.

The only certain way to avoid a speeding ticket is simple – don’t speed. Speeding laws aren’t always strictly enforced, but anything over the limit gives police the right to stop and ticket you.

If you do receive a speeding ticket, now or in the future, get legal help right away from an experienced Long Island speeding ticket attorney.

Long Island and New York City drivers should never simply plead guilty and pay the fine. Always fight a speeding ticket. On Long Island and in New York City, if you are cited for speeding or for any traffic violation, obtain the legal help you need and speak at once to an experienced Long Island traffic ticket attorney.

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