In addition to fines, you may face points on your license, which draw you closer to license suspension with each subsequent offense. Accepting the charge and paying the fine means the conviction goes on your record, which may complicate your life, including raising your insurance rates. If you do decide to fight the ticket in New York traffic court, you will want to prepare carefully and obtain as much guidance and advice as possible.
Building your case
You can start preparing your defense from the moment the officer hands you the ticket. If you have the presence of mind, you can ask the officer how he or she determined your speed, for example with a radar gun or the patrol car’s own speedometer. This will be important because you will want to learn about the weaknesses and faults in the method used to track your speed. In your conversation with the officer, it is best to be calm and polite and to say as little as possible.
The next step is to begin gathering information about your case, for example:
- Take pictures of the speed limit sign if it happens to have tree branches or other obstructions blocking it from your view.
- If you have a dashcam or GPS app on your phone, download the information related to the time the officer pulled you over.
- Find information, such as an instruction manual, about any device or method the officer used to track your speed.
- Contact anyone who may have witnessed the incident.
- Make a list of questions to ask the officer related to his or her training, memory of the incident and other details that may cast doubt on the charges.
If this is your first offense, your efforts may result in the court dropping the charges, reducing them, lowering your fine or offering a deal if you take a driving class. It is your option to seek legal advice about any aspect of your traffic ticket. The more at stake, the more you may benefit from obtaining the assistance of someone with experience in these matters.