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How do I challenge a speeding fine?

Department of Motor Vehicles

At the end of the transaction you will get a 3-digit Appeal Access number. You can use this later to check the status of your appeal.

You can appeal one conviction per online transaction.

You will need

  • the TVB traffic ticket number from your conviction (see a sample ticket)
  • your DMV ID Number from your New York State driver license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card (see a sample driver license)
  • your full name, date of birth, and gender (as they appear on the traffic ticket)

and the following

  • your mailing address (please note that any address you enter for the appeal will not automatically update your DMV driver license or vehicle records)
  • an Appeal Argument that explains the valid reasons for your appeal
  • if an attorney will represent you in the appeal, the attorney’s name and mailing address
  • if you request a stay of a suspension or revocation that resulted from the conviction, a written ‘Stay Argument’ 5

You must notify the DMV Appeals Board in writing immediately of any change of address that occurs after an appeal is filed.

Exhibits or arguments that can’t be submitted online

If your exhibits or arguments cannot be submitted online or your Appeal Argument does not fit into the space provided, you can mail them to the DMV. Evidence, exhibits or documents not submitted to and considered by the hearing officer may not be filed with the appeal. 6

You cannot cancel an online appeal

You cannot cancel your transaction after you verify your information or submit your payment.

You cannot edit your online appeal

You cannot edit your original Appeal Argument or any Additional Appeal Arguments after you submit online.

You can submit an additional Appeal Argument

If you request a transcript to be reviewed for your online appeal, you may submit an additional Appeal Argument. The Additional Argument must be submitted within 30 days after the transcript you ordered has been sent to you from the Transcriber. To submit an Additional Argument after receiving your transcript, access the transaction again and enter either

  • the ticket number
  • your DMV ID Number from your New York State driver license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card (see sample driver license)
  • name
  • date of birth
  • (3-digit) Appeal Access Number

By mail

Use the Traffic Violations Bureau Appeal (PDF) (AA-33) form. Mail your appeal and $10 appeal fee to

DMV Appeals Board
P.O. Box 2935
Albany, NY 12220-0935

To appeal a DMV determination other than a TVB conviction or penalty, use the Appeal From DMV Hearing Determination (PDF) (AA-33A).

By phone

Sorry, you cannot appeal a TVB conviction by phone.

At a TVB office

Sorry, you cannot submit an appeal at a TVB office.

How to check the status of appeal filed online

The Appeals Board will acknowledge receipt of your appeal form and fee with a letter.

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You can also use the TVB Traffic Ticket Appeal service to check your appeal status. You will need to provide

  • the ticket number
  • your DMV ID Number from your New York State driver license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card
  • name
  • date of birth
  • (3-digit) Appeal Access Number
  1. 1. Your appeal is not refundable. Whether your appeal is rejected, or the conviction or penalty is affirmed, reversed, remanded, or modified, the appeal fee cannot be refunded.
  2. 2. The DMV Appeals Board will reject your appeal if
    • your appeal form and fee are not filed in a timely manner
    • your appeal does not meet the requirements of New York State law
    • the matter is not legally allowed to be appealed
    • you fail to meet DMV requirements for appeals
  • occurred in a local court
  • resulted from a parking ticket
  • resulted from a criminal violation

You must appeal these kinds of penalties and convictions with the local court or parking violations authority, not the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • If you submit the additional exhibits and/or arguments at the time you file the appeal online, check the box in the transaction that indicates that you will mail additional exhibits and/or arguments for your appeal.
  • If you order a transcript for your appeal, you must mail the additional arguments to the Appeals Board within 30 days after the transcript you ordered has been sent to you.
  • If you do not want or need a transcript, you must mail the exhibits and/or arguments within 10 days of the day you submit your appeal.
  • Evidence, exhibits or documents not submitted to and considered by the hearing officer may not be filed with the appeal.
  • The Appeals Board uses the US Postal Service postmark, if legible, to determine if your documents are timely. Keep your proof of mailing and a copy of anything you send to the Appeals Board.
  • Write the summons number of the appealed ticket on the front of the envelope and on all exhibits and/or arguments.
  • Include a cover letter that provides your name, DMV ID Number, and the Appeal Access Number that is displayed in the confirmation message page at the end of this transaction

Mail your documents to

DMV Appeals Board
P.O. Box 2935
Albany, NY 12220-0935

How to Intelligently Fight a Speeding Ticket

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Have you been given the slip of doom lately? A.k.a. the speeding ticket. Most of us have gotten one before, but just because you got the ticket doesn’t mean you are absolutely guilty. There are some ways to defend yourself against a speeding ticket and give yourself the best chance of having it dropped or lowered, but in order to do that, you need to know exactly what you were cited for. Was it an absolute, presumed, or basic speed limit violation?

