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Prosecutors will have another weapon in their arsenal to crack down on motorists facing traffic violations. Governor Cuomo has asked the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to provide prosecutors with a far more comprehensive summary of a driver's records behind the wheel.

Barbara J. Fiala, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, acknowledges that the governor's administration has asked the DMV to look into how they can make information about past traffic violations available to prosecutors. The agency will begin providing the court with a 10 year summary of a driver's history, which will include initial charges that may have been reduced or pleaded down to a lesser charge, allowing access to possibly more serious charges involving alcohol, drugs, unlawful operation of a vehicle and excessive speeding.

Under current policies, prosecutors are only able to access the data available for convictions, which does little to help them identify reckless or problem drivers behind the wheel.

Those convicted of speeding can accrue anywhere from three to 11 points against their license, dependent upon how many miles over the speed limit they were going when nabbed by police. The DMV is authorized to suspend the license of any driver accumulating 11 points or more within an 18 month period.

Drivers who plead guilty to a lesser parking violation do not accrue points. The new disclosures will apply only to tickets resulting in guilty pleas to lesser charges, pending charges and charges covered by another ticket. Tickets that were dismissed or where the driver was covered under youthful offender status are not applicable for the new 10 year disclosures.

DMV records from 2010 indicate that 129,628 speeding charges were pleaded down to convictions for "parking on pavement." The new policy will effectively reduce this practice.

No motorist wants to have a tarnished driving record, which is a major factor in auto insurance rates going up. Despite the new policies put forth by the Cuomo administration, drivers receiving tickets can still put forth a robust defense with the help of an experienced New York traffic violations attorney by their side.

Source: New York Post, "Bad driver crackdown as Cuomo provides driving records to courts" Carl Campanile, Mar. 03, 2014

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