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New York motorists who get pulled over for speeding may have an unpleasant surprise when they attempt to pay.

One New York driver ticketed on a highway near Auburn was outraged to see his $45 traffic violation nearly tripled with the addition of an $88 surcharge mandated by the State of New York.

According to the New York budget office, the breakdown of the surcharge is as follows: $5 to the crime victims assistance fund, $28 to the general fund and $55 to the indigent defender fund, with the caveat that when the program has collected its annual budget, the balance goes into the general fund.

That's a hefty chunk of change for one speeding ticket. It appears that speeding tickets are a main source of revenue for the state. To make matters worse, a traffic stop that results in multiple violations will carry a separate surcharge for each ticket.

Low income residents will be scrambling for the means to pay these charges. Failure to pay tickets in a timely manner only compounds the problem and can result in additional court summonses and charges resulting from the failure to pay.

Obtaining counsel to represent you in court on minor traffic violations is one way to avoid paying substantial fines and fees. An experienced attorney can often negotiate with prosecutors and get some or all of the violations tossed out of court or reduced. They can also argue on your behalf that a portion of the surcharges should be waived, especially in the case of multiple violations.

Source: CNY Central, "Why are surcharges on some NY traffic tickets higher than the fine?" Alex Dunbar, Feb. 07, 2014

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