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In NY state. I got a ticket for having an expired car inspection totalling $160 in fees. I've been in NY for a little over a year and had no idea NY state requires annual inspection. How was I supposed to know?

I went to the traffic office and said I have 3 choices: plead guilty, plead guilty with an explanation, and plead not guilty. The clerk mentioned the total fee from pleading guilty and pleading guilt with an explanation would not be much difference. $160 is a lot to me as I'm trying to pay down other debt.

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If you go to court and don't have a lengthy history, you will almost always get off easier. I've watched countless DUI o... (more)

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Wait, don't you have to get it inspected before you even can registered in NY?

https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-and-title-vehicle

Not sure about NY, but most place allow you to go in front of some court and ask for a reduction, usually 50% but you have to pay right there.

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I leased my car and they did all of that for me. No one told me that it needed to be inspected annually. The clerk told me that if I go to traffic court after pleading guilty with a reason it might get reduced only $10-20.

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indebted said:   I leased my car and they did all of that for me. No one told me that it needed to be inspected annually. The clerk told me that if I go to traffic court after pleading guilty with a reason it might get reduced only $10-20.
  Pretty sure that lack of knowledge of the law is not a justified defence.  Things like this are great money makers for states.  Like you said, even if you get it reduced, it won't save you much.  Take what you can get and move on with your life.  You'll know better for next year.

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How did this not come up during registration?

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Fake your own death....

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AverageGuy09 said:   
indebted said:   I leased my car and they did all of that for me. No one told me that it needed to be inspected annually. The clerk told me that if I go to traffic court after pleading guilty with a reason it might get reduced only $10-20.
  Pretty sure that lack of knowledge of the law is not a justified defence.  Things like this are great money makers for states.  Like you said, even if you get it reduced, it won't save you much.  Take what you can get and move on with your life.  You'll know better for next year.

  
Welcome to "tax" hungry NY!

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plead not guilty, goto court and ask for leniency.

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$160 is a lot of money, but you lease a car?

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There's a big sticker on your windshield with an expiration date. What did you think would happen if you went past that date?

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There is a big sticker on the driver's side of the windshield that clearly states that the inspection expires on the last day of the month punched out on the sticker. It is right next to the vehicle registration sticker.

Just my opinion, but I don't have a lot of pity if you (a) did not notice that sticker, or (b) noticed it, but did not bother to read it. If I came from a state that didn't have this, and noticed two big stickers on my windshield, I'd wonder WTF those things are.

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Did you get your car re-inspected? If you are going to ask for leniency, you must show that you are now following the law.

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How long has it been expired? A few weeks? Months? You could alway give the excuse that you had the car out of state the last 3 months and just got back a few days ago.

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Can always try this


Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat  - Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not" and "ignorance of law excuses no one" respectively -  is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content.

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tantuti said:   Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat  - Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not" and "ignorance of law excuses no one" respectively -  is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content.

In these cases, it's not always true. It depends on the judge, maybe the mood, and jurisdiction.

My friend had expired plates and no insurance. Showed up for court, presented current registration and insurance, and the judge let him walk. This was on the east side of town.

Another friend had expired tags, and showed up to court with current ones and the judge reduced the fine by 50%. Central part of town.

And a third, had a three day permit that's intent is to go get your car smogged and get plates. He was driving a street that didn't make sense for performing those tasks, and was ticketed. The judge made him pay the full fine. That was on the west side of town.

OP, if you really want good advice, post EXACTLY where this happened.

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Chyvan said:   
tantuti said:   Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat  - Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not" and "ignorance of law excuses no one" respectively -  is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content.

In these cases, it's not always true. It depends on the judge, maybe the mood, and jurisdiction.

My friend had expired plates and no insurance. Showed up for court, presented current registration and insurance, and the judge let him walk. This was on the east side of town.

Another friend had expired tags, and showed up to court with current ones and the judge reduced the fine by 50%. Central part of town.

And a third, had a three day permit that's intent is to go get your car smogged and get plates. He was driving a street that didn't make sense for performing those tasks, and was ticketed. The judge made him pay the full fine. That was on the west side of town.

OP, if you really want good advice, post EXACTLY where this happened.

I second this post.  This happened to us a few years back.  My dad forgot to register.  He let it lapse about a week (really forgot).  Got a ticket.  He drove the car to inspection. Went in front of the judge (I don't recall what he plead), judge waived everything, because he showed he inspected right away and mention he has been in the state for over 30 years and never missed an inspection.  We live in "Queens" of NYC.  We typically get Democrat judge (ie, more liberal, more lenient).

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Ignorance of tax law may be an excuse because the law is so complicated even the experts don't always understand it. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheek_v._United_States#Ignorance_o...
wikipedia said: Under U.S. criminal law, the general rule is that ignorance of the law or a mistake of law is not a valid defense to criminal prosecution[10][11] (see also Ignorantia juris non excusat). However, there are exceptions to that rule. Some U.S. criminal statutes provide for what are known as "specific intent" crimes, where ignorance of the law may be a valid defense. The federal criminal tax statutes are examples of statutes for specific intent crimes, where actual ignorance of the law is a valid defense.[12]

 

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I have had success getting this type of fine dismissed (in northern VA) by submitting a written plea to the Court, enclosing proof that the registration was obtained promptly after the ticket date. I figure that the average traffic court judge sees so many numbskulls that a polite, professional request receives extra weight.

Of course, YMMV. If they are just in it for the money, nothing can save you.

