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The Chatham, New York, Area

What if I do not pay my traffic ticket?

Failure to pay or respond to a traffic ticket in New York leads to harsher penalties. If you received a ticket recently, read the information carefully. However, this does not mean you should automatically plead guilty.

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, New York State issued 2,274,612 traffic tickets in 2020. The responsibility for handling your ticket rests with you. New York does not have a legal obligation to keep you updated about your ticket.

Do not miss your deadline

Depending on the jurisdiction where you received the ticket, you have a certain amount of time to respond. If you do not reply in time, your license immediately gets suspended. Not only do you have to pay the penalty, but multiple hurdles will be in your way to reinstating your right to drive.

Pause before accepting a guilty charge

The fee you typically pay to reinstate your license is a $70 suspension termination fee. However, if you get a notice informing you about your suspended license, do not plead guilty and pay the fine right away. Guilty pleas may entail increases in insurance premiums, points on your license or further fines. Before you accept a guilty charge, contact an attorney about your options for fighting a traffic ticket.

Traffic tickets on their own do not pose a massive problem for many New York residents. If you let them accumulate and avoid paying them, though, you will find yourself unable to pay or with a suspended license. Even if you miss a court date, you still have recourse to fight the guilty charges. Do not accept the loss of your right to drive due to a traffic ticket.