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Thanks for visiting and please Drive Safely! - updated MAR 01, 2020.

IMPORTANT BULLETINS - ALWAYS FIGHT YOUR TICKETS! - If you have 3 or more alcohol or drug related incidents (like a refusal to blow into the device) in the last 25 years you could be at risk for PERMANENT REVOCATION of your drivers license which also applies to most other states who won't license you either. Don't plead guilty!

Cell Phone and Texting Violations are now serious traffic offenses at 5 points - the same as reckless driving or passing a railroad crossing or a stopped school bus! If you're a junior or probationary driver, it also includes a MANDATORY SUSPENSION, so don't risk it. Get a hands free device and mount your phone!

FAQ 1A - Should I plead guilty to my traffic ticket?

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. Never plead guilty, well, unless I tell you to, anyway! I can't begin to tell you how many clients plead guilty to a first speeder and then wind up suspended because they get another one soon after. How your case is handled depends upon WHAT COURT you are to appear before and the facts of your particular case. In many courts we can get the charge reduced or dismissed, so NEVER PLEAD GUILTY! OK?

If you send me an email YOU MUST TELL ME ABOUT THE TICKETS - HOW MANY TICKETS? - AND WHAT ARE THE CHARGES? and in WHICH COURT? If you are not sure, check the ticket - look at where the ticket tells you where to mail your "NOT GUILTY" plea to. If you are unsure, send a clpicture


(See above) In all my years of practice I have never seen a (fill in your state here) ticket show up on a New York driving record, however that does not mean it couldn't happen in the future. For example, tickets issued in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec now appear on New York driving records and this was implemented RETROACTIVELY, so there is no guarantee New York could not enter into a similar agreement with (fill in your state here) at sometime in the future. If you have tickets in any other state or province, I strongly suggest you hire a local attorney to handle them. My client pled guilty in CANADA, assuming tickets from a foreign country would never hit her New York driving record. (Wrong!) Two years later her 110 mph speeder showed up on her New York driving record and the consequences were catastrophic. Very bad. Don't let this happen to you. Never plead guilty. Never. Ever. Anywhere.

FAQ 2 - Where are the Long Island traffic courts?

There are many different traffic courts on Long Island.

IN QUEENS There are 2 traffic Courts - QUEENS NORTH located at 30-56 Whitestone Expressway 2nd Floor, Flushing, and QUEENS SOUTH located at 168-35 Rockaway Boulevard 2nd Floor in Jamaica.

IN NASSAU - There are 3 traffic courts in Nassau. All are located in downtown Hempstead.

They are: NCTPVA (Nassau County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency) located at 16 Cooper Street and First District Court (the criminal court) located at 99 Main Street. The third traffic court in downtown Hempstead is just for Hempstead Village.

IN SUFFOLK - There are 2 major traffic courts in Suffolk.

SCTPVA (Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency) which just opened for business in April, 2013. Other tickets can put you at First District Court (the criminal court) located at 400 Carleton Avenue in Central Islip.

LOCAL TOWNS and VILLAGES - All over the island, there are local Town and Village Justice courts that handle traffic tickets and more.

FAQ 3 - What's the difference between these courts?

Generally speaking, there are "good" and "bad" traffic courts. In the good ones, your attorney can go there and negotiate a settlement to get the charge reduced for you. In the bad courts, there are no deals. You must plead guilty or go to trial. There are exceptions, of course. Even in the "good" ones, there are some charges that won't be reduced. Here is how the Long Island courts break down:

- The TVB system is used QUEENS and throughout the 5 boroughs NYC. TVB is usually not a good to be in because cases can take YEARS to finish and there are, with a very rare exception, no plea bargains allowed, so you cannot plead guilty to a lesser charge. It's win or lose at TVB. To make matters worse, the BURDEN OF PROOF at TVB is LOWER than in criminal courts. TVB only requires proof by "...clear and convincing evidence" a much easier burden than proof "...beyond a reasonable doubt." This makes it easier to convict you.

