Drivers accumulate penalty points in New York when the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records a traffic violation conviction on their driving records. The number of assigned demerit points varies based on the severity of the offense. Note that, in addition to the traffic violation penalties issued under the rules of the NY driver point system, motorists may also be subject to certain criminal penalties. Review several offenses that result in driving points and learn how to clear your driving record in New York by reading the sections outlined below:
- Moving violations and points in New York
- Penalties in New York
- How to fix a driving record in New York
- Disputing a moving violation charge in New York
Moving Violations and Points in New York
When the state DMV assigns moving violation points in New York, it follows the guidelines of its demerit point system. Note that infraction points are not accumulated for offenses that result in mandatory suspensions or revocations of your license. For example, instead of assigning DWI points for alcohol or drug-related offenses, the department will take an administrative action against the culpable driver.
The following list outlines the number of NY penalty points you can accumulate for certain offenses within the state:
- Disobeying traffic control signals: 3 points
- Following another vehicle too closely: 4 points
- Failure to stop for a school bus: 5 points
- Railroad crossing violation: 5 points
- Operating a vehicle in a reckless manner: 5 reckless driving points
When issuing demerit points for speeding offenses, the DMV takes into consideration the speed at which the vehicle was moving when the law was violated. For example, while speeding 1 to 10 mph over the limit results in three speeding ticket points in NY, drivers who operate their vehicles 40 mph or more over the posted limit will be penalized with 11 points for speeding.
Drivers who accumulate 11 or more NY moving violation points within an 18-month period may incur a driving license suspension. Also, drivers who accumulate six or more car accident points and other types of points may be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment fee over a three-year period.
Penalties in New York
You may incur different types of traffic violation penalties in New York for different types of traffic offenses. Certain more serious infractions also result in criminal charges. For instance, the DWI penalties issued for driving while intoxicated offenses lead to certain court-imposed penalties, in addition to the NY traffic ticket penalty administered by the DMV. The combined drunk driving penalties issued to drivers who operate their vehicle while intoxicated may, therefore, include any combination of the following:
- A steep court-imposed fine and a driver responsibility assessment fee.
- A jail sentence of a specific duration.
- A license suspension or revocation.
- Participation in the state alcohol and/or drugs rehabilitation program.
Note: The severity of the DUI penalties in New York varies based on factors such as the driver's age, the type and amount of substance that was involved and whether or not he or she has submitted to a chemical test.
How to Fix a Driving Record in New York
Completing a New York driving safety course for purposes of reducing your total demerit point count is an option that can be utilized by drivers who are at risk of a point-related driving license suspension. Motorists can reduce up to four penalty points in NY by enrolling in the DMV Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) course, which is the state driver safety course. By utilizing the option to clean your driving record via this method, you will receive other benefits as well. For example, you will improve your safe driving techniques, which will help you avoid any future traffic violations. A certificate of completion of an NY defensive driving course will also help you obtain reduced car insurance premiums.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in New York
The procedure to contest traffic tickets in New York varies based on factors such as the type of offense that was committed and the court or institution that is handling the citation. Fighting a speeding ticket in Rochester and the five New York City boroughs, for instance, is a process that can be completed through the state Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). However, the TVB only administers an NY traffic ticket penalty for non-criminal moving violations. More serious offenses that lead to criminal charges are processed by the criminal courts within these areas. Also, if you choose to dispute a speeding ticket in an area outside of Rochester or the NYC boroughs, you will be required to submit your plea to the court of the village, town, county or city where the offense took place.
Drivers can start preparing for the process of disputing a traffic ticket in NY after the corresponding court or the TVB receive their decision to fight a speeding ticket or another type of citation. After hearing your testimony and accepting any relevant evidence, the judge will render a decision. If you fail to successfully dispute a speeding ticket in NY or another type of citation, the conviction will be recorded on your driving transcript and you will be subjected to the appropriate traffic violation penalties.