A surprise NY traffic ticket doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to jail, stuck with a whopping fine, or you're going to lose your car. In fact, the citation is only the very beginning of the ticket process.

 Fighting a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court

In New York, you have the option to dispute your traffic ticket in a hearing online, through the mail, or even in person. Keep in mind that by simply paying off your ticket you are accepting guilt which can cause your car insurance to rise.

In Person

You have the option of a walk-in hearing at a DOF Business Center. Note that hearings are unreserved Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. If you choose to have an in-person hearing the judge's decision will promptly follow the end of the hearing.


What's better than the convenience of the internet? It is possible to dispute a ticket when you content for a hearing online. You will not be charged additional penalties or interest after DOF receives your hearing request. Your ticket is placed on hold. The decision is then sent out in approximately 10 days by email. Mobile App Ok, this might be a little more convenient than online, but hopefully, you are not receiving so many tickets it warrants you having the app on hand. Whether you are on iOS or Android operating systems, the app is available for your device. You will receive an email confirmation after your request is submitted. It is suggested that you keep this confirmation for your records.  You should also be sent an email from the Administrative Law Judge informing you if a hearing can be held based on your testimony, the ticket, as well as any evidence you have submitted. Mail Yes, snail mail is still an option if you are patient. You can request a hearing by mail to fight your ticket. Be sure that you mail your request early enough for the DOF  to receive it within 30 days. You otherwise risk having to pay late penalties if your dispute is not successful.

Alternative Options to Dismiss a Traffic Ticket

Yes, there are options other than trying to dismiss a ticket. As mentioned earlier you can pay the ticket immediately, however that is an admission of guilt with the risk of increasing your car insurance. You can enroll in a defensive driving course. Completing a course online provides a cost-effective and convenient way proven to be effective in reducing future tickets and accidents. It is also a great way to lower your insurance rates.

Dismissing Your NY Ticket in Court

In most states trying to dismiss your traffic ticket in court poses a risk. While you have the opportunity to resolve your ticket without garnering points on your driver’s license or paying any fines, losing would result in more money. This includes court fees, possibly attorney fees and any other fines associated with the violation. If the officer who issued the traffic ticket does not show there is a higher chance the ticket might be dismissed as the judge only has your accounts to go by.

 Preparing for Court

Come appropriately dressed to court, think business casual. Remember the officer who issued the ticket might not show up. Should this happen the court grants the state an adjournment if the officer misses twice. If the ticket is not for a major violation the court might actually dismiss. Have all of your witnesses as well as any other evidence such as video or photographic proof ready. Be ready to examine the officer with relevant questions of your own. Working with an attorney does increase your chances of having the ticket dismissed.

NY Traffic Ticket Penalties

The fines and penalties that are associated with traffic tickets vary. factors include county, court, number of points currently on your driving record and type of violation. Generally, your fine is listed on your traffic ticket. If an NY State Police officer issued your ticket you will need to contact the court handling your case or the Traffic Violations Bureau for the complete amount.

 Types of Violations That Apply

Traffic violations fall into different categories. Along with each are different penalties. Some are more stringent than others; some give officials more latitude than others. A lot depends on which violation is in the target scope of local and regional and even statewide politics.

The most common categories for New York include

  • Parking in the wrong place or failure pay (minor)
  • Not giving way for a school bus (serious)
  • Reckless driving (serious)
  • Driving while holding/operating a phone (serious)
  • Poorly maintained vehicle mechanics (i.e. lights out, bad brakes) (minor)
  • Not yielding the right of way (serious)
  • Speeding (minor/serious)
  • Violations at railroad crossings (depends)
Now that you understand your options you are better prepared to have your traffic ticket dismissed. Are you ready to show the court your insight? Or enroll in a defensive driving? Take a look at more of our NY driving resources to get even further insight.