Absolute Speed Limits

Many people just aren’t in the know when it comes to fighting speeding tickets, usually because we all believe we won’t get one. It’s pretty easy to grasp what an absolute speed limit is; whatever is shown on the sign is an absolute speed limit. So if a sign indicates 45mph, and you are going 50, you’re over the absolute speed limit. Violation of this type of speed limit only gives you a few different options for defending it:

  • You can claim you were tending to an emergency and say that the emergency is what caused you to have to speed. There would have to be a risk of injury to you or someone else for it to count as an emergency. One such instance would be saying that you were speeding to get away from someone who had been trying to run you off the road.
  • You can cast doubt over the officer’s method of gauging your speed, or you can target his training. Upon getting your ticket, the speed will be written on it. It’s on you to figure out what type of method he used to determine your speed and craft a defense that takes away credibility from that method or the officer’s ability to use the equipment he or she used. You may suggest that the officer doesn’t quite know how to use the equipment as he or she was trained.
  • You can defend by stating the police officer identified the wrong car that was speeding. It may be the case that you were just mistaken for another similar-looking car or one that was close to you during the time of the incident. Sometimes cars will only have very subtle differences when they are the same color, which can impair an officer’s ability to determine which car was speeding if he or she loses sight.
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Presumed Speed Limit

If you get a ticket for driving at a speed that is viewed as unsafe for the current road conditions, you would have gotten a presumed speed limit violation. There are two ways to fight against this type of ticket. One way is to again challenge the officer’s gauging of your speed. Another argument is saying that even though you were over the speed limit on the signs, you were going a safe speed for the present road conditions.

An example of how to defend would be by stating that you were indeed going 35mph in a 25mph zone, but everyone else around you was going 45mph, which caused you to fear being hit by approaching vehicles.

If you use that kind of method to fight your ticket, you have to come with a reason as to why your driving speed was reasonable for the given conditions. Usually, the law will go by what the signs say, so you will have to come up with a good reason to disprove the signs posted.

In some cases, it will be impossible for you to convince the courts that your speed was safe when you got the speeding ticket. You won’t be able to prove that going 50mph in a 25mph zone is safe, but you may be able to pull it off for a smaller margin such as driving 40mph in a 30mph zone. One such instance would be saying that a new-posted limit was not actually necessary and was only put in effect due to a community request.

If you want to battle your speeding ticket with the highest chance of success, you will need visuals to display for the courts. It would be a great idea to drive back to the scene of the incident and photograph the area from multiple angles. It would be best if you went to the spot at the same time of day in the same kind of weather. It’s important to stack up as much evidence as you can to try and prove that your speed limit was safe in order for you to have the possibility of having the ticket dropped.

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Another thing to try is to make a visual board. The diagram should show the setting in which you were pulled over, and you should add anything to it that may build your case. An example would be to show that the road you were ticketed on was deserted or had very low traffic compared to heavy-traffic downtown streets. Another way to fight your ticket is to prove that everyone on the road was above the given speed limit, which caused you to feel like a danger to the road if you didn’t speed up.

Basic Speed Limits

As the opposite of the presumed speed limit, the basic speed limit benefits the officer, allowing him or her to cite you for traveling at a speed limit that is less than what is posted if it has been deemed unsafe for the current conditions.

Often times, the speed limit on the sign may actually be unsafe for road conditions during something like a snowstorm or extreme rain. It is up to the officer to decide if you going 35mph in a 45mph was still actually too high for the conditions. So, even if you were below the speed limit on the sign, it’s still possible for an officer to decide that you were traveling at an unsafe speed and give you a ticket.