Bottom line: Your only choice (in the vast majority of cases) at TVB is to (a) plead guilty (and i do NOT recommend you plead guilty under any circumstances at tvb) or (b) fight the ticket. The only way to avoid the fines, surcharges and other penalties is to fight.

Since most folks are not equipped to cross-examine a cop, it is wise to hire an attorney to defend you. Why? - Well, I can't know what you do for a living, but even the most challenging careers do NOT prepare you to effectively cross-examine a police officer. Those poor souls who try to defend themselves in traffic court are often surprised when they discover that the rules of this court are NOTHING like the courts you see on TV.

There are three advantages to having counsel. The first is we KNOW THE RULES OF THE GAME, so your odds of winning at TVB are much better with an experienced traffic lawyer. The second is convenience, because YOU NEED NOT APPEAR. You can go to work or school, or yoga, or lunch (my personal favorite) instead of coming to court. Third, your attorney can help to prepare your hearing so that your chances of success on an appeal are better. If you are facing suspension, this can be vital to your ability to continue working. I have several cases that will be more than fourt years old when they finish. I have a couple of cases that will be more than five years old when finished. More on this later in FAQ #8

Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency (SCTPVA) is without a doubt, the worst court in New York state. This festering sewer of corruption is located at the H. LEE DENNISON BLDG, Ground Floor, North Entrance. The address is 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge NY 11788. Take the Grand Central / Northern State Parkway to the end (it becomes 347/454 and traffic lights begin. Make a right at the 4th traffic light.

The Agency opened for dispositions April 29, 2013 to a rocky start and, with a rare exception, has gotten worse with each passing year. Every lawyer in the county hates this place for good reason. Staffed entirely by political patronage, even the Director of this Agency admitted on video in 2013 that he "knows nothing about the VTL." One can only speculate about County Executive Steve Bellones' motives for creating such a hell-hole, but the goal of the Agency seems clear - to punish people as harshly as possible, to enrich the County coffers by levying catastrophic fines and surcharges, by severely screwing over the motorist and defense counsel, and turn over as many defendants to ICE as possible. They accomplished this with with threats, inflexible Byzantine guidelines, prosecutors without discretion, unconscionably excessive penalties, illegally high fines and a complete dismantling of the legal system. Prosecutors at this court are forced to be AUTOMATONS who could be replaced by a computer or by the clerks that sit beside them, as they have no discretion to do anything outside the GUIDELINES that they must always adhere to.

This place has all the charm of DMV with none of the efficiency. Even with all their case-routing technology, this is THE SLOWEST COURT IN CREATION. Whenever you go, expect to spend at least 3 hours waiting. Also, they are the greediest court in the state with fines averaging 2-6 times higher than any other court for the same deal. Policies change weekly without notice at this court and management is very hostile to lawyers due to the many lawsuits filed against them. DEFENDANTS BEWARE - AVERAGE fine for a parking ticket here is $480. $505 with a credit card. Failure to pay on time can BANKRUPT you! Fines here DOUBLE after just thirty days and TRIPLE after sixty days!

Unlike every other court in the region, they had been jailing people for traffic tickets - something other Long Island courts don't do. They even imprisoned a highly respected local trial attorney just for doing his job and defending a dying cancer patient who could not appear in court. The chief Judge of the District Court recently had to order the Agency to stop bailing and/or jailing defendants.

Also unlike every other court in the region, they invalidate all work that a lawyer may have done for a client in the past, by improperly looking BEYOND the driving record, in violation of the rights of every motorist who appears there. Did you or your lawyer negotiate a speeder for you last year? four years ago? ten years ago? This court does not care. They will use the prior CHARE against you like it was a CONVICTION. No other traffic court does that.

