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Traffic Violations

You could be thinking, as you leave court after paying your traffic ticket, that your troubles are behind you, but you might be mistaken. If the ticket was for a moving violation, you could still be hit with a suspended license by the state under the New York Driver Violation Point System.

The system, operated by the state department of motor vehicles, assigns points for each moving violation driver receives. The DMV has the authority to suspend the license of any driver who accumulates 11 points in 18 months.

Points assigned after a conviction. It does not matter if you plead guilty to the charges or are convicted after a trial. For purposes of calculating the points total for an 18-month period, the date of the violation is the date used by DMV. This prevents motorists who are on the brink of a suspended license from postponing court dates to delay having additional points appear on their record.

Although DMV claims that the system targets high risk motorists, a single speeding ticket for going 21 miles per hour over the speed limit is six points. A traffic ticket for improper cellphone use, a five-point violation, with a speeding ticket already on record, could be enough to result in a suspended license.

The assignment of points for a particular violation might appear to be somewhat arbitrary. For example, a stop sign violation is only three points, but texting while driving is five points with the implication being that running a stop sign is not considered to be as serious a violation as texting.

Even if a motorist does not reach 11 points, six points is enough to trigger imposition of the state's Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee. The assessment is $100 a year for three years. If a driver has more than six points within an 18-month period, each point over the first six results in an additional assessment of $25.

A traffic violations attorney might be of assistance to a driver charged with a moving violation. An attorney might be able to negotiate a plea to an equipment violation or to a moving violation that does not carry as many points.

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