New York Traffic Lawyer

When it comes to traffic violations in New York, many people believe that pleading guilty is the only viable option. However, it is important to understand that some traffic violations are considered criminal offenses and could leave you with a criminal record.

If you have received a traffic ticket in New York, the best way to protect your driving privileges and record is to consult with an experienced traffic lawyer. A New York traffic lawyer can help you determine the best course of action and avoid the costly consequences of a conviction.

New York’s Traffic Laws

New York’s traffic laws make a distinction between non-criminal traffic violations, known as traffic infractions, and criminal traffic offenses.  

As with most states, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a point system to identify and take action against persistent violators, meaning drivers who commit multiple traffic violations within a short time period.

Under the point system, point values are assigned to various traffic infractions and criminal traffic offenses, most of which are moving violations. Points will only be added to the driver’s record after they are convicted of the traffic violation.

If a driver accumulates 11 or more points in an 18-month period, his or her license may be suspended. Drivers who receive 6 or more points in an 18-month period will be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment fee.

The point totals are calculated based on the date of the traffic violation, not the conviction. Drivers can take an approved Point & Insurance Reduction Program course to reduce up to four points on their record. 

This does not mean that the violations will disappear from the driver’s record, only that the points will not be counted towards license suspension. A New York traffic attorney can also help individuals dispute license suspensions.

Traffic Infractions

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 155, a traffic infraction is defined as the violation of any law, ordinance, or rule regulating traffic, which is not classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Traffic infractions are not punishable by incarceration but can result in points being assessed against the driver’s record, an increase in insurance premiums, and fines.

Examples of traffic infractions are speeding, failure to yield right of way, or failure to signal. The traffic ticket itself will explain how to respond.

Generally speaking, the options are to plead guilty and pay the fine or plead not-guilty and fight the ticket in court. Failure to respond within the required time period (usually 15 days from the date of the violation) will result in the suspension of driving privileges. A New York traffic lawyer can help individuals fight their traffic tickets.

Criminal Traffic Offenses

A criminal traffic violation means that the driver will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the specific offense. Examples of criminal traffic offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
  • Reckless driving
  • Suspended vehicle registration
  • Some criminal traffic offenses carry mandatory jail time and an automatic license suspension or revocation if convicted. The penalties for criminal traffic violations vary greatly depending on the offense charged, whether the accused has any previous convictions, and the specific facts of the case. All criminal traffic summonses will require a court appearance.

    Contact a New York Traffic Attorney Today

    An attorney will be here to help you understand your options and fight for the best outcome possible. Call a New York traffic lawyer today to discuss your case.