The worst problem, by far is blatant, outright CORRUPTION that is ingeniously built right into the system. Ever wonder why Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life? This is why: All SCTPVA JUDGES are HIRED BY THE PROSECUTOR and WORK BY THE SESSION. Let that sink in. THESE "UMPIRES" OF OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM ALL WORK FOR THE HOME TEAM AND CAN BE FIRED RIGHT AFTER ANY BAD CALL THE HOME TEAM DISLIKES! Everyone is guilty. These Judges DARE NOT find you not-guilty. The SCTPVA Judges have "aged-out" of the county system and cannot work as a judge in higher courts anymore, so this job is their ONLY retirement gig. They are hired just like day-laborers outside with no ongoing contract. Judges who arrive for work in the morning have their job security ALL THE WAY THROUGH LUNCHTIME. Judges with NO JOB SECURITY BY DESIGN MUST DO WHATEVER THE PROSECUTOR SAYS OR THEY NEVER WORK THERE AGAIN. Many Judges have been fired. Many Judges have quit in disgust. THE BOTTOM LINE - ALL TRIALS ARE "FIXED." YOU CANNOT WIN. If your case goes to trial you are finished. In high speeding cases your license will be suspended from the date you answer until the trial date and also after you are convicted. Illegally high fines, beyond what the VTL allows are the norm, even though they are both illegal and unethical for the Judge, lawyer and prosecutor. This is not legal, but they do it anyway.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Corruption is rampant. The politically connected get sweetheart deals in a secret back-room. Cops and their families are never ticketed no matter how dangerously they drive. Anyone with political connections gets special treatment where their tickets are withdrawn contrary to the courts' own guidelines. This is not legal, but they do it anyway. Corrupt politicians are treated royally. Everyone else is screwed. The court has guidelines, but only for the little people, not the elites.

Do you Have $300 in fines outstanding or three unpaid parking tickets = THE BOOT!! Fail to pay within 48 hours? = THE $350 TOW!! PLUS DAILY $70 STORAGE FEES. NO PAYMENT PLANS!

FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF SUFFOLK - If you are at First District, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you are there because you have committed a CRIMINAL offense (such as DWI, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed or aggravated unregistered) - criminal misdemeanors punishable by jail time! The good news is that unlike SCTPVA, this is a reasonable court staffed by legal professionals, not political hacks. We can usually work out a deal to reduce the charges without having a trial here.

NASSAU COUNTY TRAFFIC & PARKING VIOLATIONS AGENCY / NCTPVA EVEN WITH NOBODY IN CHARGE AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING, This court remains among the best on Long Island, because of the seasoned lawyers on staff. They are NOT automatons like SCTPVA and they have some discretion to LISTEN TO YOU and do something about your case should justice demand it. While Nassau recently voted to raise the local surcharges, they remain very low, compared to Suffolk. They run circles around Suffolk.

Reasons to retain counsel at this court are several:

1 - CONVENIENCE: THIS IS A VERY BUSY COURT! The sheer volume of tickets given on some of the most heavily traveled roads in New York. If you are a busy working person - and who isn't? - Consider an attorney for this court. Some days at NCTPVA look like the line at Disney World on a summer weekend! It will save you a great deal of time, because in almost all cases you do not have to appear in person.

2 - NO TIME WASTED: Nassau P.D. writes so many tickets, that the ticket is often not in the courts system by the time you show up in court to answer. This means you could go to court based on the date printed on the ticket, only to be told come back again! That is why it is best to leave these matters to your attorney.

3 - TECHNOLOGY: This court made marked improvement under Judge Marx. One of the few places where you can get your ticket information and pay online at by comparison, Suffolk has tons of newer, better equipment, but wont allow online access to anything.

FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF NASSAU - If you are at First District Court in Nassau, that's usually bad news. The bad news is that you are there because you have committed a criminal offense. The WORSE news is that the staff at this court has little or no discretion, making them inflexible to defendants who seek to contest their case. Simple dispositions are still possible, but if you are seeking a trial, expect years of delays. Trucking matters remain among the few bright spots at 99 Main street, thanks to their dedicated prosecutor regularly assigned to Arraignments.