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Is the ticket a moving violation? At least now you know that New York requires vehicles to be inspected.  How were you supposed to know indeed.. That's right in chapter 1 of the NY Driving manual, you will want to read it to find everything else that you are unaware about driving in New York. Test your knowledge with the practice exams and you can even tell the judge how much you're improved. https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/drivers-manual-practice-tests 

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I spent four hours in traffic court one day last year waiting to be called as a witness against the jackass that ran into the back of my car while I was stopped at a red light.  Almost everyone who appeared in court that day, and I got to listen to a lot of them, had their fines and/or points reduced (including the jackass I'm sad to say).  A few of them got lectures, but they still got their fines reduced.  It can't hurt to try; it is all in how much you value your time.

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SlimTim said:   $160 is a lot of money, but you lease a car?
  Well, perhaps BECAUSE he leases a car, $160 is now a lot of money...

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its worth going to the court and plead guilty with explanation. Almost 100% people who spoke something,their ticket was reduced by half. so for $50 ticket they only had to pay $20 +$6 for the court fee. even a guy who had handicap parking ticket of $250 got reduced to $60. so you have very good chance to reduce the ticket by half if you appear in the court.

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needhelpplease said:   
AverageGuy09 said:   
indebted said:   I leased my car and they did all of that for me. No one told me that it needed to be inspected annually. The clerk told me that if I go to traffic court after pleading guilty with a reason it might get reduced only $10-20.
  Pretty sure that lack of knowledge of the law is not a justified defence.  Things like this are great money makers for states.  Like you said, even if you get it reduced, it won't save you much.  Take what you can get and move on with your life.  You'll know better for next year.

  
Welcome to "tax" hungry NY!

  
Don't cross the border to NJ...

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mgupta001 said:   its worth going to the court and plead guilty with explanation. Almost 100% people who spoke something,their ticket was reduced by half. so for $50 ticket they only had to pay $20 +$6 for the court fee. even a guy who had handicap parking ticket of $250 got reduced to $60. so you have very good chance to reduce the ticket by half if you appear in the court.
  
darn .. about 6 of 7 years back i accidentally parked  at a handicapped spot (backed into the spot and didn't see it )on Christmas Eve.  Was just a mistake.  I was willing to pay the fine, but they told me that ticket i have to show up to court (total waste of my time - as i was willing to plead guilty and pay).  Had to wait an hour - told the judge i made a mistake - no reduction - that was all fine with me, as I wanted to pay the fine and get it over with.

i thought you can't get any reduction on handicapped spot.  Now i feel bad!!

 

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This is a non-moving violation in NYS. People get confused about violations that are zero points. Some of them are technically moving violations that show up in your driving history that is seen by insurers. Seat belt violations are zero points, but still show up in a conviction record. Cell phone violations used to be zero points when it was just about talking on the phone. Now with texting being so prevalent, any cell phone violation is a whopping five points.

Bald tires, bad headlights or taillights, expired inspection, parking tickets, etc., are violations against the car, not against the driver. They don't show up anywhere and all it takes is paying the fine (or getting the judge to reduce the fine to zero, even if not technically throwing the whole case out of court) to make them disappear.

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Try the "Mad Lights" Defense on the judge! It really works!

Judge Lets Guy Off Due To "Mad Lights" Defense

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indebted said:   I leased my car and they did all of that for me. No one told me that it needed to be inspected annually. The clerk told me that if I go to traffic court after pleading guilty with a reason it might get reduced only $10-20.
  The expiration date of the inspection is right on the inspection sticker in your windshield.  You never noticed that?  Where in NY are you?  Whether or not the local prosecutor's office will plea bargain traffic tickets (or whether or not it is even handled by the prosecutors versus a traffic violations bureau or by the police themselves) is highly variable across the state and is county specific.

Edit:  If you are outside NYC and Long Island, go to the website of your county's da's office, most of them will have their traffic ticket policies there.  

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indebted said:   I've been in NY for a little over a year and had no idea NY state requires annual inspection. How was I supposed to know?
 


Go to court and tell the judge just what you said above. She or he will take care of you.

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If you go to court and don't have a lengthy history, you will almost always get off easier. I've watched countless DUI offenders even admit their crime and get off with a lighter sentence. Sometimes the prosecutor will make you a deal, sometimes the judge will cut you some slack.

However, they are normally more in it for money for the city vs original convictions. They honestly could care less what you are hit with. It looks good on their record if you take any charge and collect money.

In this case, your fine is so small. I'm not so sure they will let you off the hook completely.

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NEDeals said:   
indebted said:   I've been in NY for a little over a year and had no idea NY state requires annual inspection. How was I supposed to know?

Go to court and tell the judge just what you said above. She or he will take care of you.

  

Yes, even judges need a good laugh once in a while.

 

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InFlamed said:   If you go to court and don't have a lengthy history, you will almost always get off easier. I've watched countless DUI offenders even admit their crime and get off with a lighter sentence. Sometimes the prosecutor will make you a deal, sometimes the judge will cut you some slack.

However, they are normally more in it for money for the city vs original convictions. They honestly could care less what you are hit with. It looks good on their record if you take any charge and collect money.

In this case, your fine is so small. I'm not so sure they will let you off the hook completely.

  I'm a prosecutor in New York State.  NY varies wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (county to county) as far as how traffic tickets are handled and who prosecutes them.  In some counties it's the local DA's office that handles all traffic tickets.  In some counties, it is the police themselves.  In some counties, they are handled by a traffic violations bureau through dmv without any prosecutor, in some counties, you can go through a "traffic diversion" program and have the ticket dismissed.  Some counties are a hybrid approach depending on what sub-jurisdiction within the county he got the ticket in.  If he got this ticket in one of the TVB counties, he's not getting a reduction.  

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