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I have been predicting that something like this would happen, (see my blog posts back on May 8th 2013, March 12th 2013, and my press release on July 25, 2013) however I never thought they would go this far. New York State DMV has now extended the the record the prosecution may use against a defendant, from 3/4 years to 10 years. New York's 10 year driving record is here at last, however we haven't seen the fully mutation of these this "law" just yet.

One major issue with New York's 10 year driving record is that it gives credence to allegations, which are not convictions. Usually in this country one is innocent until proven guilty. In this case allegations from a police officer, which have been plead down to avoid the expense of defending the matter in trial, will be used as a biases for the discretion of the prosecution. Often prosecutors will allow a motorist to plea to a parking ticket if they know that there is a serious problem with the weight of evidence in the case. Due to the new law, accepting the plea bargain will result in a 'defacto' conviction of the original charge.

Lets say from here on out you will never plea down your ticket, and you will go to trial on each one? Too late, as the governor's actions have turned your guilty pleas to parking tickets into speeding tickets retroactively. This is not the first time that the governor puled the rug out from under the feet of the justice system, we only have to look back to January to see the Governor retroactively change the penalties for drunk driving: /blog/2014/01/texting-and-dwi-legislation-in-new-york-retroactive.shtml. You will also notice that all these actions are not being done through the legislator, they are all done through executive order by himself alone.

A closer reading of Governor Coumo's press release ( shows that the governor did not have safety on his mind, as he could have created a point system which reaches back past the 18 months, into the current 3 year driver's history of convictions.

"New York's 10 Year Driving Record Law" (executive order by the governor) only allows prosecutors to see this 10 year record, (and not insurance underwriters who want to gauge a motorist's risk on the road) however NYS DMV does not take any action against a motorist for an accumulation of violations outside the range of 18 months where they currently effect. This is bizarre being that the press release justifies the use of the 10 year record by quoting a conversation with the DMV Commissioner: "When Governor Cuomo asked the DMV to look into how we could make information on past traffic tickets available to prosecutors, we knew that providing such information would have a positive impact on traffic safety, said Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Barbara J. Fiala. "By making ticket history available, the prosecutors and the courts will have a more accurate record of the violator's complete driving record."

The telling factor of why this law is being issued is also apparent in the press release "In 2010, in town, village, city and district courts, 129,628 speeding charges were plead down from a speeding violation to parking on pavement. In 2011, 112,996 such pleas were accepted." When one is convicted of a speeding ticket the money goes to the state, when one is convicted of a parking ticket the money goes to the town or the village. Basically what the governor is trying to do is encourage a more aggressive prosecution of motorists in order to gain more revenue for the state, without punishing convictions which are currently not effecting a motorist's ability to drive. But lets face it, why would he take the cash cows off the road?

Sadly most people and even lawyers in fields other than traffic law do not understand how their legal system's principals are being run through the grinder.

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