How To Fight A Speeding Ticket At The NY Traffic Violations Bureau

This article will assist you in fighting a New York speeding ticket at the Traffic Violations Bureau which covers traffic tickets issued in New York City, western Rochester and Buffalo.

The most common type of traffic ticket is speeding. Because a New York driver can get 3 to 11 points for committing such an offense, it is important to know how to fight a speeding ticket. This information is particularly useful at the Traffic Violations Bureau because this court does not allow for any type of deal-making or plea bargaining. This article will provide information to help you fight any New York speeding ticket answerable at the Traffic Violations Bureau.

The first step is to compute how many points are involved with the New York speeding ticket you have been issued.

The following list will help you calculate how many points you are facing:

  • 1 - 10 mph over speed limit - 3 points
  • 11 - 20 mph over speed limit - 4 points
  • 21 - 30 mph over speed limit - 6 points
  • 31 - 40 mph over speed limit (possible suspension) - 8 points
  • Greater than 40 mph over speed limit (possible suspension) - 11 points

Points count on your license from the date of offense even if you are convicted much later.   That is, once you are convicted, DMV will go back to 18 months before   (and 18 moths after) the date of offense to determine how many points you had during the 18-month period.   If you get three speeding convictions within 18 months , then you will be automatically revoked for a 6-month period.

After you calculate the points, you then must determine whether your case is answerable at the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) which is an arm of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The TVB courts encompass any New York traffic ticket issued in a New York City borough Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, western Suffolk, Buffalo and Rochester. A New York speeding ticket issued in any other place within New York State will be heard in a non-TVB court.

There are two, very different traffic court systems in New York State and, therefore, this inquiry is important for you to understand what you can and cannot do. If you are not within the TVB, then usually you can resolve the case by a plea deal.   You simply ask for a conference and discuss what type of more favorable disposition is available.

In contrast, TVB courts generally do not permit any type of deal-making or plea bargaining. Rather, you must either plead guilty or not guilty and, if you plead not guilty, you are given a hearing where you will either win or lose. In this "all or nothing" venue, it is helpful to retain an experienced New York traffic lawyer to fight your case. That is, a New York traffic court attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in fighting speeding tickets at the TVB. Putting aside the emotions involved with fighting your own case, most motorists do not know how to listen carefully or cross examine. Rather, they basically ignore the officer's testimony, fail to ask any questions and, instead, just tell the judge their story. This incomplete approach is not recommended and is clearly not effective.

If you do fight your own TVB speeding ticket, listen carefully to the officer's testimony and even take notes. If the officer leaves out important testimony (such as, the date, time, location, direction, your ID information), then let the judge know what was omitted after the officer rests. Likewise, if the officer gives testimony which is not consistent with his other testimony or the information on the ticket, then point this out to the judge.

For instance, once I was fighting a New York speeding ticket when the policeman said that the motorist was proceeding north bound on the Clearview Expressway. The ticket, however, indicated S/B (i.e., south bound). After the officer rested, I showed the summons to the hearing officer who proceeded to dismiss the case.

Even without an omission or inconsistency, you should still ask thoughtful questions of the officer. For example, if your defense is that the officer pulled over the wrong car, then ask him where was he when he first saw your car, did he have to pass any other cars to apprehend your car, and how long did it take him or apprehend you. These types of questions build on your defense.

Additionally, request to the see the officer's memo book or other records. Review them and ascertain whether his documentation is consistent with his testimony. Any discrepancy should be pointed out to the judge. Also, ask the police officer to decipher any illegible portions of his notes.

After your cross examination of the officer, it is now your opportunity to present your defense.   Talk clearly and slowly. Hand up any evidence supporting your defense such as photographs, witness statements or diagrams. Keep in mind that the judge listens to many, many such cases every day and, therefore, you should not be repetitive or rambling.   Also, avoid discussing irrelevant information such as the officer being rude.

One last tip. Before your trial, watch the judge and how he handles other cases. Does he listen and take notes? Does he seem impatient or distracted? If you are concerned about whether you will get a fair hearing, ask for a new date. It is unlikely that you will get the same TVB judge on the next scheduled traffic court date.

I hope this article has been helpful in getting you prepared to fight your own New York speeding ticket when answerable at the Traffic Violations Bureau. More helpful information can be found at

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