The good news is that, in this case, you will have a better chance of fighting it. Now the officer is on offense trying to present the proof that your driving speed was unsafe for the conditions, and you get to defend against what he or she presents as evidence. If there was no accident involved, it’s going to be pretty tough for the officer to convincingly prove you were traveling at an unsafe speed.

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In car crashes, an officer may ticket a party for their speed limit being deemed unsafe for the road conditions. They are basically saying that you must have been traveling too fast if it caused you to get into an accident. But don’t feel down about it, because there are some good ways of defending against that kind of determination.

If you have been given a basic speed limit violation, you should take it to court and fight it. Your best bet is to ask the officer questions about anything else that could have contributed to the accident such as:

  • Something like wind that caused something to fall into the road and caused you to swerve.
  • The negligence of another driver caused the accident.
  • Something in the road, such as a raised area, was covered by snow.

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What To Expect From a Virginia Speeding Case in Court?

The following is taken from an interview with a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer as they discuss what you should expect in court if you choose to challenge your ticket. For legal representation or to simply learn more, call and schedule a consultation today.

Will The Police Officer Who Issued The Ticket Testify in Court?

Yes, the officer has to testify. It’s on the officer to prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You, as the defendant, don’t have to prove or say anything. If for some reason the officer doesn’t testify because he doesn’t have his report or doesn’t recall how the incident played out, then this is certainly grounds to have your case dismissed. In such a scenario, the judge would find insufficient evidence for proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

A lot of times officers call ahead because they had training or something unavoidable and they get permission from the court to not be there, in which case, the judge will continue the case to a later date. If the officer is missing and fails to appear on the court date, it depends on whether his absence was excused by the judge as to whether the case will be dismissed or not.

Many times officers call ahead because they had training or something unavoidable and they get permission from the court to not be there. In this scenario, the judge will continue the case to a later date. If the officer simply is not there and there is no reason why, then sometimes the judge will still continue the case and give them a second chance and other times, the judge will dismiss the charges. This depends largely on local custom.

Can You Cross-Examine The Officer Without a Lawyer Present?

Yes, if you cross examine the officer without a lawyer present though you need to keep in mind that the rules of evidence still apply to you, the same way they would apply to an attorney. So it’s really better to have an attorney to make sure that you ask questions that are proper and do not risk hurting your case by improperly arguing the case during cross examination. If the questions you ask do not comply with the rules, they will not be permitted.

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Can You Plea Nolo Contendere in a Virginia Speeding Ticket Case?

Yes, you can plea nolo contendere in Virginia speeding ticket cases. In Virginia, this is more typically called a no contest plea. It means that you are not admitting guilt, but you are also not disputing the facts of the charge and therefore, you accept the court’s decision even though you’re not admitting guilt. It typically has the same effect as a guilty plea. Some people feel better pleading no contest because they feel like they don’t have to admit guilt this way, but they also don’t have a defense so they feel it’s a better alternative to pleading guilty. There is no other practical benefit to doing so other than that.

If you have facts that you are believe are relevant to guilt or innocence and you want the judge to consider those facts, you should enter a not guilty plea instead of a no contest plea.

Can A Lawyer Negotiate Your Penalties With a Judge?

You can absolutely negotiate with the judge about your penalties. This is one of the reasons why it’s good to come to court even if you aren’t required to do. Someone pleading guilty doesn’t have to accept the fine is and just call it a day. Before the judge decides the final sentence, everything is negotiable in court and you can provide different reasons to a judge for why your penalties should be lower.

This is tricky to do, however, because you don’t want to argue with the judge when the judge is giving you a lenient sentence, or mistakenly believe that the sentence is actually not good one. It’s better to have a lawyer argue the penalties because the lawyer will have a better understanding over what penalties are expected in certain situations, and can help you set realistic expectations.

Why Is Consulting With An Attorney Important For a Speeding Ticket Case?

It’s important to have an aggressive Virginia speeding ticket lawyer because you want someone who is going to strongly cross-examine the police officer to make sure that every avenue of your defense is fully explored. You also want someone who will push hard to get you the best results possible for your case. Everything in court is negotiable and you want someone who is really going to believe in that and push hard to get you the result.

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