There are lots of reasons why you might not pay a traffic ticket. Maybe your life feels too crazy to remember all the things on your to-do list. Maybe you feel that the ticket was unfair and you shouldn’t have to pay? Did you lose your ticket? Do you not have the money to pay? Or maybe you think a ticket is no big deal so you just ignore it?
No matter what your excuse, you definitely shouldn’t neglect handling a traffic ticket. Ignoring the problem will just make your life more complicated down the road.
In this article, we’ll look at the penalties that an unpaid traffic ticket can bring as well as your options when you are unwilling or unable to pay a ticket.
Penalties for Unpaid Tickets
If you don’t pay a traffic ticket on time in the state of New York, you could face the following penalties:
- Suspension of your license – if you fail to answer your ticket, your license might be suspended as an indication that you failed to pay the ticket. However, if you continue to ignore the ticket after your license is suspended, you might be convicted of the charge you were ticketed for. This is called a “default conviction,” according to the New York DMV. If this happens, you’ll have to pay the ticket, the mandatory surcharge, and suspension termination fees.
- Higher insurance rates (if your license is suspended).
- You might receive traffic violation points that can stay on your record for up to 18 months.
- If you drive while your license is suspended, you could be subject to an Aggravated Unlicensed Operation misdemeanor which will take you to criminal court. Driving while suspended could result in jail time, thousands of dollars, and losing your driving privileges.
- The price of the ticket will increase:
- For Parking Tickets:
- After 30 days, your fine increases by $10.
- After 60 days, the fine increases by $20 in addition to the initial increase.
- After 90 days, your fine increases by $30 on top of both initial increases, equalling $60 in penalties.
- After around 100 days, the case will enter into judgment, and 9% interest per year is added to the total amount due until the debt is paid in full.
- For Parking Tickets:
- For Camera Tickets:
- After 30 days, your fine will increase by $10.
- After 60 days, your fine increases by $20 in addition to the initial increase.
- After 90 days, your fine increases by $30 on top of both initial increases, equalling $60 in penalty fines.
- After around 100 days, the case is entered into judgment. 9% interest per year will be added to the total amount due until the debt is paid.
- To make your debt worse, vehicles registered in your name may be subject to towing or booting once your total debt eclipses $350. You’ll have to pay additional fees for the tow or boot, plus any storage fees.
What To Do If You Didn’t Pay Your Ticket
You have until the ticket’s 15-day deadline to respond with either the payment or a request for a hearing. Whether you forgot to pay, are unable to pay, or you want to dispute your ticket – there are options available to you.
- Pay the ticket (including any additional fines). It may seem unfair and frustrating, but it could save you more headaches and more fines down the road.
- If you truly believe your ticket is unjust and if you have not yet had your license suspended, you can enter a plea. You can plead not guilty to a traffic ticket. You’ll be given a notice for a court hearing and you might need to pay a suspension fee. This can be a complicated process, so it’s best to work with a qualified attorney.
- If you have already had your license suspended you will want to work with an attorney. In this situation, you can’t just pay the fines and be done with it. A license suspension is serious and you will need legal assistance.
- Pleading guilty to a ticket could result in license revocation depending on if you have alcohol-related driving points on your driving record. Consult an attorney before pleading guilty to a violation that results in 5 or more points.
- If you truly don’t have money to pay a ticket, you can ask a judge about options such as a payment deadline extension, community service, or attending traffic school.
For your New York traffic violation problems, Darren DeUrso can help you find solutions! As a criminal defense attorney specializing in traffic law (including DWI/DUI law), Darren DeUrso is here to help you get back on the road with a clear conscience and hassle-free future! Contact our White Plains office at 914.772.8614 or online.
188 East Post Road, Suite 300
White Plains, NY 10601