The Kessler Law Firm

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions – Traffic Tickets

 

1. Should I Fight My Traffic Ticket?

-Yes.  Always fight it.  By pleading guilty you are automatically found guilty.  Usually accompanying the guilty finding is a fine and points.  You at least want a fighting chance to be found not guilty.

 

2.  What Happens If I Ignore My Ticket?

-A number of negative things can happen as a result of ignoring your ticket.  Among them are a suspended license, raised insurance premiums, points on your license and increased financial obligations.  Nothing good comes from ignoring your ticket.

 

3.  Do I Have To Appear At My Hearing Or Pre Trial Conference If I Hire An Attorney?

-No, you do not.  Counsel can act on your behalf without you being present at your pre trial conference or hearing.  This is one of the best benefits to retaining counsel.

 

4.   How Many Points Can I Incur Before My License Becomes Suspended?

-11 or more points during any 18 month period can lead to your license becoming suspended.

 

5.  What’s The Deal With License Suspensions And Revocations?

-The most common reasons your license may be suspended or revoked are due to motor vehicle violations.  A suspended license can also result from not answering a ticket or paying a fine.

 

Speeding/Misdemeanors – If you commit three speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic violations within 18 months, your license will be revoked for at least six months.

 

Points – Most traffic violations carry points.  The points will be added to your record using the date the violation occurred, not the date you are found guilty.  If your violation points in any 18 month period add up to 11 or more, your license may be revoked or suspended following a hearing.

 

6.  Is There Any Way To Reduce My Violation Point Total?

-Taking a DMV-approved accident prevention course can reduce your point total by up to four points and reduce your auto liability and collision insurance premiums by 10% for three years.

 

7.  What Are Some Common Point Violations?

Speeding (MPH over posted limit)

1 to 10 3 POINTS

11 to 20 4 POINTS

21 to 30 6 POINTS

31 to 40 8 POINTS

Over 40 11 POINTS

 

Reckless driving – 5 POINTS

Cell Phone/Portable Electronic Device – 5 POINTS

Failed to stop for school bus – 5 POINTS

Followed too closely (tailgating) – 4 POINTS

Inadequate brakes (private car) – 4 POINTS

Inadequate Brakes (employer’s vehicle) – 2 POINTS

Failed to yield right-of-way – 3 POINTS

Disobeying traffic control signal, STOP sign or YIELD sign – 3 POINTS

Railroad crossing violation – 3 POINTS

Improper passing, changing lane unsafely – 3 POINTS

Driving left of center, in wrong direction – 3 POINTS

Leaving scene of property damage incidents – 3 POINTS

Child safety restraint violation – 3 POINTS

Most other moving violations – 2 POINTS

 

8.  How Long Does A DWI Stay On My Record?

-A conviction for alcohol-related or drugged driving related offense remains on your DMV record for 10 to 15 years.  It remains on your criminal record indefinitely.

 

9.  What Is A Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee?

-The driver responsibility assessment is a fee you must pay to DMV over a three year period if you are convicted of certain traffic offenses in New York State or accumulate 6 or more points on your driving record within 18 months.  This fee is in addition to any fines, penalties or surcharges that you must pay for a traffic conviction.  The purpose of the assessment is to prevent repeated behavior of problem drivers and to improve traffic safety.

 

WHO MUST PAY – Effective November 18, 2004, you must pay a driver responsibility assessment if

  1. you were convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving-related traffic offense while driving a motor vehicle, boat, or snowmobile in New York State
  2. you were found to have refused to take a chemical test for blood alcohol content in New York State
  3. you receive 6 or more points on your NY State driver record within an 18 month period for convictions of traffic offenses committed in New York, Quebec or Ontario

 

You must pay the driver responsibility assessment whether you have a driver license issued by New York State, another jurisdiction or if you do not have a driver license.

 

10.  How Much Do I Have To Pay For A Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee?

-The amount depends on the type of violation or the total number of points on your driving record.

 

  1. If you receive 6 points on your driver record for violations committed during a period of 18 months, the annual assessment is $100.  The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment.  The total assessment for three years is $300.  If you receive more than 6 points on your driver record during an 18 month period, the annual assessment is $25 for each point in addition to the original six points.  The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment.  The total assessment for the three years is $75 for each point in addition to the original 6 points.
  2. If you are convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving related offense or if you refuse to take a chemical test, the annual assessment is $250.  The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment.  The total assessment for the three years is $750.