What Are The Numbers Of Points Assigned For Common Traffic Violations In New York?
The most common offenses that my office handles are for speeding, cell phone use, passing a stop sign, and failure to stop for a school bus, all of which are generally in the five to six-point range. Insurance companies typically check their insureds’ driving history annually or coinciding with their policy renewal. If there is a conviction for a moving violation, the motorist will likely face an increase in insurance premiums. That can often cost several hundred additional dollars annually for four years. There are a large number of moving violations in the State of New York and each of them carries a corresponding punitive number of points.
I Received A Traffic Ticket In New York. How Do I Know Which Court Will Handle My Case?
The lower portion of a traffic ticket has instructions that include where and by when to mail in your plea of guilty or not guilty. The address at the bottom designates the name of the court which has jurisdiction over the alleged offense. There have been instances in my career where I have found the claimed jurisdiction to be incorrect. When that happens, the matter is subject to an application for dismissal due to the failure of jurisdiction. It is uncommon, but it is one of the many things I look for on a traffic ticket. In the middle of the ticket, a specific roadway or other designation as to where the alleged offense occurred is designated and should fall within the jurisdiction of the specified municipality. Each city, town or village has a court and that’s the address you’ll find at the bottom of the ticket.
It’s worth noting that if you read the instructions on the ticket carefully, motorists can simply check the “not guilty” box on the back of the ticket and mail it to the court. The court will in turn acknowledge receipt in writing giving a future date for the motorist or their attorney to appear in their place on that charge. Often, instead of mailing in the traffic ticket, motorists show up in court on the court date specified on the ticket, which is known as the “return date.” In the courtroom, the motorist will plead not guilty and turn it in with the same effect as if they had mailed it. Usually, with the admonition by the court that they didn’t have to be there in person. They could have simply mailed it in or had their attorney take care of it.
It may be basic advice, but someone mailing in a ticket should always first make a copy of what they send the court for their personal records. When they meet with their attorney it helps (but is not necessary) to see the actual ticket. Frequently, there is an additional document attached to the ticket known as a supporting deposition. The supporting deposition may not seem to give much more information than what is found on the ticket, but with experience and a trained eye, there can be some helpful information in it. It is a requirement that the police officer serves a supporting deposition if one is timely requested. In the New York State Police cases, they have a computer system programed that when they enter the basic information from the motorist at the scene when issuing a traffic ticket, it also generates a supporting deposition. It is usually attached to the actual ticket as one long accusatory instrument.
How Long Does A New York Traffic Ticket Stay On My Driving Record?
There are essentially two DMV records that come into play when someone is issued a ticket. For the most part, a traffic ticket stays visible on your record for four years. When an officer pulls someone over and they run the driver’s license or name in their computer, they will receive DMV’s four-year driving history for that motorist. That’s a four-year record of “convictions” only. It does not show original, dismissed, nor pending charges. That’s also the record that most employers or insurance companies see for any given motorist under review.
However, there is another more expansive record known as a lifetime abstract which is not as readily accessible. In order for a motorist to get their own lifetime abstract, they would have to file a FOIL request to the DMV to get a copy. That process usually takes one to three weeks. It has to be filled out, attested to, and mailed the DMV in Albany, New York. In the last few years, however, more courts and prosecutors have been getting copies of a motorist’s lifetime driving history. The lifetime driving history covers a 25-year look-back period. This objectionable and prejudicial use by the court means that they are not only looking for convictions but also original charges a driver has received over the past 25 years. My office has objected to the use of these by the court for any purpose other than the penalty phase of a case. Otherwise, its use is solely prejudicial for a judge or finder of fact when viewing that document prior to a conviction, plea, or trial of that motorist. While interesting information, it serves to bias the finder of fact when looking at a driver’s history showing a number of charged traffic infractions that were reduced or dismissed, as opposed to just the convictions. Seeking outcomes that do not carry points and do not appear on a client’s record of conviction is always the defense attorney’s goal—we seek to keep their record clean. I find it objectionable that the prosecution may end up with a copy of that record without defense counsel also being served a copy, and its prejudicial effect far outweighs any probative value. This information illustrates just a few examples of several objections that experienced counsel can make to the court on a given issue.
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