LOCAL TOWNS and VILLAGES- Every local town and village court is different. In most local village justice courts, your attorney can work out a deal to reduce the charges. Some village courts are very motorist-friendly and some are very strict. Most of them lie somewhere in between. Almost all are night courts. Some are in the afternoon like Southold and the most excellent Southampton Town Court

FAQ 4 - I answered my ticket at First District Court. I wanted to plead guilty or settle the matter. The judge just got mad and yelled at me to come back with a lawyer. Why is the judge angry? What did I do wrong?

The judge sent you away because you are charged with a misdemeanor. Most traffic tickets are just "violations." A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by up to one year in jail plus fines and/or probation. What's worse is that it will leave you with a CRIMINAL RECORD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. The judge will not let you plead guilty to a misdemeanor without consulting with a lawyer. Neither the judge nor the A.D.A. can give you legal advice - they are there to prosecute you, not protect you. That is why the judge tells you very sternly to get out and come back with a lawyer. The judge is doing it for your own protection.

FAQ 5 - The cop who gave me the speeding ticket did not use a laser or radar device to measure my speed. Do I win?

Not necessarily. Cops are trained to accurately estimate how fast you are going just by observing your car and estimating your speed. This evidence is admissible in court. At trial, laser and radar are most often used simply to confirm the visual estimate.

FAQ 6 - Does the cop who gave me the ticket have to prove his case "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

It depends on which court you're in.

The burden of proof in traffic cases at a 'DMV court' such as TVB is much lower than in criminal cases. The cop need only prove his case by "clear and convincing evidence" and that requires a whole lot less proof.

FAQ 7 - How do I know how many points I will get for a traffic ticket?

Click this link for the DMV POINTS SYSTEM Once you reach 11 points you can be suspended by DMV, though you need not reach 11 to be suspended. Some tickets, like driving without insurance, carry no points and can get you revoked for a year! Some Judges will suspend you for a single, high speeder. Under the VTL, town and village courts, though not TVB, can jail you for a single high speeder, but this is so rare that I hesitate to even mention it here.

FAQ 8 - I just lost my case at a TVB court! Is there anything I can do?

YES, You can file an APPEAL which we strongly recommend, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR LICENSE HAS BEEN SUSPENDED. This is a procedure by which you challenge the TVB judges decision, or the penalties, or both.

So why appeal? Because you can KEEP YOUR LICENSE during the appeal, which takes about a year on average.

If you decide to appeal, you MUST do so within 30 days of conviction. While you can fill out the forms and do this yourself, this is one of those areas where I STRONGLY recommend that you have the assistance of counsel. Even such minor points as how you phrase your request in the appeal form is important. That is why an appeal is something best left to your lawyer.

FAQ 9 - I have seen many scams on the internet before. How can I check on you to tell that you are a REAL lawyer?

I never thought I would have to answer this one, but it has come up a couple of times and it is a fair question considering all the crap on the net. I could post photos of my diplomas and licenses, but that just seems tacky, and they could be faked.

To confirm this quickly and efficiently, I suggest you visit the New York State Unified Court System web site at and click on 'attorney directory'. They have an attorney directory listing every attorney in the state. You can look me up and see if the information there conforms with the information on my web site. I have intentionally NOT made a link here, so you can enter the web address yourself and be sure I did not create a fake link to a fake site.

FAQ 10 - Hey Dave, what are the NEWEST scams to take my money through the use of DMV and the traffic laws?

Glad you asked! Here's my top three:
#2) a new $55-$110 surcharges at TPVA, EVEN IF YOUR CASE IS DISMISSED and of course,
#1) The DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY ASSESSMENT (DRA) It took effect November 14, 2004. It says, in part, that if you get 6 points within 18 months, the DMV will whack you for an additional $100 per year for 3 years = $300 to keep your license. This is in addition to any fines and surcharges you pay on the tickets. Add $75 for each point above 6. The defensive driving class 4 point reduction DOES NOT APPLY TO THIS! If you fail to pay the assessment, your license will be suspended by mail to your last address on file with DMV.

