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Beginning in March 2016, municipalities in New York will no longer be allowed to collect surcharges, fines or administrative fees for traffic cases if the violations are dismissed.  According to WIBV4, the new law was approved and signed by Gov. Cuomo in December 2015.

Previously, those who appeared in court for traffic violations were still assessed processing fees even when the case was thrown out. The purpose of the fees was to cover the administrative costs of the court since it still required the court's time to hear the case before it was ultimately dismissed. Under the new law, this practice is prohibited and a pending amendment would also make it applicable to cases where plea bargains are struck and result in lesser charges.

It appears that an excessive volume of complaints prompted lawmakers to enact the change. The fees were not all that large, usually in the $30 to $50 range depending on the county as reported by CBS2. However, having to pay a fine after being found innocent of any wrongdoing did not sit well with many New Yorkers.

While on its face, this new legislation seems like a very positive change for New York drivers, only time will tell how beneficial it actually turns out to be. Some municipalities may look to make up the lost revenue by increasing fees in other areas or by not dismissing some charges that it may have otherwise. Drivers who have outstanding tickets and feel confident that their chances of dismissal are good, may want to consider rescheduling their court date until March so that they can take advantage of this new legislation.

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