Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Holding it Against YOU: Understanding NYS Speeding & Traffic Tickets, Points, and Time Frames

I look forward to Summer in Ithaca, NY for a number of reasons:

1. The weather in May, June, and July are a sharp respite from our brutally cold, and sometimes icy  winters. Although this year we were lucky, with minimal snow, and only a short number of gloom days. The northeastern seaboard got bombed while we got hardly anything.

2. The town and city of Ithaca go into summer mode. More tourists, festivals, and out of state visitors but much less College traffic and congestion. The population variance is immediately palpable.

This blog post is for those that call me asking, how long will this (tickets, points, violations) stay on my record? 

First, which record? Are we talking about your criminal record or your NYS DMV record?

Second, the better set of questions, the ones they really want to ask but can't really articulate are:

How will this ticket (violation) impact me, my life, my insurance, my license, and in what way (s)?

THE IMPACT of UTT (Uniform Traffic Tickets) and Points

As far as your New York State criminal record is concerned, all misdemeanors and felonies will stay on your permanent record forever (if you were 19 years old or older when committed). Violations are sealed (including traffic tickets) here, except for three:

- DWAI (VTL 1192 (1)) Driving While Your Ability Was Impaired
- Solicitation of Prostitution
- Sexual Solicitation

As far as your NYS DMV record, there are four time frames you should be aware of:

- Drug and alcohol related traffic infractions (VTL 1192 (2) DWI per se BAC .08 or more, VTL 1192 (2) (a) (a) Aggravated DWI per se BAC .18 or more, VTL 1192 (3) DWI common law, VTL 1192 (1) DWAI, DWAI drugs, DWAI drugs and alcohol) All stay on your DMV record for 10 YEARS.

- Violations/traffic infractions (not related to drugs or alcohol) stay on your NYS DMV record for 4 YEARS.

- All traffic violations (including alcohol and drug related) can be held against you by NYS insurance carriers (under NYS law) for 3 YEARS.

- All traffic violations which carry points or the potential for suspension and /or revocation of license privileges (speeds, following too closely, etc.) have an 18 Month look back period. 

Everyone who has infractions in NYS will have them on their NYS DMV record. This is regardless of whether they hold residency in NYS or anyplace else. Canada (in particular Quebec and Ontario) have a tit for tat (point for point) with NYS, except for our lowest level speeds (that fall below the Canadian kilometers level).

Not everything is cut and dried so to speak. There is more to know depending upon your specific situation, types of traffic infractions, Court, County, Judge, and your prior record.

What about if you are from out of town? What about if you are from out of the country? What about if you just changed licenses? What about if you plan on moving and changing licenses?

Always best to (at the very least) consult with an attorney, maybe you don't need to retain one? This is not so much to always get an answer but sometimes just maybe to ask "the right or better" question?

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

Ithaca, NY