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What should I know about the New York State driver point system?

Drivers in New York State who receive a citation for committing certain violations behind the wheel will be likely have points assessed on their driver’s license. People might have a vague notion of what that means, but do not fully understand how much of a costly inconvenience the accumulation of points on a license can be. It can lead to a suspended license or a revoked license. Insurance will be increased and other problems can arise. Legal help is beneficial in a traffic case.

The Driver Violation Point System is used to sanction drivers who are viewed as “high risk.” Points will be assessed depending on the violation. If a driver gets 11 points within an 18-month time frame, the driver’s license can be suspended. The points will not be added to the driver’s license until there is a conviction, making it increasingly important to lodge a defense against the charges. The point total will be based on the date of the violation and not the date of conviction. The points that came about in the prior 18 moths will be added together to come to a total.

For speeding, a driver who was going 1 to 10 MPH over the speed limit will have 3 points added to the license. If it is 11 to 20, it will be 4 points. 21 to 30 gets 6 points. 31 to 40 gets 8 points. And more than 40 gets 11 points. A driver who is convicted of reckless driving or failing to stop for a school bus will get 5 points. Tailgating can yield 4 points. Improper cellphone use or use of a portable electronic device (texting) will result in 5 points. There are many more. A driver who gets 6 or more points within 18 months will be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee. The amount varies based on the violation.

Drivers who are stopped and cited for violations that have points attached to them might dismiss it as no big problem. That is a mistake. There are often methods to combat allegations of traffic violations. Perhaps the traffic stop was not done according to protocol. Maybe the officer did not fill out the ticket correctly. Or the driver could have had a logical explanation for the alleged violation. Regardless, given the numerous problems that can accompany having points on a driver’s license, it is essential to discuss the matter with a legal professional and to craft a defense.

Source: dmv.ny.gov, “About the NYS Driver Point System,” accessed on June 12, 2017

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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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