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Q&A: Moving Violations Part #2

Moving violations can have a number of serious repercussions. They can lead to fines, points on your license, insurance rate hikes, and issues with your livelihood, in the case of those who make their living behind the wheel. By hiring a lawyer to handle the matter for you, many of the most common consequences can be decreased or even avoided altogether. NY traffic attorney Zev Goldstein, Esq. would like to present part 2 of the most commonly asked questions involving moving violations.

 

Cell Phone Tickets

 

  1. Q: How many points does a cell phone violation carry?
    A: As of June 2013, a cell phone violation is 5 points.
  2. Q: Is using a phone while driving considered a moving violation?
    A: Yes, using a cell phone while driving is still considered a moving violation.
  3. Q: How about using my dashboard navigation system?
    A: Using your dashboard navigation system should be performed only when your car is stopped and off the road. However, this is not a cell phone violation, as it is not a portable electronic device, as defined by law.
  4. Q: Can a policeman stop me for using a cell phone if I’m driving legally?
    A: Yes.
  5. Q: Can I text at a stop light?
    A: No.
  6. Q: Can I get a ticket while dialing a phone number?
    A: Yes.
  7. Q: Can I get a ticket for changing the music on my smartphone?
    A: Yes.
  8. Q:Can I get a ticket for using the maps feature on my smartphone?
    A: Yes.
  9. Q:When can I use voice activation while driving?
    A: If you have a hands-free option, you can use your mobile device as long as it is voice activated and doesn’t require the use of either hand.
  10. Q:Can I use my cell phone for an emergency if I do not have a hands-free device?
    A: Yes, you can use your cell phone to report an emergency without receiving a ticket.  However, it is possible that the police officer will still write the ticket and it will be your burden to prove that it was being used in an emergency.
  11. Q:Is looking at a portable electronic device while the vehicle is in motion really a violation, even if it’s not in my hand?
    A: If you are using the portable electronic device while the vehicle is in motion, it can be considered a violation.

    DUI/DWI

  12. Q:What is BAC?
    A: Blood Alcohol Content
  13. Q:Can a Breath or Blood Test Be Challenged?
    A: Some breath tests are not as reliable as others. Hence, they can be challenged.
  14. Q:Can I get a Hardship License for work?
    A: There are several cases in which you might be able to get a Hardship License to allow you to drive to and from work. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis.
  15. Q:What special rules apply If I get a DUI under 21?
    A: For individuals who receive a DUI under 21, consequences can include immediate license suspension for six months, a fine of $125, and a license reinstatement fee of $100 when the six-month period is up.
  16. Q:What’s Involved in a DUI Deferred Prosecution?
    A: Deferred prosecution allows individuals who have problems with drugs or alcohol to seek treatment instead of being punished severely. This requires rigid adherence to a strict program. Only one deferred prosecution is allowed in a lifetime.
  17. Q:Will I lose my job because of a DUI? Will I lose my license?
    A: Whether or not you will lose your job will depend on the type of job you have, and the company you work for and its policies. In most cases, a DUI offense will result in at least a temporary loss of driving privileges.
  18. Q:What is the first thing I should do when I get pulled over and asked if I was drinking?
    A: Keep in mind that you can exercise your Fifth Amendment rights. You do not have to answer incriminating questions.
  19. Q:Can I refuse to take field sobriety tests?
    A: You can refuse to take field sobriety tests, which are voluntary.  But a refusal will result in a mandatory One Year license suspension.
  20. Q:If I plan on pleading guilty do I need a lawyer?
    A: Yes, you will need a lawyer to help manage your case even if you’re pleading guilty.
  21. Q: After my DUI / DWI conviction, will I be required to install an IID?
    A: In some cases you will be required to install an IID after your conviction.  You should discuss this with your lawyer.
  22. Q:Can I get out of my DUI / DWI by plea bargaining for a wet reckless?
    A: In New York State, it is very difficult to reduce an alcohol charge to an non-alcohol charge.  The law makes it exceptionally difficult.
  23. Q:How long will a DUI / DWI stay on my record, counting as a prior offense?
    A: A DUI will remain on your record for 10 years.
  24. Q:Is a DUI a felony? Will I have to serve jail time for my DUI / DWI?
    A:The first charge is a generally a misdemeanor. A second or later charge can be a felony. The first offense doesn’t generally require jail time; These cases are very fact-specific and in some cases, jail can be required.
  25. Q:Do I have a right to an attorney before deciding whether to take a breath test?
    A: Yes.
  26. Q:What’s the difference between the Justice Court trial and the DMV hearing?
    A: The justice court trial determines your legal guilt on the charges; the DMV hearing determines the consequences for your license and will decide any questions regarding an alleged refusal.

