Traffic Infractions vs. Misdemeanors

Nearly everyone has had the annoying event of being ticketed for a traffic violation. These types of tickets are most often moving violations that result in fines, points added to your driving record, and, in some cases, additional driver assessments. They also have repercussions for your auto insurance premiums. These types of tickets are the lowest order of illegal behavior and have no criminal consequences. They are infractions.

Some traffic violations, however, rise to the level of misdemeanors. These are more serious than an infraction due to the fact that they are handled in criminal courts and can carry penalties of jail time, hefty fines, probation, and other court-ordered actions. They can also result in license suspensions or revocations. And they will stick you with a permanent criminal record that can be accessed on a routine background check by future employers, landlords, and more.

No matter what type of traffic violation you are facing in New York City, whether an infraction or a misdemeanor, you are allowed to have your day in court. You can fight back, potentially save your driving record, avoid fines, and more with the help of a savvy traffic ticket defense lawyer at Stites Law. Our firm practices this area of law exclusively. That means we investigate traffic tickets, build defenses, and go to traffic court on a routine basis and have done so for more than 125,000 individuals. We have become highly knowledgeable and seasoned professionals at defending our clients which has led to a high success rate.

When Does a NYC Traffic Ticket Become a Misdemeanor?

In New York City, a traffic violation can be charged as a misdemeanor in the following situations:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Driving with a suspended license, known as aggravated unlicensed operation, in the second or third degree
  • Driving with a revoked registration
  • Being involved in an unauthorized speed contest
  • Leaving the scene of an accident where someone has been injured
  • Driving with inadequate brakes
  • Driving with invalid or no insurance
  • Reckless driving

The above traffic misdemeanors can carry hefty fines, demerit points on your driving record, a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, potential surcharges, driver assessments, and even jail time or probation. For example, driving with a suspended license (aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree) can include fines ranging from $200 to $500 and jail time of up to 30 days. If charged with driving on a suspended license in the second degree, you may even face stiffer penalties. These include a fine of up to $500 and up to 180 days in jail or probation. You can have your license automatically suspended in New York if you accumulate 11 points on your record within an 18-month period.

How to Fight a Traffic Misdemeanor in New York City

Being arrested and criminally charged is a serious matter. You likely have little familiarity with how the criminal justice system works in regard to traffic misdemeanors. To fight back, you will need an attorney experienced in this matter. At Stites Law, we do nothing else but fight traffic tickets and charges day in and day out. Our legal team knows the system and how to put forth effective defenses that can result in favorable outcomes. We know the traffic laws, local law enforcement, and the traffic court judges who rule on these matters. You can increase your chances of a positive outcome with our help.

Want to discuss your case with one of our skilled attorneys? Call Stites Law at (212) 729-0472 or contact us online today.