Client FAQs

by Adam Rosenblum

All Courts Except The Traffic Violations Bureaus of NYC and Rochester

Q. What is the general procedure moving forward?

A. We will send a letter of representation to the court with a plea of “not guilty.” Ultimately the court will set a NEW court date (i.e. not the date listed on your ticket – see below). Our objective is to obtain a reduction in points. This is accomplished by negotiating a settlement with the prosecutor. If we can reach a settlement, it will avoid the risk of losing at trial, even though a settlement means that you will ultimately have to pay a fine.

Q. Can I expect a result on my case after the court date listed on my ticket?

A. No. If you read the ticket carefully, it says “Return By Mail OR Appear in Person On…” which indicates that if the ticket is returned by mail with a plea, a court appearance is not required. Once we enter a plea to the ticket on your behalf, the court will send us a court appearance date.

Q. What if I want an update on my case?

A. The best way is by email. Feel free to send an email to update@ticketdefenselaw.com at any time and ask for an update.

Q. What if I get a court date or other ticket-related notice by mail?

A. While your lawyer probably also has a copy, it is not a bad idea to email or fax it over to Adam. The fax number is 866-899-7993.

Q. How long does it normally take for a case to be resolved?

A. The average is 10-12 weeks; it could be longer or sooner depending on the court’s schedule. Some courts only have court night once a month and when their calendar is filled they push the date forward.

Q. The court notice says “appearance required” – does that mean I need to show up?

A. If you have an attorney, no appearance is required unless the judge makes an exception and demands that you appear which is very rare. Adam will notify you if this is the case; otherwise you do NOT need to appear.

Q. How will I be notified when my case is complete?

A. You will be sent an email and if you don’t respond you will be called. Please make sure a current email address and phone number are on file. If your information changes and you cannot be reached you are at risk of license suspension.

Q. Is there a chance my case will be dismissed? If not, what penalties can I expect?

A. If your case is NOT in the 5 boros of NYC we will attempt to negotiate a “plea bargain” or settlement with the prosecutor. This is a better approach to taking the ticket to trial and trying for a dismissal because if you are found guilty you will get the full number of points and fines. If we do a plea bargain, the result is a guaranteed reduction in points and fines, however there will also be a fine which is a necessary element of a plea bargain. During your consult, we may give you a rough estimate as to the fines that we anticipate you having to pay at the end of the case; however, the court may end up sentencing you to a higher fine than we initially anticipated. Many court fines are in the $150-$300 range but others can be significantly higher ($500 or more). In certain cases the prosecutor or judge may require you to take a driver safety course (which can be completed online) as a condition of your case. We have no control over this offer and if mandated it is your obligation to take it and pay for it. If no plea bargain is offered by the prosecutor, we will have no choice but to do a trial.

Traffic Violations Bureaus of New York City and Rochester

Q. What is the general procedure moving forward?

A. We enter a plea of “not guilty” on your behalf unless you have done so already. The case may or may not be postponed several times (as below) for strategic purposes but ultimately will likely go to trial, unless the officer does not show up and the case is dismissed. Our goal is to present the case in the most favorable light, and question the officer on his or her testimony. If he or she fails to prove their case, the case will be dismissed and there will be no points or fine. If, on the other hand, the judge makes a guilty finding, you will get the points and fine associated with the infraction you were found guilty of. Due to the hearsay rules, we cannot testify for you. However, we may be able to present evidence that you supply us (e.g. a dashcam video or cell phone bill). In addition, if you think your recital of the facts will assist us in presenting your case at trial, please email the details to info@rosenblumlawfirm.com as soon as possible since we may not reach out to you in advance of the trial.

Q. I have not responded yet. The ticket says a response is due within 15 days – should I do that?

A. No. We will enter a plea to the ticket on your behalf, and then the court will send us a court appearance date. Whereas a non-attorney can enter a plea of guilty online, their court date is likely to be shorter than the date assigned an attorney case. Hence, it is preferred that you allow our firm to enter the initial not guilty plea.

Q. Will you get my points reduced or eliminated?

A. It depends. The TVB has a “no plea bargain” policy which means there is no way to negotiate a reduction in points. Therefore, in most cases we take very case to trial (except in rare circumstances, see below). Since every case goes to trial, our objective is to win your case and if we do (i.e. if you are found “not guilty”) there will be no points and no fine. If you are found guilty, you will get the full number of points and a fine that the judge will choose based on TVB guidelines. If you are facing speeding charges and your speed is within 5mph of the next lower point category, many judges will allow a slight reduction in speed which will bring your ticket down to the next lower point category. So for example, say you are facing a speed of 71mph in a 50mph zone (6 points), the judge may find you guilty of 70mph in a 50mph zone (4 points). This reduction is not guaranteed and is in the discretion of each individual judge. Finally, in the rare case that we end up before a judge that is likely to suspend your license due to the charges and/or your driving history, we may exercise our discretion to enter a guilty plea at the window so as to avoid the risk of a judge-ordered license suspension.

Q. Will my license get suspended?

A. It depends. In general, TVB judges will not suspend for less than 11 points. However, since any NYS or TVB judge is authorized to suspend a NYS driver’s license, it is possible that a judge will suspend your license for less than 11 points. Conversely, a judge is empowered to NOT suspend your license even if you hit 11 points or more. In cases where a conviction will lead to 11 points or more, we suggest you take a driver safety class as soon as possible. Taking the class will not certainly prevent license suspension, but many judges will consider the fact that you have taken the class as a reason to not suspend you.

Q. What if I want an update on my case?

A. Since in TVB cases we try to get as many postponements as possible, the process can take a year or more. Any time you would like to check on the status of you case you can search for the upcoming court date using this link. Once the scheduled date passes, feel free to check that same website to see if your case was resolved, or rescheduled by our law firm.

Q. What if I get a court date or other ticket-related notice by mail?

A. While your lawyer probably also has a copy, it is not a bad idea to email or fax it over to Adam. The fax number is 866-899-7993.

Q. How long does it normally take for a case to be resolved? How long can a case be postponed?

A. In the TVB of the 5 boros of NYC and Rochester, the average time frame for a trial is 8-12 months from the date you were ticketed. While the conventional wisdom says to adjourn as long as possible in hopes the officer will not show up, if the officer does show up at an earlier scheduled court date, we may have to conduct the trial at that point in time. We also at times exercise discretion to do a trial if we are assigned a judge that we believe will be more favorable to our case. In certain cases, we might be required to post a bond of $40 per ticket in order to get a new date. We will post the bond on your behalf and contact you so you can reimburse us.

Q. Do I need to show up in court? Should I show up in court?

A. If you hire us to represent you, you do not need to show up in court. However, if you do not show up in court and a trial is held, we will not be able to testify on your behalf. Instead, we can present our arguments to the judge and also cross-examine (question) the police officer. Most of our clients do not wish to show up in court, hence, unless you advise us otherwise, we will assume you will not be present in court and we will proceed as usual. If you decide you’d like to come to court, please advise us of same at least seven (7) days prior. Even if you attend court the date may be postponed and you may be required to come back; up to three or more appearances may be required before the trial actually takes place (the DMV judge has discretion to adjourn a case as many times as he or she wants). It is not our duty to advise you of the court date and any date we convey to you cannot be relied on; you must log on to the DMV website to verify the date on your own.

Q. How will I be notified when my case is complete?

A. You will be sent an email with a request to reply and confirm receipt. If you don’t respond, we will call you. IMPORTANT: Please make sure a current email address and phone number are on file. If your information changes and you cannot be reached you are at risk of license suspension.