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If you have been accused of a traffic violation in New York, you have to decide which path to take when it comes to how to respond. The path of least resistance may be to simply pay the ticket in a simple traffic violation matter; or you can contest the charges against you in court.

A third possibility may lie somewhere in between, which would be to explore the possibility of negotiating with the prosecutor about reducing the charges against you, or a reduced sentence, if you agree to plead guilty to a lesser offense. This is the essence of the concept of plea bargaining.


Whether you can pursue plea negotiation depends at least in part on the charge or charges that are being brought against you. For example, if you have been accused of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, it is unlikely that you will be able to negotiate for a lesser charge for an offense that does not involve DUI.

In this kind of situation, though, it may be possible to at least keep your license on a conditional basis if you agree to participate in the state's Drinking Driver Program.

But if you have been charged with an offense such as speeding or another moving violation that does not involve drugs or alcohol, then depending on the seriousness of the charge it may be possible to negotiate for reduced charges, or a reduced sentence or fine, or both.

The decision on whether to entertain plea negotiations or to fight the charges depends heavily on the facts unique to your situation. There is no universal guidance on which course to take in all instances. Consulting with your defense attorney is always a sound course of action to help you make the best decision for your interests.

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