Traffic Ticket Scofflaws

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.

For many New Yorkers, traffic tickets are a relatively low priority. It is not uncommon for drivers to miss their appearance date or forget about the ticket altogether. Unfortunately, forgetting about a minor traffic ticket may have drastic consequences.

Every traffic ticket will have an “appearance date“. Usually this date does not actually require you to show up. It is just a deadline that the ticket has to be answered by. A ticket can be answered by mailing it in with a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty”. This answer has to be submitted by the date provided on the ticket.

If you fail to answer a traffic ticket you will be deemed to be a “scofflaw”. As humorous as the term is, it is no laughing matter. This means the motorists will get their license suspended and will have to pay a subsequent suspension termination fee for not answering their tickets. Thankfully, a 2021 law eased the financial penalties for scofflaws. In addition, this law also prevents suspension of licenses stemming from failure to pay fines.

Even with the new found leniency, drivers will still have to address their scofflaw status before their case can be resolved. Unaddressed traffic tickets will lead to serious consequences that will affect your finances and driving history. License suspension almost always affect insurance rates.

For all driving related concerns, it is critical that a driver do their research. In many cases, such as scofflaws, a seemingly minor occurrence can develop into yearlong headaches. Driving history and insurance rates build on each other, usually to the detriment of the driver. It would be prudent to contact an experienced attorney in any traffic related situation to mitigate the harm experienced and money spent.