Similar to all other states in the country, New York State operates a points based system which is used to penalize any driver who has violated a traffic rule. The state’s Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) is responsible for issuing driver licenses and restricting them or revoking them when they have reason to do so.
If you are a resident of New York State you should make yourself aware of the MVD’s points system in case it affects you at some point in your life. The points system basically operates on a 18 month period. If the total points against you in that 18 month period reach 11, then your license will be revoked. Your points do not actually disappear from your record. Unless you are able to get them expunged, they will stay on your record for ever. However, only the points you have accumulated in any 18 months period actually count against you when it comes to suspending your license.
You should also be aware that several other violations or citations can get your license revoked as well. For instance, if you have three speeding tickets, whatever speed you were traveling at the time you got your ticket, you will lose your license. You could also have your license suspended if you get a DUI conviction or are convicted for a hit and run offense.
The points system works on a graduated scale. The lowest number of points given is 2 and the maximum for any one offense is 11. Speeding violations incur points between 3 for anything up to 10 mph over the speed limit to a maximum of 11 for anything over 40 mph over the limit. Note that you can get citations for two or more offenses at the same time, and the points are accumulative. For instance, if you are stopped for running a red light when you were recorded doing 15 mph over the speed limit, you will get 4 points for the speeding violation and 3 points for failure to stop at a traffic signal. That gives you 7 points which add on to any other points you may have gained in the last 18 months
If you get a ticket in New York, you have a specified time period in which you have to respond with your plea. This is normally 10 days. You should think carefully about what your plea is going be and what strategies you could use if you plead not guilty. The plea you make depends on the actual offense you have been alleged to have committed and the consequences of pleading guilty. If you do plead guilty, you are going to have to pay out quite a lot of money. You will probably be fined and the amount of fine depends on the seriousness of the violation. By a rule of thumb, the more points given for any one violation, the higher the fine. There are normally several hidden fees and charges which accompany a fine, like surcharge in New York. You will also probably get hit for a higher insurance premium, unless it is a minor offense and / or your first one.
Losing your license could have a dramatic effect on your life, especially as you may depend on it to get to work, or you may need it for work. You would need a very sympathetic and understanding employer to listen to why you can’t get to work on time or why you can’t complete certain aspects of your work any more.
Many people who have been given traffic citations in New York turn to a traffic violations lawyer, especially if they are going to lose substantial amounts of money. A good New York lawyer will be able to find a way to get your sentence reduced or even get it dismissed from your record completely.