• by Eli Moore, Westchester County Traffic Attorney

Good News About Speeding Tickets: It Is Possible to Withdraw a Guilty Plea


A little known but very reassuring fact is that in Westchester County, under certain circumstances, speeding ticket points may be removed from your driving record— even after you pleaded guilty and have paid the fine.

Eliminating Points on a Speeding Violation

I have had numerous clients who pleaded guilty and paid their fines without realizing that the points for that ticket will cause their driving license to be suspended or make them liable to pay a $300 DMV drivers responsibility assessment fee. It’s at that point of panic about losing their license that they come to me. They are hugely relieved when I am able to successfully withdraw their guilty pleas and negotiate a plea bargain deal, reducing their tickets to non-moving, no-point violations—and thereby avoiding the license suspension

What to Know About Withdrawing a Guilty Plea

  1. In New York City, you must appeal within 30 days and these appeals are rarely successful.

  2. In Westchester County, withdrawing guilty pleas can be successful. There is no strict time limit but the application should be made within a few weeks of the plea.

  3. The motorist must have previously entered the guilty plea by mail and not been represented by an attorney.

  4. The argument that is usually made in support of the plea withdrawal is that the motorist was never informed of the consequences of pleading guilty or the points associated with the plea.

  5. It is helpful if the motorist is either very young or elderly or if this is a first offense and the motorist is unfamiliar with the option of pleading not guilty.

  6. Some courts will charge you a new fine that is higher than the fine you already paid if they agree to reduce a traffic ticket to a non-moving, no-points violation. You will need to pay the difference between the original fine and the new, higher fine. Of course, you will be credited with any fine amount that was previously paid.

  7. You will need to hire an experienced traffic law attorney to file the proper motion in court.

  8. The plea withdrawal application is made by written motion to the court and is discretionary with the judge. It is by no means automatic.

If you live in New York City or Westchester, and are seeking help from an experienced traffic attorney, please contact Eli Moore by writing: EliMooreLaw@gmail.com or calling: (914) 523-5552. To learn more about Westchester and New York City traffic attorney Eli Moore, go to EliMooreTrafficAttorney.com. Stay up to date about New York State traffic laws, by following: EliMooreTrafficAttorney.com/blog.

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© 2020 by Eli Moore

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