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Junior driver laws and traffic violations in Upstate New York

It is always exciting for young people to finally get their driver’s license in New York State. While this is generally seen as a rite of passage and they will believe that it accords them certain freedoms they did not have before, there are laws they must follow based on their junior driver’s license status. Understanding these laws and how traffic violations can negatively impact their future is imperative from the start.

Drivers with a junior license cannot drive if they do not have a supervising driver between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. There cannot be more than one passenger under 21 unless it is immediate family or if there is a supervising driver who is also a parent, guardian, driver instructor or driver’s education teacher. All must wear their seatbelts. Children must be in a regulation car seat. From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., the junior driver can drive from home to employment or to a school course. Apart from that, there must be a parent, guardian or driving teacher.

When a person with a junior license receives a traffic violation, they can have their license suspended. If it is a serious traffic violation or two violations with a junior permit or license, there will be a 60-day suspension. The driving privileges will be revoked for 60 days if there is a serious violation or two other violations during the first six months after restoration. Serious traffic violations are generally considered those that result in points being placed on the driver license.

The prevalence of cell phone use while driving and its dangers has sparked serious penalties for the violation. Cell phone violations will lead to a 60-day suspension if it occurred from July 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2014. Being convicted a second time will lead to a six-month suspension of a probationary license or a revocation of a driver license or permit. After Nov. 1, 2014, it will be a 120-day suspension. A second conviction for a violation within six months of reinstatement will result in the probationary license being revoked for one year or a junior license being revoked for one year.

Getting a junior driver license is undoubtedly exciting and new drivers tend to think they are entering a world of adulthood and trust. This can all be true simultaneous to laws being in place to regulate their behavior and issue punishments for violations. However, not all charges are valid and junior drivers need a legal defense to avoid a suspended license, insurance impacts and being penalized under the point system. A traffic violationslaw firm can help with lodging a defense against these allegations.

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James L. Riotto
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James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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