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For the majority of crimes in New York, there is a statute of limitations. This means there is a time limit for being sentenced for them. But, for many citizens in Buffalo and other areas across the state, there is no time limit on having to pay for the crime.

A man recently received a long-lost ticket in his mailbox, dating back to 1983. As it turns out, he did not even own a car at the time the ticket was issued. Rather, his car had been stolen, and the thief had received the citation. The ticket went unpaid, and the man was never aware of it. Since then, he had renewed his license many times, but never received notice of the ticket. 

But the man, like many others, is now dealing with the fact that traffic violations have no statute of limitations. The recently-founded Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency now handles all traffic tickets and is resending more than 30,000 unpaid citations. While a third are from the past couple years, more than half are from before 1994, which is when the state passed new laws regarding unpaid tickets. It seems the only way to truly get out of paying a ticket is to present a death certificate.

Whether it is from two days or two decades ago, it is possible to fight a traffic ticket. An experienced attorney may be able to provide counsel and assistance to anyone who is facing a citation, especially if it was written for an unfounded violation.


Source: The Buffalo News, “Everlasting life for N.Y. traffic tickets,” Denise Jewell Gee, July 26, 2015

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