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If you have received a traffic ticket in New York and you believe that it has been issued to you unfairly, one thing that you may want to avoid is paying the ticket before challenging it. Paying the ticket is tantamount to an admission of guilt, and makes defending against it problematic.

This is not to say, however, that you should ignore the ticket. Doing so can result in a number of consequences, all of which can be very serious

A traffic ticket is essentially the same as a legal complaint against you in that it requires you to respond to it. Answering the ticket is not the same as paying it; you can answer and not pay the fine, but you need to answer in a timely manner.

The first thing that can happen if you do not answer a ticket on time is that your driver’s license will be suspended. Although the law will not yet consider you to be guilty of the traffic ticket charge, once your license is suspended your ability to drive legally will also be suspended. If you are found to be driving on a suspended license, that is a separate criminal offense.

You still have time, though, to lift the suspension by answering the ticket even though your answer will be late. This will cost you $70 in a late fee.

But if you still ignore the ticket, you will eventually be found guilty of the charge even if you never appear in court to defend yourself. This is referred to as a default judgment, and the effect is similar to what would happen if someone sues you and you do not answer the complaint served against you.

Fighting a traffic ticket requires a balance between unwittingly admitting guilt by paying the ticket and unwittingly admitting guilt by having a default judgment entered against you. A law firm knowledgeable in New York traffic laws can help you to avoid both of these outcomes.

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