The Cost of Hiring a NY Traffic Ticket Attorney

Getting a traffic ticket in New York can be a frustrating and costly experience. Many drivers simply pay the fine and move on without considering their options. However, hiring a traffic ticket attorney can often be a worthwhile investment, as it can help you avoid both financial and non-financial consequences. In this article, we will explore the various costs associated with a traffic ticket in New York, the benefits of hiring an attorney, and why it’s essential to fight your ticket.

Attorney Fees

The cost of hiring a traffic ticket attorney in New York can vary depending on several factors. These include the number of tickets issued, the severity of the violation, the jurisdiction where the ticket was issued, and the experience level of the attorney. On average, most NY traffic lawyers charge around $500 for a single ticket case. However, fees can range from as low as $250 to as high as $800 for a simple traffic ticket. It’s important to remember that the price you pay can often determine the quality of the representation you receive.

Traffic Ticket Costs

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While the fine associated with a traffic ticket is the most commonly known expense, there are several other costs that many people overlook. These include:

  1. Fine: The fines for a ticket can range from $45 to as much as $600, depending on the violation. Violations such as cell phone use and serious speeding tend to be the most costly.
  2. Surcharge: Anyone found guilty of a traffic violation in New York must pay a state surcharge. The surcharge amount is typically $88 or $93, depending on the location of the violation. If you receive multiple tickets in a single traffic stop, you will have to cover a surcharge for each one.
  3. Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee: When a driver accumulates six points on their license due to traffic ticket convictions, they are required to pay a DRA fee. The initial fee starts at $300, with each additional point costing $75. This fee is paid directly to the DMV.
  4. Auto insurance increase: One of the most significant expenses that many drivers overlook is the increase in auto insurance premiums following a traffic ticket conviction. The exact impact on insurance rates depends on various factors, such as the violation, driving history, age, and income. For example, a single speeding ticket can result in a 12% to 30% increase in insurance premiums. With the average New Yorker paying between $1,400 and $2,700 annually for auto insurance, a traffic ticket could cost an additional $168 to $810 per year for three years.

To illustrate the potential costs, let’s consider a single ticket for speeding 21 mph over the limit, which carries a six-point offense. In this case, the total cost could add up to $1,197, including a $300 fine, $93 surcharge, $300 DRA fee, and $504 insurance increase.

Non-Financial Costs

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Beyond the financial impact, there are significant non-financial costs associated with a traffic ticket conviction in New York. These include:

  1. Risk of a suspended license: New York drivers who accumulate 11 points on their license can have their driving privileges suspended. This applies even if they are licensed to drive in another state. Additionally, a license can be revoked if a driver is convicted of three or more speeding (or two work zone speeding) tickets within 18 months. Having a suspended or revoked license not only prevents you from legally driving but also requires you to pay a reinstatement fee.
  2. Loss of employment: For those who rely on their driver’s license to earn a living, such as taxi and Uber drivers or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, paying a traffic ticket in New York can put their jobs at risk. Even individuals who need to drive for their daily commute can face job loss due to license suspension or revocation.

Considering the potential non-financial consequences, it becomes crucial to explore options to avoid a traffic ticket conviction.

The Cost of Time

Some drivers may consider fighting their traffic ticket in court without legal representation. However, this can be a time-consuming and often ineffective approach. The chances of successfully beating a traffic ticket without professional assistance are slim. While there is plenty of advice available on how to convince a judge to dismiss charges, judges and prosecutors have heard it all and are rarely swayed.

Furthermore, representing yourself in court means spending a significant amount of time waiting in various lines and waiting for court proceedings. This includes waiting in the security line to enter the courthouse, waiting for instructions before entering the courtroom, waiting to talk to a prosecutor, waiting to speak to the judge, and waiting for a second or third court date if a trial is requested. There is also the possibility of rescheduling due to weather or the unavailability of an officer or judge, resulting in wasted time and frustration.

By hiring a traffic ticket attorney, you can save yourself from the hassle of spending hours or even multiple days in traffic court. Attorneys can often appear in court on your behalf, allowing you to avoid taking time off work or arranging for dependents and pets’ care.

The Cost of Gambling

How Much Does A Traffic Lawyer Cost? | Best Online Traffic School

Ultimately, the odds of successfully beating a traffic ticket in New York are much higher for an experienced attorney than for the average person. Attorneys understand when it makes sense to attempt to get the charges dropped and when negotiation with prosecutors for reduced charges is the best strategy. Their knowledge of the law and familiarity with judges and prosecutors increases the likelihood of a favorable ruling.

If you or someone you know has received a traffic ticket in New York, it is strongly advised not to simply pay the fine. Instead, consult with a skilled traffic ticket attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you avoid the various costs and consequences associated with a traffic ticket conviction.


Getting a traffic ticket in New York can have significant financial and non-financial consequences. The costs associated with a traffic ticket go beyond the fine, including surcharges, DRA fees, and increased auto insurance premiums. Additionally, a conviction can lead to a suspended or revoked license and even job loss for those who rely on driving for employment. While hiring a traffic ticket attorney may seem like an additional expense, it can often be a worthwhile investment. Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal system, increasing the chances of a successful outcome. So, instead of simply paying the fine, consider consulting with a skilled attorney to fight your traffic ticket and protect your driving record.

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