NY Speeding Ticket
Speeding tickets can be confusing. There are a lot of boxes and other bits of information.
If you want to know more about fines, see our New York Speeding Fines page.
Warren no longer handles NY speeding tickets, but he can help you find a lawyer who does. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The upper left corner of a NY speeding ticket shows the ticket number. To the right it shows the police agency.
The boxes show various identifying information about the defendant – the person who is accused of speeding. In most cases there’s nothing significant here. We get asked questions from time to time whether a minor mistake means the case would get dismissed. Examples are having your name misspelled or the color of your car wrong. I doubt that will help.
However, we have had cases where mistakes here did matter. The most common one is where the officer mistakenly writes the ticket for the wrong person. We had one case where the name was the driver’s father, who was working at the time hundreds of miles and punched a clock on his job. That was dismissed.
Continuing down the left side, next is the “charge” portion of the ticket
The time and date can be important. If they’re wrong, and you can prove you were somewhere else, that may help get a dismissal or get you a better deal. This problem is most likely to happen near midnight, because the officer may get the date wrong. Also, in rare cases they’ll get confused about AM vs. PM.
An important part for understanding your ticket is the section, type, description, and the speed. This ticket is for 1180(b), a traffic infraction, at 72 mph in a 55 zone. The 1180(b) is specifically for where the zone is 55, so the violation reads “Speed over 55 zone”. In other zones it will usually read “Speed in zone”, which is 1180(d). If it’s a work zone it will be 1180(f). For 1180(a), the speed may not be specified – that’s where the officer claims your speed was unsafe for some reason.
To the right there’s a box with two circles. One circle is labeled “Tr Inf”, which stands for traffic infraction – a violation. The second is labeled “Misd” for misdemeanor – a crime. In New York, speeding is always a violation. Some other traffic violations are misdemeanors, such as reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation.
In the middle of that part you see the place where it happened. This can be important. Occasionally an officer will write the ticket for the wrong town. In this case the ticket indicates that it happened on the Taconic State Parkway, southbound (s/b) in the Town of Chatham, Columbia County. In this particular incident that’s not a problem. But what if the highway listed is not in that town? The case should be dismissed for lack of “geographic jurisdiction.” We have won a few cases on that issue. There are other places on the ticket and supporting deposition that indicate locations. Make sure they match up.
The last point of interest here is the “Arrest Type” box. This one is listed as “1 – Patrol”. Generally this means the officer is basing the arrest on visual estimation of your speed. Type 2 is radar. L is for laser. Types 5 and 6 involve accidents, either with personal injury or property damage.
The last part of the left side is the court information.
This indicates the name of the court and its address, along with a date and time for a response, either by mail or in person.
For this reason, we created a directory of New York traffic courts. The directory includes street addresses, phone numbers, maps covering every traffic court in the state.
Another critical detail is the date. Once in a while we’ll see a ticket where the date is set for a holiday. Some attorneys feel that this is a fatal defect in the ticket, though you have to do certain things to follow that approach and it can be tricky.
Last and pretty much least, below is the right side of the ticket, where you choose your plea:
If you’re pleading guilty, fill out Section A. If not guilty, fill out Section B. Don’t panic about the “48 hours” thing at the bottom. This rarely matters.
The Not Guilty section includes a spot for you to request a supporting deposition. For most speeding tickets in NY now, the supporting deposition is handed to you with the ticket. If none was issued to you, you can request one. If you request it properly and the officer does not provide it, you may be able to get the ticket dismissed (CPL § 100.40). Some lawyers advocate this as a strategy. Another view is that requesting the supporting deposition might make plea bargaining more difficult. We have seen cases where the client had requested one and the prosecutor refused to give as good of a deal because of this. It may not be right, but it is a risk.
NY Speeding Ticket