Traffic Ticket Lawyer Saratoga County
Getting a ticket for a traffic violation can be a very frustrating situation. Even if you were going ten miles per hour over the speed limit, New York will want you to face stiff consequences and expensive fines for the violation. You will also receive points on your license. Additionally, if you have a driver’s license issued by another state but were pulled over in New York, then you will want to speak to an attorney about your ticket.
At the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo, we are committed to helping our clients by providing them facts and information so they can make informed choices. We also clearly explain the legal process to you. We fight aggressively in court so you can get your driving privileges reinstated. If you need a traffic ticket lawyer in the Capital District then give us a call at 518-584-1557 so we can listen to your situation and the circumstances around your traffic stop.
The Consequences of Speeding in New York
There are a number of consequences to expect if you have been pulled over for speeding in the state of New York. They include:
- Points added to your driver’s license
- A Driver Responsibility Assessment fee
- An increase in your auto insurance premiums
There are many reasons why you want to hire an attorney to represent you in court. First, accruing points can lead to a suspended license, so you will want to hire an attorney who can keep you behind the wheel. If you appear in front of the Judge and plead guilty, then your auto insurance premiums are going to increase drastically. Sometimes it can be a 5%, 10% or even a 20% hike. You don’t have to go in front of a Judge and plead guilty. In fact, you should really speak to an attorney before doing that. Some people think that it’s okay to represent themselves or that their case is very clear-cut, but it’s prudent to hire a legal professional who has decades of experience. You may be required to show up for multiple court dates as well as for a hearing at the DMV. Instead of facing all of these potential hardships, let the traffic attorneys at the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo represent you in court. In most situations, your case can be handled without you having to make an appearance.
It is crucial that you do not say too much on the side of the road. Saying something incriminating to the police officers may be used against you at a later time. In fact, don’t say anything about the circumstances surrounding your ticket at all, even if it resulted from an accident. Your lawyer will do the talking for you in front of the Judge.
Our office can also help clients in surrounding states who have received speeding tickets while in the Empire State. New York has a point system that determines who is legally able to drive in the state. If you have 11 or more points and are an out-of-state driver, then you do not have the privilege of driving in New York. It doesn’t matter if your licensing home state’s point system is different. As long as you have 11 or more points, you cannot drive in the State of New York for a mandated period of time and will face serious consequences if you’re caught violating traffic laws.
Most states share driver information with each other about prior offenses, such as DWIs, or whether or not your out-of-state license is valid. Many states also have their own laws with regard to the consequences you will face for speeding in another state. So, even if the state of New York cannot suspend your driver’s license, your home state can with the information it has received from New York traffic violations committed in the Capital District, for example. Let’s look more closely at some of the closest states to New York.
New Jersey Drivers Ticketed in New York
New Jersey, for example, adds two points to your license, according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and New Jersey Statutes Title 39. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation 39 § 5D-4 Moving Violation Committed Out-Of-State. The states of New Jersey and New York have a Driver’s License Compact, which means that they share information with each other about drivers. So, if you are convicted of a traffic ticket in one of these states, then the other state will be notified of this ticket.
Connecticut Drivers Ticketed in New York
Connecticut also has a traffic interstate compact with the state of New York, but most of the time they assess points against licenses for drivers who received a ticket in NY. But that doesn’t mean that the offenses will not show up on your record. And if you do not take care of the ticket then the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your driver’s license.
Connecticut defendants have the option of pleading no contest or nolo contendere. This essentially means that you aren’t admitting guilt but are not going to fight the charges. In Connecticut, pleading no contest cannot be used against you in a civil suit, because you weren’t actually found guilty of a crime nor did you admit to it. However, New York does not allow drivers to plead nolo contendere. You should call an attorney and have them fight for your ticket for you.
Generally, if you have been fined by New York, then your home state will not also file charges against you.
What To Do When Pulled Over
It’s important that you conduct yourself properly during the interaction with the police officer at the stop. You want this to be the shortest interaction possible. At the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo, rather than argue with the police officer on the side of the road, we advise all of our clients to leave it up to the judge to make a decision about your ticket. Talking back or disagreeing with the officer is a bad idea for several reasons. First of all, everything that you say and do can and will be used against you in court and you may inadvertently admit guilt. A better choice is to be polite and straightforward when the officer asks you questions without acknowledging that you committed a violation.
When You See Flashing Lights, Think Safety
A lot of things are going through an officer’s mind as they approach your car. They don’t know if you pose a threat to them, whether or not you’re under the influence of drugs, or whether you’re maybe just a very scared and individual. To help make this interaction go more smoothly, it’s important to put your car in park, turn it off, roll down your window and then either place your hands outside of the window or on top of the steering wheel where they can be seen. If you have been pulled over at night, then you want to turn on an interior light. These steps are designed to make the interaction safer and possibly to put the officer in a better frame of mind.
On the contrary, moving around inside of your car is liable to raise the officer’s suspicions that you are either trying to conceal evidence or intend them harm. This could extend the time of your stop or cause the officer to try to develop probable cause for a search. It’s better to keep your hands visible. If you haven’t already gotten your driver’s license and registration ready, wait until the officer instructs you to do so. This will prevent the officer from incorrectly assuming that you are pulling out a weapon.
“Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?”
This is a very popular question among police officers and a lot of people don’t know the answer. When a police officer asks you if you know how fast you were going, it’s never a good idea to give them speed. Chances are excellent that the officer knows what your speed was, but is attempting you to establish that you knew you were speeding. Knowledge of your speed is not an element of the offense, but it adds weight during courtroom presentations. So, if they ask you if you know why they stopped you, your best answer is “no.” When speaking with the officer, you want to give only your basic contact information such as your name, DOB, address, et cetera. You do not have to discuss your job, where you’re coming from, where you’re going, etc.
Do not become antagonistic. Remember that you have the right to remain silent. If the police provoke you, then be sure to remember everything they said. You have rights.
Remember that the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo is here to help you. You stand a far better chance of having your charges reduced or dismissed if you keep what you say to a minimum on the side of the road. In fact, if you have nothing on your driving record and if you have no prior criminal record, you might find yourself getting off with a warning instead of a ticket. This is a much more favorable outcome, so stay calm and be polite during the entire encounter.
New York Statistics and Data
The New York State DMV manages the public, internet-based Traffic Safety Statistical Repository. In the year 2018, there were 169,240 people who were involved in fatal or serious accidents. These accidents included passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other victims. While 133,802 were considered minor accidents, 936 people were killed, 512 of them being drivers, and the next largest group affected, with 272 deaths, were pedestrians. Over 10,000 individuals were involved in serious accidents.
How a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help You
A great attorney, such as the ones you will work with at the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo, can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on fines and fees. In fact, your attorney may be able to get your ticket charge reduced or dismissed completely. Your attorney can also discuss with you the various pleas that you can consider and recommend the best for your situation.
Hiring an attorney also can mean that you avoid having points assessed to your license. If you still want the freedom to drive to school, work, essential businesses, or for any other reason, you need a valid license. An attorney can also argue in court for you, and in many cases, you do not need to appear if you have hired an attorney to represent you. Lastly, when your charges are reduced, you have a greater likelihood of avoiding auto insurance premium increases.
The traffic ticket attorneys at the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo are also members of the NY Bar Association, the NY Trial Lawyers Institute, the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the Saratoga County Bar Association. Give us a call and let us know more about your specific situation.