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Old 12-21-2011, 05:38 PM
18 posts, read 40,128 times
Reputation: 21


About 5 years ago, I received a moving violation on an interstate highway in Upstate NY. I decided to fight the charge, so I mailed in my ticket with a "Not Guilty" plea to the town's court in the hopes of getting a plea bargain that would allow me to avoid DMV and insurance points.

But I never heard back from the Upstate NY town court about the moving violation. Admittedly, I never bothered following up with them, either. Eventually, I totally forgot about these charges.

Then a week ago, I received a notice in the mail informing me that I have not answered this ticket (from 5 years ago!). It's really bizarre how an old ticket can get dredged up out of the blue like that, but I guess that's how it goes.

So what are my options at this point?
According to the written notice, I have the option of pleading "Not Guilty" and then going to trial. But if I do that, do I stand a fair chance of getting the moving violation plea bargained down to a non-moving violation that carries no points? Or are NY State town judges extremely unwilling to give out plea bargains? Am I going to get screwed just because the town's court thinks I never responded to the original violation from 5 years ago? Even if I tell them what happened, they're probably not going to believe me.

I'm really nervous about this because I don't know what to expect. Can they pile on extra fees and charges just because the ticket is 5 years old AND reject a plea bargain on top of that? There's no mention of any surcharges on the written violation, so for now, I'm assuming that the fine is still the same amount as 5 years ago.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:40 PM
18 posts, read 40,128 times
Reputation: 21
A few more questions:
Is there any benefit to simply paying the ticket up front rather than trying for a plea bargain? My thinking is that I ought to fight it so that I can hopefully avoid DMV and insurance points. Even though I have an out-of-state driver's license, I assume that points would still be assessed, correct?

Is it possible for an out-of-state driver to simply ignore NY state moving violations?
Not that I'm actually considering that option; just wondering.

Another factor is that the town court is located 2+ hours away from where I live. Even with that kind of distance, I'm assuming that it's still worth driving up there to fight the ticket.

I'm not worried about the amount of the fine as I am the DMV and insurance points, because those would cost me a lot more money long-term.

BTW, I'm not sure if this matters, but the moving violation from 5 years ago is my only driving transgression in any state from then until now.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Location: Somewhere in America
14,114 posts, read 13,506,642 times
Reputation: 24977
Depends on the town and what the violation is. You want to move on with your life? Pay it and be done with it.

Oh and states now talk to each other and report violations. Some states will suspend your license/registration if you don't pay your fines in another state.
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