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Traffic violations and New York’s point system

Most New Yorkers have found themselves pulled over by the police, whether it be for speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign or failing to use a turn signal. Although these traffic violations may seem relatively minor, their cumulative effect can significantly affect an individual’s life. This is intentional, too, as the state of New York hopes that by imposing serious penalties, individuals will avoid committing additional traffic infractions.

One way the state does this is by imposing a point system. Under New York law, an individual who accumulates 11 points within a year-and-a-half timeframe can have his or her license suspended. Each traffic violation is assigned a number of points, so even those violations that are minor can quickly rack up points, thereby putting one’s license at stake.

The points are calculated differently depending on the violation in question. Someone who speeds anywhere from one to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit can be hit with three points. If they are traveling between 21 and 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, though, then they will be dealt six points. Disobeying a railroad crossing signal is worth five points, and so, too, can using a cell phone while driving. The list of violations and their affiliated points can be found here. It is crucial that motorists are aware of the number of points they currently possess and what to do in the event that they reach that 11 point threshold.

When this happens, it may be time to speak with an attorney, if the individual hasn’t already. He or she can help ensure that one’s legal rights are as fully protected as possible throughout the process. Additionally, a competent attorney may be able to help negotiate a resolution that is fair and allows for an individual to retain his or her license. The facts at hand are crucial in these cases, though, as they can dictate legal strategy. Therefore, those who are interested in learning more about how to deal with their traffic violation issues can speak to an attorney of their choosing.

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

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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Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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