Some states have better reputations for being kind to drivers than others. New York is not one of those states.
In a recent study on states and their approach to motorists, New York ranked as the fifth worst in all of the U.S. in terms of the exploitation of the driving public. The rankings in the study were based on traffic laws, enforcement practices and the treatment of defendants in traffic ticket cases, among other factors.
Only New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland and Louisiana ranked as worse than New York. The other commonalities between the states ranked as least-motorist-friendly included the widespread usage of red light cameras (which have drawn renewed scrutiny in New York) and speed traps per capita. All of this means that you need to be very careful when driving in The Empire State.
Traffic violations in New York State can really put a crimp in your wallet. Fines for speeding (first offense) range from $100 to $610. Running a red light can cost you between $85 and $235. Excessive speeders (31+ mph over limit) can expect to pay up to $1060.
When you are handed a ticket from a police officer or state trooper, you can be tempted to accept his/her speed reading as legitimate and just pay your fine by mail or online. Likewise, when you receive a ticket in the mail with your car’s photo on it indicating that you ran a red light, you can think that the easy way out is simply to pay and admit your guilt.
Perhaps you want to avoid what you think will be a major hassle—lots of time and money expended in the appeals process. However, if you find a solid New York traffic ticket attorney, you might be surprised by how easy it can be to appeal your alleged violation and how much money it can save you when all is said and done.
A qualified New York traffic ticket lawyer can guide you in the many ways that a case can be built in your favor. That will be helpful if you are facing the addition of several points to your driving record. Those additions could have multiple effects. They will probably lead to a hefty increase in your insurance premiums and they could result in the loss of your license if you have previous points on your record.
Now, that’s a hassle! No license could also mean no job if your employer has a stipulation in your contract that you need to maintain a New York driver’s license at all times; many contracts do.
Allow a New York speeding ticket lawyer to look into several possible errors that the law enforcement officer or red light camera could have made. Here are a few possible avenues for investigation and argument:
- The officer that used the LIDAR gun did not have sufficient training or skill. This highly sensitive gun shoots a laser beam at a vehicle. It must hit in one precise spot to obtain an accurate reading. If a larger vehicle passes in front of you, the beam will record that vehicle’s speed, not yours. Also, if the gun dips while the trigger is pulled, the beam will hit too low. There are many possible problems with LIDAR technology, all of which can lead to skewed readings.
- The officer that used VASCAR technology did not have the right technique when using the stopwatch-computer, or the zone through which you passed was not well marked or easily visible to the officer. VASCAR also has many possible problem areas that will yield incorrect speed readings.
- The radar gun used to clock your speed was not recently calibrated and/or its tuning fork was not well maintained. Radar guns are very accurate when in tip-top condition. When not consistently maintained, they are not very accurate.
- The camera that was activated when the light turned red was in an intersection where fewer than three seconds were allowed for vehicles to pass through during a yellow light. There are court cases pending over the accuracy of these red light cameras in New York.
A New York speeding ticket lawyer can get a good look at speeding detection equipment maintenance records by using the process of Discovery. Problems that are discovered can lead to a quick dismissal of your case.
Don’t let the ever-more-expensive ripple effect of a traffic violation overcome you and your finances. Get a consultation with a New York traffic ticket attorney and see if you have any grounds for a credible case in appeal of your violation.