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Driver license suspensions in New York are a frequent consequence of becoming entangled in the state's legal system in connection with traffic violations. These suspensions are not something that can be handed out arbitrarily by a traffic court judge. How they can be issued is controlled by law, and the circumstances of a license suspension fit into well-defined categories.

We can break license suspensions into two classes: definite and indefinite. Both of these terms refer to the length of time that your license can be suspended. A definite suspension is one that is for a fixed period of time as specified in the suspension order. 

Definite suspensions typically result from driving without insurance, drunk driving or racking up too many tickets in a limited period of time.  If you commit traffic violations during your six-month new-driver probation period, you can also receive a 60-day suspension.

Indefinite suspensions, on the other hand, have no intrinsic duration. They tend to remain with you until you take specific actions required to lift them. These suspensions frequently arise if you do not answer, or do not pay, a traffic ticket. They can also be given if you get into a traffic accident and fail to file an accident report.

Lifting an indefinite suspension ordinarily depends on paying the fine, answering the ticket or filing the accident report. Some other things to be aware of when it comes to indefinite suspensions include:

  • They do not necessarily have a connection to your driving. If you are behind in making child support payments, or owe back taxes, you can find yourself under an indefinite license suspension.
  • It is conceivable that a definite suspension can turn into an indefinite one. For example, if you were under a definite suspension for too many traffic tickets, and then fail to answer or pay them, you could be subject to an indefinite suspension until you take action on those tickets.

The best way to get out from under a license suspension is to avoid it in the first place. The information contained in this post is offered as an overview of the topic, but it is not intended as, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice which should only be given by an attorney.

If you have been charged with a traffic violation or otherwise threatened with a suspended license, a law firm that is fluent in New York traffic laws and experienced in New York traffic courts may be able to assist you.

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