With 2019 off to a speedy start, it only seems practical to discuss something many of us worry about when we hit the gas pedal a little too hard - that infamous traffic ticket.
I recently welcomed traffic ticket attorney Michael Block to my Retire Right Podcast where we discussed everything you need to know about traffic tickets in New York. With over 30 years of experience (and having first-hand needed his help!), I knew he was the right guy to bring to the microphone.
To help you better understand the impact of tickets, Michael shared all of this valuable information to help you keep the blue lights out of your review mirror!
Tickets & NYC
One important thing to understand when it comes to tickets in the big apple is if you’re found guilty, you’re going to pay a fine AND get some points. Other jurisdictions may reduce to lesser violations, but in New York City it’s all or nothing.
When it comes to tickets outside of NYC, the speeding ticket is still king. But that doesn’t mean people still don’t find a way to push their vehicles to the limit within the city confines. Speeding tickets can carry anywhere from 3-11 points, depending on how fast you’re caught driving.
The Magic Number
All of those speeding ticket points add up! Once you’ve hit magic number 11 (whether from several tickets, or one extremely fast ride), any judge is going to think critically about suspending your license. You may even find yourself with your license being revoked - forcing you to retake your written and driven driving tests.
Another magic number when it comes to speeding tickets is three. If you find yourself with three speeding tickets within the same 18-month period, your license will be automatically revoked for six months. No matter what.
Cell Phone Tickets
The cell phone/electronic device ticket is the most commonly occurring ticket in New York City. Cell phone tickets, if found guilty, are five points on your driver’s record. While the fines associated with these tickets have remained small, as mentioned previously, if you’re racking up points there can be serious ramifications to a cell phone ticket. So, if your phone is in your hand, and it’s in vicinity of your mouth or ear, it’s considered improper cell phone use and a ticketable offence.
Electronic Device Ticket
These tickets carry the same weight as cell phone tickets - five points. The only difference is usage. If you’re found with a device in your hand, or you’re looking at the screen or touching it, you’re using that device.
What to Do Once You Have a Ticket
First off you need to decide if you’re going to contest the ticket or pay the fine and take the points.
If you choose to contest the ticket, you need to then decide if you’re going it alone or involving legal counsel. If you’re bringing in an attorney, you can likely skip out on the court hearing - saving your valuable time which you may need to pay for your ticket.
But most importantly, don’t be too disheartened. Often times with good legal counsel there is something you can do about your ticket, even if it’s just understanding exactly what’s going to happen.
Hidden Costs to Getting a Ticket
Insurance: All those points may not mean much to you, but they’re a sticking point with your insurance company. Understand that each of these incidents is going to stack up against you and can result in some heavy new payments!
Legal Representation: While you always have the option of going to court on your own, unless you’ve watched a lot of Law & Order it’s likely advisable to bring some good legal representation. While this can save you costs on insurance and driver assessment testing in the long run, it does add to the overall cost of the event.
Driver Assessment: If you receive six points within an 18-month period, you have to get a driver assessment test. This test costs $300, and every time you add a point in that same 18-month period, you have to pay for the test again.
So, there you have it. Tickets are not so complicated, and yet not so simple when it comes to New York City. If you’re debating on how to proceed with your next ticket, or know someone in need of a little legal assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Michael Block at https://www.michaelblocklawyer.com/.