The Kessler Law Firm

How To Beat A Red Light Ticket In New York City

Red light tickets are quite common in New York City. A conviction will lead to 3 points being added to your license and sizable fine. 


At a hearing or trial in the 5 boroughs, a judge must find the testimony of the officer was clear and convincing to find a motorist guilty. Certain elements such as date, time, direction of travel, and a proper identification of the motorist must always be established.

If an officer fails to testify about one of these elements, move to dismiss your case. After these elements are established, there are certain others that must also be testified to. Note: Police officers may testify to each element in any order as they see fit. 


The officer needs to testify that the red light the motorist allegedly went through was in proper working order. Then, the officer testifies to there being a stopping point (usually a stop line or crosswalk) that was clear and unobstructed. The officer needs to establish that they saw you before that stopping point when the light was red; that you continued through the stopping point while the light remained red; and that you continued driving while the light stayed in a steady red phase. In some courtrooms, the judge also wants the cop to testify to the exact location of the traffic light. 


If any of these elements are not established in the direct testimony of the officer, ask for a dismissal based on the fact that the officer did not testify to a necessary element of a red light ticket case.