New York Traffic Offenses Get More Expensive

New York State traffic offenses such as speeding tickets, DWI’s, Driving with a Suspended License and other driving infractions and crimes are getting more expensive. New York State already imposes surcharges totaling $85 for any traffic infraction over and above any fine. The total Surcharge is $80 in City Courts. However, the law imposed a cap, or maximum surcharge of $100 per incident which meant that if a motorist was convicted of multiple tickets the maximum surcharge could be $100. In a memo sent to all New York State City, Town and Village Courts, the Office of Court Administration has notified the Courts that effective for New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) offenses committed after July 6, 2009, the cap for mandatory surcharges was raised to $180.

The calculations are complex because over the years, as a way to increase revenue, New York has imposed an increasing number of fees on all types of convictions especially traffic violations. For example the $85 surcharge imposed on a routine traffic infraction such as speeding or passing a red light actually includes a $55 mandatory surcharge, a $5 crime victim assistance fee, a $5 town and village fee if the conviction is not in a City Court, and a $20 additional surcharge. The new $180 cap only applies to the mandatory surcharge and crime victim assistance fee. So if you are convicted of 10 routine traffic infractions, the surcharges will total $180 (the “cap”), plus $200 (the $20 additional surcharge 10 times) plus $50 (the town and village fee 10 times).

A conviction for a DWI can cost $400 just in surcharges. That’s excluding the fine of between $500 and $1000. Even a conviction for Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol, a traffic infraction, carries surcharges of $260. Additionally, suspension lift fees (suspension termination fees) have gone up from $35 to $70 and the cap on these fees has doubled to $400.

The bottom line is that simply pleading guilty to and paying New York traffic tickets has gotten very expensive. Routine tickets can result in fines, surcharges, imposition of the driver responsibility assessment and insurance increases and/or surcharges. If you receive a traffic ticket contact an experienced New York traffic Court attorney or visit

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