    CDL Violations

  27. Q:Can a CDL holder get deferred adjudication instead of a conviction for a traffic ticket?
    A: Typically, no, this is not possible.
  28. Q:Can I fight CDL speeding tickets in NY?
    A: Yes, you can contest a ticket.
  29. Q:Can I get a traffic charge dropped to protect my CDL?
    A: You can get a traffic charge dropped if you are able to successfully contest the ticket or if you work out a plea resolution that protects the CDL.
  30. Q:Can I get CDL jobs if I’ve gotten 3 moving violations?
    A: If you have three or fewer moving violations in the last 3 years, you’ll have an easier time getting a CDL job.
  31. Q:Can you avoid points for a ticket on your CDL?
    A: If you are able to prove that you were not at fault, you can avoid points from a ticket.  Also, sometimes a plea bargain may be possible to avoid points.
  32. Q:Can you challenge a lifetime CDL revocation?
    A: There’s little you can do after your CDL has been revoked. Challenging it is very difficult and typically impossible.
  33. Q:Does a truck driver have any defenses to traffic tickets?
    A: Proving that the method for collecting evidence was faulty is your best defense against traffic tickets.  Plea bargains are also available to resolve these tickets in most courts.

    Out of State Violations

  34. Q:Do NY tickets show up on NJ licenses?
    A. Yes – and NJ will issue two points for most NY moving violations.
  35. Q:Do NJ tickets show up on a NY license?
    A: No—but they will still know about it, and you are still responsible for the associated fines.
  36. Q:Can I get a license in a different state if mine was suspended?
    A: If your license is suspended in one state, it will likely be suspended in other states, as well.
  37. Q:Do driving in the center lane penalties differ from state to state?
    A: Yes.
  38. Q:Do New York traffic ticket points transfer to New Jersey
    A: No.

     Points, Insurance, and Surcharges

  39. Q:How many points do I get for speeding? Reckless driving? Red light? Cell phone ticket? DUI?
    A: If you’re speeding, it depends on how fast you were traveling over the speed limit. Cell phone tickets are worth 5 points. DUIs do not carry points in New York (but obviously carry many other penalties). Reckless driving is worth 5 points. Red light violations are typically 3 points.
  40. Q:How do I get 0 points for my traffic violation?
    A: Some traffic violations don’t come with points attached. You may also be able to take the traffic citation to court and plea bargain.
  41. Q:How do points affect my car insurance premiums?
    A: As the points on your license increase, your car insurance premiums may go up.
  42. Q:How long does it take for points to be removed from your New York State driving license record?
    A: Points typically expire after 18 months.  But they will remain on your record for 3 years.
  43. Q:Can I fight an insurance increase in NY because of tickets?
    A: No.
  44. Q:Can I dispute a traffic ticket surcharge?
    A: Typically, the traffic ticket surcharge is part of the fine for a ticket.  There is no discretion, it is required by state law.
  45. Q:What exactly is a Driver Responsibility Assessment?
    A: This is a fee that must be paid within a three-year period if you  accumulate 6 or more points within 18 months.

    Paying a Traffic Ticket

  46. Q:Is it worthwhile to fight my NY ticket or should I just pay it?
    A: Often, this depends on the specific circumstances of the ticket. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options.
  47. Q: Can I pay Court fines with a CC?
    A: Depending upon the court, you may be able to pay with a CC.
  48. Q:Can’t I just pay my fine online?
    A: In some cases, yes, you can pay your fine online.  Each court has its own rules.
  49. Q:How can I find my New York ticket online?
    A: If the ticket is from New York City, looking up your ticket online is simple. Start here for detailed instructions.  In the rest of the state, it is not always possible.
  50. Q:How can I get a copy of my NYS driving record/license/abstract?
    A: Information on obtaining a copy of your driving record can be found here.

    Driver Diversion Program (DDC), Traffic Diversion Program (TDP) and The Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP)

  51. Q:Are the The Point and Insurance Reduction Program PIRP and Driver Diversion Program (DDP) the same?
    A: No they are not.
  52. Q: I read online that the courses do not REMOVE the points; is this true?
    A: Yes this is true. Although the DMV website seems to indicate that points are removed by the defensive driving course, that is somewhat misleading. The conviction stays on your record after taking the course. The benefits are that your New York State point suspension limit increases from 11 points to 15. The course also gives you a 10% insurance discount. However, insurance companies still see the entire conviction. In addition, the defensive driving course does not prevent NYS from communicating the conviction to other states. We have no idea what a NYS defensive driving course will or won’t do on your out of state record.
  53. Q:I was speeding but this is my first offence ever. Will the judge dismiss the ticket if I take the traffic diversion program (TDP)?
    A: The general practice in counties that have the traffic diversion program is for the prosecutor to allow you to participate in the TDP and take the DDC. Thereafter the judge allows the charge to be dismissed without any conviction appearing in either NYS or being communicated to other states. Usually both the prosecutor and the judge have discretion to deny your participation in the TDP .

 

Fighting a traffic ticket in New York can be a headache. Thankfully, there’s an experienced team standing by to help you at The Law Offices of Zev Goldstein. Contact us today to learn more about how to dispute your New York traffic ticket today.