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What happens if you fail to appear in traffic court?

Posted by Terri B. Kalker | Mar 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Considering skipping out on your traffic court hearing? Delve into the world of  consequenses you will be facing.
Consequences of Failure to Appear
When individuals fail to respond to a traffic summons or appear at a scheduled hearing, they may face several penalties:
License and Registration Suspension: Under Section 226 of New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law, failing to answer a traffic summons can result in the suspension of the individual's driver's license and vehicle registration.
Default Conviction: Failure to appear at a hearing can lead to a default conviction for the original traffic violation, along with associated fines, points, and surcharges.
Notification Process: Individuals are notified by mail about impending orders, fines, and the option to avoid penalties by entering a plea or attending a hearing within 30 days.
Penalties for Non-Appearance
The penalties for failing to appear in court can include:
Fines and Surcharges: Individuals may be required to pay fines and surcharges associated with the original traffic violation.
Driver Responsibility Assessment: Additional fees may apply, depending on the circumstances.
Bench Warrant: A warrant for arrest may be issued.
Violation Points: Points can be added to the individual's driving record.
License Suspension: The driver's license may be suspended, requiring a reinstatement fee to regain legal driving privileges.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO)
Driving with a suspended license can result in charges of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) under Section 511 of New York's Vehicle & Traffic Laws. Penalties for AUO vary based on the situation, potentially including fines, jail time, or both.
Postponing Court Appearance
Individuals can request to reschedule their hearing, with limitations on the number of reschedulings allowed. Requests must be made within specific timeframes via mail, online, or by phone.
Driver's License Suspension Process
If a driver's license is suspended due to failure to appear, individuals must take specific actions to resolve the suspension:
Enter a plea or pay the ticket online
Contact the local court or a traffic ticket attorney for assistance in requesting a new hearing.
Insurance and Consultation
A suspended license can lead to increased insurance rates for up to 36 months. Individuals facing suspension are encouraged to seek legal advice promptly to explore options for resolving the issue and potentially setting aside the suspension.

About the Author

Terri B. Kalker

I have been successfully defending motorists accused of all types of moving violations. Regardless of the charge, we realize it is important to you and we treat it so. My staff are all professional and at your service as soon as you call. We maintain extended business hours for your convenience. ...


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