Long Island Traffic Ticket Lawyers Helping You Fight Tickets
If you have ever been pulled over, you know that anxiety that instantly happens when you see the lights flashing behind you or hear the quick burst of the sirens. In some cases, you may already know what the officer is pulling you over for, but in others, it is a mystery until the police officer informs you of the reason behind the stop. If you are lucky, you might get out with just a warning, but you might also get a ticket that results in you needing a traffic ticket lawyer.
While many people think they have no option but to pay a traffic ticket and receive the points on their license and other penalties, this is not true. A traffic ticket lawyer can help understand how you can fight a ticket and even represent you in court. Keep reading to learn more about what a traffic ticket attorney can help with, what can happen if you don’t fight a ticket, and your legal options.
If you are facing a traffic ticket in the anywhere in New York State. We serve clients throughout < Long Island, New York City, and the rest of New York State contact the law office of MontanaroLaw P.C. today. We serve clients in Nassau County and beyond and can help you fight a ticket and avoid legal penalties.
What Traffic Violations Can a Traffic Ticket Attorney Help Me With?
A traffic ticket lawyer can help you fight most types of common traffic tickets, such as speeding tickets or failure to stop at a stop sign. Your attorney can talk with you about what happened before, during, and after your traffic stop, what the official ticket violation was, and what you may be able to do to fight it.
We offer our assistance in defending against all traffic violations, including the following.
Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations, and getting caught up in moving with the flow of traffic or listening to your favorite podcast and not noticing that your speed is creeping up there is easy. Many people think that a speeding ticket is straightforward and they do not have any grounds to fight it, but this is not true. If the officer does not show up to court, sometimes the judge will automatically dismiss the case, but you may also be able to fight the ticket if the correct signage wasn’t posted or there were issues with the radar equipment.
Driving While Suspended
You have to have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle in the state of New York. But if you have a history of many traffic tickets or other violations, such as a DUI conviction, your license can be suspended, which means you lose your driving privileges. If you drive anyway and get pulled over, this can result in a ticket for driving with a suspended license. Driving on a suspended or expired license is a serious offense in the state of New York, and it is not one to take lightly. If you are cited for driving on a suspended license, it is important to talk with a traffic ticket attorney to find out your options and take action as soon as possible.
Red Light Summonses
It used to be that a police officer had to actually catch you in the act of running a red light to issue a ticket, but technology had made it possible to get a ticket even when an officer wasn’t there. Red light cameras are installed at traffic lights and are set to take a picture of the vehicle’s license plate — and often who is in the driver’s seat — if a car runs the light while it is red. A ticket is automatically issued to the address that’s listed on the registration for that license plate.
If you received a red light summons, it is important to talk with a traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible and show them the paperwork you received. They can help you determine if there are any grounds to fight the ticket and what the right option is for your defense.
Failure To Yield
Driving comes with a lot of rules of the road on when to yield. For example, if you’re making a left-hand turn at a green light, you still have to yield to oncoming traffic. There are also many places where there are official yield signs that indicate the flow of traffic and who has the right of way that must be followed. If you are involved in an accident as a result of failing to yield or an officer sees you pass by a yield sign when there is oncoming traffic, they may stop you for a citation.
Following Too Closely
Everyone is taught in driver’s education that you are supposed to keep enough distance between your car and the car in front of you to ensure that you have time to react if there is a sudden stop or change in traffic. If an accident does occur and it was found that you were following too closely, which is a common ticket for rear-end type crashes, you could be cited.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Sometimes, when an accident occurs, the driver either is not aware, or they are worried about being cited, so they choose to leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of an accident can lead to serious charges, including criminal ones, if there were injuries as a result of the accident. If you are cited for leaving the scene of an accident, it is important to talk with an attorney about your options.
Reckless driving is a bit of a catch-all category for driving behavior that does not clearly fall into a more specific citation. It is also possible to get charged with reckless driving in addition to other citations. For example, if you are driving a certain amount over the speed limit, you could be cited for speeding and reckless operation of a vehicle.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a Speeding Ticket or Other Traffic Violations?
In New York, the penalties for traffic violations depend on the type of violation and the severity. When it comes to speeding tickets, you can expect the following penalties:
- Less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit: Fine of $45-$150
- 11-29 miles per hour over the speed limit: Fine of $90-$300
- 30+ miles per hour over the speed limit: Fine of $180-$600
A speeding ticket can also come with a few weeks of jail time, and you can have your license suspended if you get more than three spending convictions over a period of 18 months.
Most traffic violations also result in a certain number of points on your license. When you total 11 points or more over a period of a year and a half, your license can be suspended. Speeding tickets range from 3-11 points, depending on how fast you are going. Reckless driving is 5 points, texting and driving are 5 points, and improper passing is 3 points, to name a few.
If you are facing large fines or are worried about losing your license from too many points, a criminal defense attorney who takes traffic ticket cases can help you fight the ticket.
