Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ithaca Police Charge VTL 509 (6) for Fake Driver's License

Fake Driver's Licenses Can Look Very Good

The Ithaca Police department is now charging VTL 509.6 for any forged or fake or fraudulent or fictitious driver's license. This is whether the license is used or just possessed.

Remember that this vehicle and traffic law (VTL) provision has no mental intent. In other words just having it, you are guilty. This is called a strict liability offense. In contrast to murder where you intended to kill someone.

The real issue with VTL 509.6 is not the charge itself or the fine or the state surcharge. The real issue is the New York DMV will suspend your driving privileges. If you are from out of state the New York state license consequences will likely reach back to your home state as well.

What if the charge gets changed?
What then?
Is it a ever a good idea to have any violation relating to fraud or deceit or lying on your history? Learn why if you're found guilty or not of the original charge what will likely happen.

Enforcement of Underage Drinking and Fake Driver's License is Trending in Ithaca

NYS VTL 509.6 is very clear. You can't have (possess) or use anyone else's license or a fake license.

Current consequences:
  1. Fine range of $75 to $300
  2. NYS surcharge $88 (city court) or $93 (town or village court)
  3. Up to 15 days in county jail (not likely but they could under the statute)  
  4. New York State DMV Driver's License Suspension of up to one year
  5. Have a violation (509.6) on your record that relates to lying, deceit, or fraud

New York Consolidated Laws, Vehicle and Traffic Law - 

VTL § 509. 6  Violation

 6. No licensee shall voluntarily permit any other person to use his license, nor shall any person at any time possess or use any forged, fictitious or illegally obtained license, or use any license belonging to another person.

See this NYS DMV release targeting underage drinking at a concert from a few years back:

18 Counterfeit Driver Licenses Seized from Underage Concertgoers

State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Deputy Commissioner Thomas Higgins today announced that the DMV’s underage drinking enforcement action at the Lady Antebellum concert on Sunday at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) resulted in the arrest of 21 concertgoers and the seizure of 18 counterfeit licenses.
This action was conducted by the DMV’s Division of Field Investigation in cooperation with New York State Park Police and is supported by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) in order to deter minors from abusing alcohol and driving while impaired.  
The legal drinking age in New York State is 21. 
“The DMV is committed to deterring underage drinking and keeping our roads safe from drunk drivers and these enforcement actions will protect the lives of our young people and increase traffic safety for every New Yorker,” said Deputy Commissioner Higgins. 
On Sunday night, seven DMV investigators who are familiar with documents both in-state and out-of-state were stationed at the ID checkpoint set-up by SPAC to confirm the age of all patrons wishing to buy alcohol at the event.  Using their training, investigators authenticated identification documents and identified fake ID’s at this event.
Overall DMV investigators identified 17 individuals using counterfeit licenses and 4 individuals using someone else's license. Among the 18 counterfeit licenses confiscated Sunday, six were from Connecticut, three from Rhode Island, two from Maryland, two from Ohio, and one each from Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Mississippi and Maine. Four individuals were arrested for use of another person’s legal driver license, while one individual possessed two fake driver licenses from two different states. 
All those arrested were criminally charged with a criminal violation of 509.6 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law and will be subject to administrative action which normally results in a revocation of their license privilege for a minimum of 90 days and up to one year.
 Uniformed and plainclothes State Park Police officers also patrolled parking lots, picnic areas and other park grounds outside of SPAC to thwart the use of alcohol in the park in violation of park regulations.
“Law enforcement will continue its zero tolerance policy for underage drinking in our State Parks,” State Park Police Chief David Herrick said. “We are grateful for the assistance of DMV to help keep concert-goers safe and reduce the number of intoxicated drivers on the roadways.”
The majority of counterfeit licenses recovered by DMV’s Division of Field Investigation are purchased over the internet from foreign companies. DMV works with federal and state law enforcement agencies to crack down on these counterfeiters by identifying the source and working to shut down their operations and has been doing so for more than a decade. More than 2,600 people have been arrested since 2009. 

The Way the New York DMV works with VTL 509.6

The DMV will send you a letter that your license will be suspended for a year pending the outcome of an administrative hearing. If you go to the hearing and lose, bang one year suspension of license.

If you choose to WAIVE the hearing, then the DMV will offer a 90 day license suspension.

DMV administrative hearings are hard to win because the level of proof is so low. It is just above a civil standard of preponderance of the evidence NOT beyond a reasonable doubt. These hearings are very fast and loose with the rules of evidence and allow hearsay.

The Good News if You Are Suspended: The Restricted Driver's License

So if you are suspended you can apply for and usually get a restricted driver's license privilege. For out of state motorists I suggest getting a CERTIFIED copy of your state driving history or abstract because the New York DMV may want to confirm you have nothing on your home record.

Usually this charge can be changed or reduced by the DA's office if you have a good history otherwise so it doesn't blemish your record.

The NYS DMV Restricted Driver's License or Privilege

First, you must apply in person at any DMV office. Ithaca Tompkins County DMV is so easy to use. They are on 3rd Street off state road 13.

Second, I advise if from out of state you get a certified copy of your home state's driving history.

from the DMV

Restricted use 

The DMV can issue a restricted use license to a driver who qualifies and whose license is suspended or revoked because of violations or incidents that are not alcohol or drug-related, or because of some drug-related violations.  

Drivers from other states

If you have a driver license issued in another state, and you meet the other requirements, you can receive a conditional driving privilege or a restricted driving privilege to drive in NY State. The conditions or the restrictions are the same as the conditions or restrictions for a driver with a NY State driver license.  

Under section NYS 530 Can use the New York State restricted license for work, school, and medical purposes

S 530 Restricted  use  licenses.  A  person  whose driving license or
  privilege of operating a motor vehicle in this state has been heretofore
  suspended or revoked pursuant to the provisions of section five  hundred
  ten  of  this  chapter  or  whose driver's license or privilege has been
  revoked pursuant to section three hundred eighteen of this  chapter  and
  for  whom  the holding of a valid license is a necessary incident to his
  employment, business, trade, occupation or profession, or to his  travel
  to  and  from  a  class  or  course  at an accredited school, college or
  university or at a state approved institution of vocational or technical
  training or enroute to and from a medical examination  or  treatment  as
  part  of a necessary medical treatment for such participant or member of
  his household, as evidenced by a written statement to that effect from a
  licensed medical practitioner may thereafter apply for and may be issued
  a restricted use license or if the holder of a license issued by another
  jurisdiction valid  for  operation  in  this  state,  a  restricted  use
  privilege of operating a motor vehicle in this state as provided herein.

New York charges can affect people in many areas of their life. Bringing some certainty to some of these areas can often lessen the fear and the concerns.

Newman and Cyr is a boutique DWI and traffic defense firm located in Ithaca, NY and serving the Finger Lakes region.
Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.
607-229-5184 / direct 607-229-0475

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