Over Two Decades of Legal Excellence Fighting for Justice for Every Client CONTACT ME TODAY

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in New York 

Michael Kuzma Attorney at Law June 13, 2024

Man frustrated after getting a speeding ticketAs someone who has spent over two decades practicing traffic law, I understand the frustration that comes with receiving a speeding ticket. Whether you're driving through Buffalo, Tonawanda, or any other part of New York State, a speeding ticket can feel like an unexpected hurdle.  

However, it's important to remember that you have options. I'm here to walk you through the steps to effectively fight a speeding ticket in New York, providing you with practical advice and insights based on my extensive legal experience. 

Understanding Speeding Tickets in New York

Before diving into how to contest a traffic ticket, it's crucial to understand the laws and penalties associated with speeding in New York. 

New York Speeding Laws

New York state enforces strict speed limits to ensure road safety. Exceeding these limits can result in hefty fines, points on your driving record, and even license suspension. Here's a breakdown of how speeding violations are categorized: 

  • Up to 10 mph over the speed limit: fines between $45-$150 and not more than 15 days in jail.  

  • More than 10 mph over but less than 30 mph over: fines between $90-$300 and not more than 30 days in jail. 

  • More than 30 mph over the speed limit: fines between $180-$600 and not more than 30 days in jail. 

Understanding these penalties speaks to the importance of adhering to speed limits and being well-informed about the potential consequences of speeding violations

Initial Steps After Receiving a Speeding Ticket

If you've been issued a speeding ticket, there are a few immediate steps you should take to set yourself up for success in contesting it. 

  1. Stay calm and respectful. When pulled over, always remain calm and respectful towards the officer. Anything you say can be used against you, so avoid admitting guilt. 

  1. Take notes. Write down everything you remember about the incident, including the location, weather conditions, traffic, and what the officer said. These details can be crucial later on. 

  1. Review the ticket. Carefully read the ticket to understand the specific charges against you and the court date. 

By following these steps, you lay a solid foundation for contesting your speeding ticket effectively and increasing your chances of a favorable outcome. 

Gathering Evidence

Gathering evidence is a critical step in building a strong case to contest your speeding ticket. Focus on getting important documentation. This can include:  

  • Photographs: Take pictures of the area where you were pulled over, including any relevant road signs, traffic signals, or visibility issues. 

  • Witness statements: If you had passengers in the car, their testimonies can support your account of the events. 

  • GPS data: If you use a GPS device, its data can sometimes provide valuable information about your speed and location. 

  • Radar/lidar device inspection: Request documentation regarding the calibration and maintenance records of the radar or lidar device used by the officer. This ensures the device was functioning correctly at the time of your alleged violation. 

By diligently gathering and organizing this evidence, you can significantly strengthen your case and improve your chances of successfully contesting the speeding ticket. 

The Court Process for Fighting a Speeding Ticket

Understanding the court process can help ease the anxiety of contesting a speeding ticket. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown: 

  1. Plead Not Guilty: Respond to the ticket by pleading not guilty. This will schedule a hearing where you can present your case. If you plead guilty, you will need to pay the fines and possibly face jail time. 

  1. Pre-Trial Conference: Some jurisdictions offer pre-trial conferences where you can discuss your case with a prosecutor. This might result in a reduced charge or even a dismissal. 

  1. Trial: If your case goes to trial, be prepared to present your evidence and question the officer. Keep your arguments clear and concise, focusing on the facts. 

Success in court hinges on your preparation and presentation, so approach the process with confidence and diligence to achieve the best possible outcome. 

Common Defenses to Fight a Speeding Ticket

There are various defenses you can use to fight a speeding ticket in New York. Here are a few examples: 

  1. Mistake of fact. Argue that the speeding was due to a genuine mistake of fact, such as unclear signage or a malfunctioning speedometer. 

  1. Necessity. Claim that you had to speed due to an emergency, such as avoiding a collision or transporting someone to the hospital. 

  1. Questioning the officer’s observations. Challenge the officer’s observations by presenting evidence that contradicts their account, such as witness testimonies or GPS data. 

  1. Calibration issues. Question the accuracy of the officer’s speed detection device by requesting its calibration and maintenance records. 

Make sure that you get legal support before creating a defense. Your attorney has the experience and knowledge necessary to support you effectively.  

The Importance of Legal Representation

While it's possible to represent yourself in traffic court, having an experienced attorney can significantly improve your chances of success. Here's why: 

  • Knowledge of the law: An attorney familiar with traffic laws can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and use legal precedents to your advantage. 

  • Negotiation skills: Lawyers often negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or secure dismissals. 

  • Courtroom experience: Knowing how to effectively present evidence and question witnesses can be the difference between a guilty verdict and a dismissal. 

Receiving a speeding ticket can be a daunting experience, but it's important to remember that you have the right to contest it. By understanding New York’s speeding laws, taking immediate action after receiving a ticket, gathering compelling evidence, and navigating the court process effectively, you can improve your chances of a favorable outcome. 

Get Professional Support Today

If you need professional assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to me. With over two decades of legal experience, I am dedicated to fighting for your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Contact Michael Kuzma Attorney at Law for a consultation, and let's take the first step together in contesting that speeding ticket.