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Pleading Not-Guilty: Pleading Not-Guilty to traffic tickets in New York and retaining the services of an attorney makes sense in that the NYS Driver Point System keeps track of driver convictions for vehicle and traffic violations for an eighteen (18) month period. Please note, being charged with a vehicle and/or traffic violation does not count toward a driver’s total points, so it is vital to hire an attorney so that your traffic offense has a better chance of getting dismissed or reduced to a non-moving violation that does not have points associated with it. Points associated with each conviction are listed below:
- Speeding (1 – 10 MPH over speed limit) – 3
- Speeding (11 – 20 MPH over speed limit) – 4
- Speeding (21 – 30 MPH over speed limit) – 6
- Speeding (31 – 40 MPH over speed limit) – 8
- Speeding (40+ MPH over speed limit) – 11
- Speeding (MPH over speed limit not indicated) – 3
- Cell Phone use with no hands-free device – 5
- Using an electronic Devise or Texting – 5
- Reckless driving – 5
- Failing to stop for a school bus – 5
- Inadequate brakes – 4
- Following too closely – 4
- Passing improperly- 3
- Changing lanes unsafely – 3
- Driving to the left of center- 3
- Driving in the wrong direction – 3
- Failing to obey a traffic signal – 3
- Failing to obey a Stop sign, or a Yield sign – 3
- Railroad crossing violation – 3
- Failing to yield the right-of-way – 3
- Passenger safety violation, seat belts, child safety seats, or passengers under age sixteen – 3
- Left the scene of an accident that includes property damage or the injury of a domestic animal – 3
- Other moving violations – 2
- Inadequate brakes (vehicle of an employer) – 2
License Points: If you receive 11 points or more in eighteen (18) months (calculated from date of violation), the DMV WILL suspend your driver’s license. The DMV MUST revoke your driver’s license if you are convicted of three speeding violations within an 18-month period no matter how many total points are on your record. If your license is revoked, you will have to reapply to get your driving privileges restored and if you are a Repeat DWI Offender, your driving privileges may NEVER be restored because of Life Time Look Back.
Real Cost of Traffic Tickets: In addition to fines, your automobile insurance rates will likely increase. If you are convicted for a speeding violation, your insurer could add a temporary charge on your insurance policy for up to three (3) years and your rate could increase as much as 25% depending on the specific circumstances related to the offense. Additionally, New York adds a surcharge of $100 per year for three (3) years if you amass six (6) points, plus $25 per year for each additional point, as a Drivers Responsibility Assessment.
Cost of Fighting a Ticket: In general, there is a flat rate charge for representation to resolve traffic tickets, but this varies depending on the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea without an expert witness and past driving record.
There are many factors that can determine the charges filed against someone. Factors such as blood alcohol level, whether a child was in the vehicle or whether there were injuries can all play a role in the actual charges filed
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): Being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in New York State necessitates hiring an experienced criminal lawyer to represent you to attain the most favorable outcome. Penalties associated with a DWI conviction are severe and most recently DMV Regulations have been instituted for multiple DWI offenders may result in a Lifetime Revocation of their driver’s license. Following a Revocation, a “Lifetime Review” of the individual’s driving record is conducted upon re-application if driving privileges are to be restored. Some other notable changes in penalties have occurred over the years, such as the requirement of first time DWI offenders to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed at their own expense.
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI): DWAI is an offense where “the driver has consumed alcohol to the extent that he or she becomes impaired and lacks the physical and mental abilities for which he or she is expected to possess to operate a motor vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver (People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y.2d 419, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 (1979)).” DWAI is a traffic infraction and not a crime punishable by a maximum of 15 days in jail. Important to note that having experienced attorney representation my lead to a DWI being reduced to DWAI during the plea-bargaining process.
Important Terms related to DWI/DUI/DWAI:
- ADWI – Aggregated Driving While Intoxicated – Arrest for DWI with a BAC of .18% or Higher.
- ADWIC – Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child – Arrested for ADWI, DWI or DWAI with a child 15-years old or younger in the car.
- BAC – Blood Alcohol Content – 0.10% means that there are 0.10 g of alcohol for every dL of blood.
- CD – Conditional License – License granted to people who enter the DDP after a Conviction for ADWI, DWI and DWAI.
- CDL – Commercial Driver’s License.
- DDP – Drinker Driver Program – Enables you to get a Conditional License.
- DMV – Department of Motor Vehicles.
- DRA – Driver Responsibility Assessment – Surcharge imposed by the DMV (most commonly for DWI convictions and chemical test refusals).
- DWAI – Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol and/or Drugs.
- DWI – Driving While Intoxicated by Alcohol or Drugs.
- HL – Hardship License – If your SPP it is a license sometimes awarded at Arraignment, so you can drive to and from work.
- IID – Ignition Interlock Device – Device installed on car to prevent ignition from starting if you blow into it after consuming alcohol.
- SPP – Suspended Pending Prosecution – License Suspension at Arraignment because you tested as having a BAC of .08% or more, or you refused a chemical test. If you took the chemical test you may be eligible for a hardship license. If you don’t get a hardship license you may be eligible for a conditional license in 30 days. If you refused the chemical test your license will be suspended for 14 days until the DMV refusal hearing is held, unless the officer did not prepare a report of refusal. If the DMV Judge (ALJ) finds that you refused, then your suspension continues for a year (or more). If the Judge finds that you did not refuse your license will be restored pending the outcome of the Court Case.
- RO – Repeat Offenders – New Regulations by the NY DMV effecting repeat DWI offenders.
- VIP – Victim Impact Panel – When a driver is convicted of DWI the offender’s sentence usually includes a requirement that the offender attend a Victim Impact Panel.
DMV Refusal Hearing: Refusal to submit to a chemical test will lead to a DMV Hearing to determine whether the chemical test had been refused. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may find that the test had been refused and the individual may receive an Administrative Punishment by the DMV. This punishment is separate from any DWI charges that may be brought in Court.
First Time Refusal Penalties are as follows:
- Revocation of driver’s license for one (1) year (18 months for a CDL)
- $500 Civil Penalty
- Driver Responsibility Assessment of $250 a year for three (3) years
If you are in need of Traffic Law and Ticket help, please contact us today and put our legal team on your side!