Most drivers will be cited with at least one traffic citation over the course of their life for allegedly violating state traffic regulations. When this occurs, motorists often just end up paying the ticket or otherwise making an admission of guilt, even if they know they did nothing wrong. Fighting a ticket may not seem worth the effort or you may simply not have the time to take off work to challenge the ticket.
Traffic violations are perceived as a minor offense by the vast majority of New York motorists. Nevertheless, the acquisition of a serious traffic citation, or too many minor violations, can have the potential to snowball into serious legal issues that can lead to more serious consequences. Traffic violations generally involve costly fines and higher insurance premiums, or even a license suspension or revocation. These penalties can put the average motorist in an unfavorable position and can even compromise the livelihood of a commercial driver.
If you have been accused of committing a traffic violation in New York, it's important you understand the way the state enforces and penalizes traffic citations.
Consequences of a Traffic Ticket
New York's Department of Motor Vehicle Point System
New York's motor vehicle point system is the state's way of documenting, identifying, and taking action against individuals that are considered “high-risk” drivers. Each time a state motorist is convicted of a traffic violation, a series of “points” are marked on their record. The specific amount of points added varies based on the severity of the offense. For example, a conviction for reckless driving will result in 5 points added to a person's record.
As points accumulate from various traffic violation convictions, more consequences will ensue upon a driver.
If a driver is convicted of certain traffic offenses in New York state or has accumulated six or more points on their driving record within 18 months, he or she will be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment fee over a three-year period. Prices vary depending on the traffic violation that was committed. For example, a person convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving-related offense will be required to pay an annual assessment of $250. Therefore, the total assessment for the three-year period would be $750.
Insurance Cost Increases
Some tickets can dramatically affect your car insurance rates, while others may not. The state has specific insurance laws (Insurance Law Section 2335) that providers adhere to, which dictates the violations that may bring about a surcharge. Generally, an insurance company may raise a motorist's insurance rates upon the conviction of the following traffic offenses:
- Driving sixteen mph (or more) over the limit;
- Speeding and/or reckless driving on 3 or more occasions;
- Speeding or reckless driving where injury or death results;
- Driving while intoxicated or impaired (alcohol or drugs);
- Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it; or
- Two or more moving violations;
Although the law dictates which violations can cause a rise in premiums, insurance companies obtain wide discretion as to how drastic that surcharge will be. A traffic conviction may affect cost increases 36 months from the date of conviction.
When a driver accumulates a total of 11 points or more on their license within an 18th month period, their license will either be suspended or revoked. A suspension means a motorist's driving privileges will be taken away for a period of time. A license revocation, on the other hand, means that a motorist's license has been canceled and once the revocation period has expired the individual will need to apply for a driver's license.
License suspensions and revocations can be a massive inconvenience for people who use their vehicle often in their everyday lives. There may be county and state programs, and other alternatives that are available for motorists with certain circumstances to ease this burden. However, access and entry into these programs is only possible with the help of an experienced New York traffic citation attorney.
New York Traffic Ticket Defense Attorneys
Being convicted of a traffic violation may expose New York state motorists to damaging legal and financial repercussions. Even if you feel that a ticket is unconquerable, it doesn't hurt to challenge it with the help of a legal professional, especially in circumstances when you could be subjected to any of the consequences indicated above. At the Law Office of Kenneth Puig, we are devoted to helping you overcome traffic citations and avoiding the serious consequences they carry. Call our office at (845) 787- 4649 or contact us online for a consultation.