Syracuse New York Speeding Ticket Attorneys

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How 1 Guilty Plea and 2 Stops Results in Criminal Charges and Fines for Years

by Seth Azria on 3/07/2010
You Get Your First Speeding Ticket Ever

You are late for an important meeting and decide that getting there faster is worth the risk of getting your first ticket. You hit the gas and the speedometer soon reads "78 mph." You are driving in a 55 mph zone, and flashing lights have just appeared behind you.

The officer writes you a speeding ticket for 78 mph in a 55 mph zone. At this point, you can plead guilty by mail, try to represent yourself, or hire a lawyer to represent you. The process of representing yourself seems confusing and complicated and you think hiring a lawyer would be too expensive. Because it is your first ticket ever, you decide to just plead guilty and send in the ticket. After all, you figure that it's just a speeding ticket.

 
The Immediate Consequences

A few weeks later, the court sends you a letter stating that it has accepted your guilty plea and includes instructions for paying the fine and surcharge. The speeding ticket you were just convicted of - pleading guilty is the same as a conviction after a trial - was a 6 point infraction with a court fine between $90-$300 and state surcharge of $55.

You pay the fine to the court and think you're done but then you get a letter from the DMV. This letter states that that you owe $100, that it is due in 30 days, and failure to pay will result in suspension of your driving privilege. You also discover that you have to pay that $100 fine for two more years. With that letter, you have just been introduced to the New York Driver Responsibility Program that became effective in 2004.

What is a driver responsibility assessment?

In addition to any fines, fees, penalties, or surcharges that you pay for a traffic conviction, you must pay the driver responsibility assessment. The assessment is an amount that you must pay each year for three years. You pay the assessment to the DMV. (As posted March 14, 2010 on NYS DMV site)

After this notice, the consequences of that one speeding ticket seem to be getting rather severe. You begin to wonder if your insurance company will raise your premiums.

 
A Year Passes and Consequences Increase Dramatically

You have another important meeting and again you reach 78 mph in a 55 mph zone, and again the sirens come. But this time is different, this time you get two tickets, one for speeding and one for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). Speeding is an infraction and not criminal. An AUO on the other hand, is a misdemeanor and therefore a crime.  A misdemeanor is far more serious than a traffic infraction and requires an appearance in court for an arraignment.  A conviction for AUO in the Third Degree carries a fine of $200-$500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both.

 
How did this happen?

When you moved into your new house, you forget to tell the post office to forward your mail. You missed the fine notice from the DMV for year 2 of your Driver Responsibility Assessment.  You also missed the letter informing you that your license had been suspended.

Now you have to think carefully about your next move. A  conviction for speeding 23 mph over the speed limit will be another 6 points on your license for a total of 12 points in 18 months. And more than 11 points in 18 months means that the DMV will suspend your driving license.  With these new points, you will also incur additional fines from the DMV under the Driver Responsibility Program. Each point over the original 6 points cost $75 over the three year period. So your DMV bill will go up by $450 for a total of $750. Then there is the AUO and your appearance at an arraignment.

What started as mailing in your first ticket now has you facing a criminal charge and the loss of your driving privilege which would jeopardize your career.

This post is based on a true story and we see variations of it happen all the time. But,  like most everything, handling things properly and promptly prevents the snowball effect.

 
Take Control of Your License and Defend Yourself

The best way to defend yourself from traffic tickets is to hire a professional to represent you. Depending on when you decided to hire an attorney, this story would have proceeded very differently.

 





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Ralph and his very capable staff brought would could have been a disastrous speeding ticket-and-point incident down to a parking violation with no points. From start to finish, his office handled everything and came through for me. I hope I don't need him again -- but if I do, I will hire him without hesitation!

Professional, Knowledgeable, Dependable, Honest, and Hard-Working...

...These are the words I use to describe Mr. Ralph Habib. If you are ever charged with a DWI, or any other criminal charge for that matter, Ralph is lawyer you NEED to have representing you!

I was charged with a serious DWI offense, at a very bad time in Central New York considering other high profile DWI cases being publicly followed/broadcast. A friend of mine recommended Ralph, and I knew from the first time we spoke that Ralph was the lawyer I wanted fighting for me and representing me in Court. Even though the cards were stacked against us, Ralph listened to my side of the story and understood that I am not a criminal, but that I had made a poor decision. He assured me from the very beginning that he would work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome, and he answered all of my questions along the way. Due to his past work as an Assistant DA in Onondaga County, Ralph has the knowledge and connections needed in this type of case. This charge could have easily ruined me as a person, as well as the career I have worked so hard towards, but because Ralph believed in me and fought for me (at all hours of the day/night I might add), he was able to get my charges greatly reduced. I was able to keep my driver's license, which essentially saved my career and my future.

I am forever grateful to Ralph for all he has done for me! I will never be able to fully repay him for the effort he put into this case. And to anyone reading this that is in a similar situation to the one I was in, please know I hope your case gets a favorable outcome as well...if you have Ralph Habib standing next to you, there is no doubt in my mind you will be fine!

A DWI Client posted to Avvo
My experience with Seth Azria

I had multiple traffic tickets that included two misdemeanors, speeding, seat belt, expired inspection you name it I had it. Seth was very proficient, effective beyond my expectations, always returned my calls and kept me notified. I know almost nothing related to the law and he was was capable of explaining things in "normal English." I highly recommend him to anyone. On a 5 star scoring system, I rate him as a 10. Thank you Seth.

A Traffic Ticket Client posted to Avvo
Excellent Lawyer

I got a 16 mph over speeding ticket in upstate NY, after some initial consultation with the law firm, my case was assigned to Ralph Habib. He got my speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving violation with 0 points with a minimal fine. It won't affect my car insurance or my driving record. Thank you Ralph, you are my guardian angel

Multiple times working with David and Seth

Without being too specific regarding my actual cases I'd like to tell anyone out there that David and Seth are both amazing lawyers who care about their clients. They have both gone to bat for myself and my now wife...multiple times, with more than expected results each and every time. Again, without being too open about matters, we all make mistakes, when I was younger I had the unfortunate experience of receiving a DWI, David handled my case, in the end, though a hefty fine, which you would expect, it was dismissed, the court at that time didn't even know how to handle it because it had never been done before. Again, unfortunate, an assault charge due to a bar fight involving the woman who is now my wife, Seth handled this and the result was an ACD. I have also referred someone close to David due to them receiving a DWI...a third DWI, involving an accident, again David got results that were outstanding. Fast-forwarding many years, David has still made himself available to me when called on. I have recently asked for a personal letter to a judge regarding a character reference and again, David has pulled through, made himself available and assisted me. I can't say more about David and Seth, they're two very well known, very smart, very capable lawyers who have helped me through some rather dark times, sometimes I wonder how I don't have a record, it's because of these two guys. Would never recommend anyone else.

anonymous posted to Avvo





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