Is a Guilty Plea a Good Idea for Traffic Tickets?
While it may be tempting to just enter a guilty plea, pay the fines, and accept the consequences for traffic violations like speeding tickets, it’s not always the best option. At MontanaroLaw P.C., we recommend that our clients plead not guilty and hire us to appear on their behalf in traffic court, so we can help them seek a dismissal or negotiate a plea bargain.
We have plenty of experience in negotiating plea bargains to reduce traffic violations, the number of fines, and the number of points on our clients’ driving records. And we are ready to bring that experience inside the courthouse to help you.
What Can Happen If I Plead Guilty?
Before you plead guilty, please be aware that pleading guilty to a traffic ticket can have many consequences. Some of which may result in:
- Losing your privilege to drive because you are assessed too many points
- Losing your employment because your job requires a driver’s license and/or clean driving record
- Paying hundreds of dollars in fines and surcharges
- Significant increases in automobile insurance premiums
- Mandatory DMV Responsibility Assessments
What Are My Legal Options for Fighting a Traffic Ticket?
When you are facing a traffic ticket, the most important things to do to fight it are to plead not guilty and to go before the judge in a hearing. This is because both parties must show up for the hearing, or the ticket is usually dismissed. While officers can and do show up, there is no penalty for them if they don’t, so many choose not to, depending on what else is going on at that point.
If the officer does show up, your traffic ticket attorney may try one of the following approaches.
Mistake of Fact
A mistake of fact just means that the violation happened because of an error you made that could have been made by any reasonable person. This type of argument hinges on the judge agreeing with you that there were reasonable grounds for the lapse. For example, if the proper speed limit signs were not posted along the highway – or one was missing from a car hitting it – and you were pulled over for driving above the speed limit, you may be able to argue a mistake of fact.
If you think that this defense might apply to your case, it is important to go over all of the details with your traffic ticket attorney so that they can prepare the most thorough argument.
Challenge Any Subjective Determinations
Many traffic violations involve the citing officer making some subjective determinations. For example, an officer may cite you for going above a reasonable speed or for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign. However, there isn’t any clear test for this, and you may be able to argue that the officer’s determination was wrong. For instance, maybe they were blocked from having a full view of the stop sign, so they couldn’t accurately determine whether you came to a full stop.
If your attorney determines that this is the appropriate defense for your case, they will likely put together evidence to support your side. It is better to have pictures, diagrams, or other physical evidence of why the officer’s determinations could be incorrect instead of relying on what he said, or she said typed back and forth.
The Violation Was Necessary for Safety
Traffic rules generally exist to keep everyone as safe as possible, but there are some instances when going against the rules is necessary to protect lives or property. In these cases, you may be able to present the case to the judge and show that the violation was necessary and that you didn’t have any other options to handle the situation.
Consider the following example. You are driving on a two-lane road, and there is a pedestrian walking by the side of the road. As you get closer, the pedestrian starts to walk out into the road. To avoid hitting the person, you swerve over the yellow line, hitting a mailbox on the other side. When the officer responds to the scene, you are cited for failing to stay in your lane. But clearly, in this case, the traffic violation was necessary to avoid hitting and injuring the other person.
This type of defense may also apply in cases where you have to accelerate quickly to get out of another driver’s way or if someone in your car has a life-threatening emergency and you were speeding to get them medical attention.
What Should I Do When I Get a Traffic Ticket?
The most important thing to do when you get a traffic ticket is to avoid taking responsibility or fault for whatever led to the citation. If the citation is related to an accident, give a factual statement to the police but don’t do anything that accepts blame.
Once you have been cited, you can talk with a traffic ticket attorney and schedule an appointment to go over your case and better understand your options. At MontanaroLaw P.C., we offer free consultations so you can know what your options are and what we would recommend moving forward before you hire us.
If you decide to fight the ticket, make sure to hire experienced legal representation and pay close attention to any documents that come from the court. For example, if you miss a scheduled hearing, the case could be found not in your favor by default. Call our office today if you have any questions about what to do when you get a traffic ticket.
Work With MontanaroLaw P.C.
When you are fighting a traffic ticket and facing fines, points on your license, and even possible jail time, you need an attorney by your side who will fight for your rights and represent your interests in court.
Our attorneys represent individuals, commercial trucking and waste management companies, and commercial drivers who have received traffic violations, speeding tickets, and other moving violations throughout Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Orange counties, as well as New York City.
We pride ourselves on providing practical counsel and effective solutions for our clients and do everything in our power to get a positive outcome for your case. We can help you understand what a traffic citation means, the potential penalties, and what your options for fighting it are and then guide you through each step of that process.
If you are ready to learn more about what MontanaroLaw P.C. can do to help your case, call us today at (516) 809-7735. A member of our team can take your information and help you schedule a free consultation where we can discuss your case and next steps in more depth.