Though you have 3 years to pay for these DRA's I strongly suggest that you pay the entire amount in one lump sum if you can. Why? - If you pay by installment, the DMV has 3 chances to suspend you for non-payment over the next 3 years. Pay all at once and they have 2 fewer chances to suspend you. I cant begin to tell you how many clients wind up in CRIMINAL court for driving around suspended for failure to pay the DRA.

Hey Dave... Isn't this punishing the motorist twice for the doing the same one thing? Isn't this unconstitutional double jeopardy? Damn skippy it is. But we have to live with it until some rich person spends twenty thousand dollars to appeal something that rarely exceeds $750. Even a lawyer can do the math on that one. Screwed again. Don't forget to thank your legislators in Albany for this piece of highway robbery.

Another twist on the "official" NY state DRA, courts have been making up their own BOOTLEG DRA's. In many courts, like SCTPVA, they just re-name their surcharges "Driver Responsibility Assessments," because the CORRECT WORD, "surcharge" sounds, so, well - dirty. But that's what it is - just another surcharge to pick your pocket a little bit more. Don't believe the hype.

FAQ 11 - What about those BOOKS I see advertised on the internet about how to fight tickets. Should I buy one?

No. These books are a huge waste of money and rarely prepare you for anything. Also, the rules at TVB - where most trials actually in this area - are so strict that most books on the subject are simply inapplicable. Don't waste your money on such books. They will never take the place of a Law school education and years of actual trial experience. Ask yourself - would you buy a book on surgery and try THAT yourself?

Also, the VERY BEST BOOK on the subject is the VTL itself, available at any DMV for six bucks!

FAQ 12 - I have a suspended license/registration, but I drive anyway. The cops can't pull me over unless they see me break the traffic laws or if they something wrong with my car-right?

Wrong. This years newest enforcement device is an optical SCANNER that reads license plates. They set these devices up on the highway and they can read the license plates on cars even while moving at highway speeds. Notice there are two so they can be set up to read plates on cars traveling in both directions at once! The license plate is recognized and and driving record of the owner, along with the registration of the vehicle is checked for suspensions.

All the cops have to do is wait until the device BEEPS and then you get pulled over. When you do get pulled over for driving with license or registration suspended, the ticket will often require you to appear in criminal court! If you're driving around suspended and wonder why you are not under arrest, the cops tell me its because a parked police cruiser on the LIE will beep every 5 seconds on average. That is way more people than any police force could ever pull over.

FAQ 13 - My cousin is a Real Estate-Divorces-Personal Injury-Bankrupcy Attorney. Why shouldn't I use him to fight my ticket?

For the same reason you dont ask your dentist to operate on your foot. Other kinds of attorneys simply do not know the details of each different traffic court or how these convictions can affect you.

FAQ 14 - What is the difference between you and other attorneys?

Most attorneys do this kind of work as a sideline or as a favor to a client. Not me. Believe it or not, some lawyers who claim to be 'traffic court attorneys' never see your tickets, never check your driving records or see the information you send them! SOME DO NOT EVEN KEEP FILES OR RECORDS OF YOUR CASE!


Here's a hint on how to recognize these attorneys: Look at their address. Many of them try to hide it. If their office is in Manhattan, Tonawanda, Albany, White Plains, etc. (and I am not making this up - these are all actual top hits on a search of 'Long Island Traffic Ticket Lawyer' on Google!), they are not likely to be appearing in court for you at SCTPVA in Hauppauge, where my office is located! Your case will likely be sent out to someone you never hired or even spoke to.


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The Law Office of David S. Kapp
527 Townline Rd, Suite 302
Hauppauge, New York 11788
Telephone (631) 348-0195

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