nyc speeding ticket - should I fight it?
April 1, 2014 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Hello - just got a speeding ticket in manhattan (44 in a 30 zone). *I haven't had a ticket or violation of any kind in over 5 years (actually over 10 years). *honestly I was just passing an erratically driving bozo in front of me *it came out to $200, ouch. (plus probably 12% increase in insurance, which would come out to $80 to $100 per year). Ouch. Is this worth fighting? I'd wind up in tvb-land (harlem dmv office on 125th, i'm pretty sure). The cop got me on radar. I know it sounds like a lost cause - but would my spectacularly safe previous driving record, and that I was just passing a guy, help me at all? Is it worth trying? Whats your experience? Could I negotiate down to a non-moving violation based on the above? I've read elsewhere that having a clean previous record as I do can help? thanks for any advice.
posted by jak68 to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (6 answers total)
You'll probably get an offer of a lesser charge. The cost will end up being the same but the points and the insurance impact will be less.

You won't get found innocent.
posted by JPD at 7:02 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can't really negotiate in tvb hearings. (they don't have plea bargains.) Unofficially they can sometimes knock the speed down a couple of mph if you are within 1 or 2 mph of a lesser offense.
posted by dcjd at 7:11 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

dcjd - yea i just read about that. Unfortunately 1 to 3 points wont put me in the lower bracket. I'm thinking pay it and move on with my life.
posted by jak68 at 7:59 AM on April 1, 2014

I've never been to traffic court in NYC, but I have been in other places. I've always found that it's worth my while to go and discuss it with the judge/magistrate.

You may have the option to do a "Drivers Safety" course, which will be less expensive AND should result in no-points on your license, and no increase in your insurance.

I'll plead Nolo-Contendre, and I'll ask for a reduction in fine, or charges or whatever. It works REALLY well in Florida, decently well in California and not at all in Pennsylvania!

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:07 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

As someone who has tried to argue their own case in NYC traffic court based upon extenuating circumstances, it was made very clear to me that having a "valid" reason for breaking the law isn't considered not breaking the law.

Pretty much, regardless of the reason you were speeding, you still admit you were speeding, which will be all the evidence needed of your guilt and obligation to pay the fine.

Still, it may be worth going before a pre-trial hearing if you want to deal with the madness at the court. With a perfectly clear record, and a passable justification, the administrator may elect to assign a dollar penalty (which is what the state wants anyway) and withhold adjudication, thereby saving you points on the license.

It really depends on how lucky you feel, just don't expect that your argument about the jerkwad erratic driver is going to hold any water. Any points/fine reduction will more likely come from your clean history than anything else. If I were you, and elected to go before someone (pre-trial or trial), I'd probably mention the other driver as a reason I was speeding, but not an excuse, and plead for leniency from the court.
posted by Debaser626 at 11:06 AM on April 1, 2014

In NY outside of the TVB system, you've got a bunch of options. Speeding tickets in Nassau, just outside of Queens, always get knocked down, often as much as 10 mph (with anything under 10 mph over moved down to a nonmoving violation), which helps with insurance a bunch.

In the city with TVB? I don't even think it is worth taking the day off from work.

Take defensive driving after the points go on to get them back off. The insurance will go up anyhow, but at least you'll be able to cancel out the points in the event something else happens.
posted by Brian Puccio at 8:53 PM on April 1, 2014

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