Every day we consult drivers from across the United States and Canada that have received a traffic ticket in Western New York. In most cases, our advice is simple: DON’T PLEAD GUILTY. Pleading guilty to a moving violation will cost more than you think, and in most cases, we can actually save you money.
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In most cases, an attorney can resolve your case for less than the cost of pleading guilty. That’s because pleading guilty to a moving violation will cause points to be assessed to your license, which in turn can lead to additional surcharges and assessments. But the biggest cost comes when your insurance company learns of your conviction.
If you have the time to appear in Court in person once or twice, you may be able to obtain a comparable result, but retaining a lawyer will often save you time and money. In fact, if after we review your case, we don’t think we can save you money, we’ll tell you that.
If you think you might benefit from our services, please contact us. We’ll take a look at your case and tell you if we can help, for free. If you want to know more about what exactly we can do for you, please read on.
Here are some things to consider before you decide what to do:
1. If you plead guilty to a moving violation, such as speeding, you’ll wind up with points on your license.
New York State shares its records with 38 states and the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. That means that if you plead guilty to a moving violation in New York it is likely to result in points on your record, no matter where you are from. The number of points that result on your record may vary based upon the laws of the State that issued your license, but in general, New York will assess the following points.
- Speeding (1-10 MPH over posted limit): 3 points
- Speeding (11-20 MPH over posted limit): 4 points
- Speeding (21-30 MPH over posted limit): 6 points
- Speeding (31-40 MPH over posted limit): 8 points
- Speeding (more than 40 MPH over posted limit): 11 points
2. Points on your license can cause your Auto Insurance Premiums to go up by as much as 30%.
Insurance companies use your driving record as one of many factors to set your annual premiums. Industry experts differ on the impact points can have on your premiums, but most agree that points will cause your premiums to go up. One expert has said that your premiums can go up as much as 30% for a single traffic ticket.
3. Most Courts have prosecutors that will negotiate with you if you have a clean record.
In most cases, Town and Village Courts have a Prosecutor that is responsible for presenting the case against you if your case goes to trial. If you plead guilty, you lose the opportunity to negotiate any reduction. If you plead not guilty, you or an attorney can appear in Court to negotiate a reduction. We obtain a reduction of the charges against our clients in over 90% of the cases we handle. Most commonly, we are able to negotiate a plea bargain that results in no points.
Most Judges and Courts will accept a reduction of the charges to avoid the time and expense of a trial. And a loophole in the law allows Town and Villages to keep the majority of the revenue from fines imposed on non-moving violations, so they have an even better reason to accept a reduction.
4. Most Courts will not require you to appear in Court if you retain a lawyer.
If you retain a lawyer to appear on your behalf and negotiate a reduction of your charges, it’s likely the Court will not require you to appear. In fact, many Courts prefer it that way. An experienced attorney knows the law and procedures that apply to your case and will be able to handle the matter more efficiently.
5. A non-moving violation won’t result in points on your record.
While a Speeding ticket will cause you to be assessed points on your license, an experience attorney will be able to negotiate a reduction of your charge to a non-moving violation that will not appear on your record and will not result in any points on your license.
6. An attorney can usually obtain a lower fine for you.
An experienced attorney that handles traffic infractions frequently is likely to advocate effectively with the Court and Prosecutor for a significant reduction in the fines you face. Because the attorney deals regularly with the Court and knows what factors the Judge and Prosecutor are likely to consider when setting the fine it is more likely that attorney will present your case in a way that saves the Court time and energy, something everyone appreciates. If you retain an inexperienced lawyer that does not have much experience in handling matters in the Court your ticket was filed in, you may not be as likely to get the same treatment.
7. Results vary.It’s important to hire a lawyer that handles traffic tickets on a regular basis. The experience he (or she) has earned will allow him to highlight the relevant factors that a Judge and/or Prosecutor will consider when deciding whether to offer or accept a reduction of your ticket. A lot of law firms advertise their services for Courts across New York State, but rarely (if ever) handle cases in most of those Courts. We handle cases in Western New York State, and just Western New York State. We don’t farm your case out to another lawyer. When you hire James Quinn Auricchio, Esq., he will handle your case from beginning to end. Here is a list of the Courts we most commonly work with.
Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This is an Attorney Advertisement for James Quinn Auricchio, Esq., 3800 Seneca Street, West Seneca, New York 14224. (716)941-4336.