I Missed My Court Date for a Traffic Ticket. What Happens?

As a driver’s license holder in the state of New York, you are required to respond to a traffic ticket. If you fail to respond or fail to appear at a court date, you face serious consequences. When you receive a traffic ticket, it is vital that you read it and pay attention to its instructions. You will have a legal window of time wherein you can respond. If your response is to contest the ticket, you will be given a court date for a hearing to put forth your case.

If you fail to show up at your traffic court date, you face the following:

  1. You run the risk of having your driver’s license or registration suspended. The suspension will likely be for an indefinite time period, generally until you answer the traffic ticket. You will be required to pay a suspension termination fee before your license can be restored.
  2. Your failure to appear will be construed as an admission of guilt to whatever the traffic ticket says you did. You will be assessed the fine and any applicable demerit points on your driving record.

Now you will have an unpaid traffic ticket along with a suspended license. Let’s say you got a speeding ticket while driving on a New York highway which you shoved in your glove box and forgot about. Several months later, you are stopped by law enforcement. In checking your license, the officer sees that you never appeared in court for the previous ticket and that the DMV suspended your license. You will now be facing an additional traffic violation along with the more serious charge of driving on a suspended license.

Driving on a Suspended License

Driving with a suspended license is much more serious than a traffic ticket infraction. This is a criminal third-degree misdemeanor charge known as an Aggravated Unlicensed Operation. It carries penalties of a fine ranging from $200 up to a maximum of $500, possible jail time of up to 30 days or probation, and a possible surcharge.

When failing to appear for a court date, you will also face an increase in your fees and fines. Once your license is suspended for failure to appear, you will be faced with paying the suspension termination fee for each delinquent ticket. The fee for this is $70 per ticket.

Turn to Stites Law for Diligent and Proven Legal Help

Obviously, appearing in court is a much less expensive, less stressful, less time-consuming, and less hassle-free alternative to missing a traffic court date. Even better is showing up in court with an experienced attorney by your side who knows how to fight for your best interests. No matter what type of traffic violation situation you are in, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to give you the fighting chance you need for a favorable outcome.

Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation at (212) 729-0472 or online to get started today.