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Should You Admit Fault If You Get Pulled Over In New York?


It may be tempting to admit fault during a traffic stop in Rockland County. But is this really the most logical choice? Some might say that “owning up” to your traffic infraction makes officers more lenient, while others say that you should never admit to anything. To make an informed decision in this regard, it makes sense to consider the various pros and cons of admitting fault.

What Happens After You Admit Fault During a Traffic Stop? 

Any admission of guilt could make it more difficult to fight your ticket at a later date. This is because during a traffic stop, a police officer may take careful note of your comments. They might also record the encounter via their bodycam. If you admit to something like speeding, improper merging, failing to yield, or using your cell phone, these comments could be used against you.

When you contest a traffic ticket, you might have to attend a DMV hearing. During this hearing, the officer could testify against you. They might recount what you said during the traffic stop – including any admissions.

For example, you might have said, “Look officer, I know I was speeding – but I was only going five miles over the limit.” Perhaps the officer asked you whether you failed to yield because you were late for work and didn’t want to wait your turn. If you answer in the affirmative because you believe that being late is a valid excuse (it isn’t), the officer could also use this against you.

The Potential Benefits of Admitting Fault 

With all that being said, some people say that admitting fault can lead to positive outcomes. The logic is that if you admit that you did something wrong, the police officer may be more likely to be lenient toward you. The end goal of this strategy is to convince the officer to let you off with a warning instead of a ticket.

For example, you might say, “I know I was speeding, officer, and I was wondering if you could consider letting me off with a warning.” If you are respectful and friendly toward the officer throughout the encounter, you might just convince them that a ticket is not necessary.

At the end of the day, admitting guilt is a risky move that could potentially lead to a warning. On the other hand, you might prefer to avoid any admissions, accept the ticket, and contest the alleged infraction at a later date.

Find a Qualified Traffic Violation Lawyer in Rockland County 

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced New York City traffic violation lawyer, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous motorists in Rockland County who have faced traffic tickets. Although admitting fault might seem like a reasonable choice during a traffic stop, it could affect your chances of fighting the ticket. For more targeted guidance based on your unique situation, consider booking a consultation.



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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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New City, New York 10956

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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