In order to track traffic violations, most states—including New York—now use some sort of points system. While not all traffic violations have points assigned, the vast majority do. Often, the points assessed for a violation are dependent on the severity of the infraction.
These points can result in a number of negative consequences, especially once they begin to add up. In some cases, points can end up costing you hundreds of dollars as well as increases in insurance rates and other penalties.
The Driver Violation Points System provides the department of motor vehicles (DMV) with a way to identify drivers who accrue traffic violations and might be considered high-risk, while also giving them a means to take action against those drivers. The hope is that once the penalties are imposed and the points assessed, drivers will change their habits and not make the same mistakes again.
The DMV assigns points for certain traffic violations. You must be found guilty of these violations before points can be added to your license—they don’t just automatically appear because you received a ticket.
Points are calculated from the day of the violation, not the day of the conviction. Only points from the previous eighteen months are used to calculate your total points, which could lead to suspension of your license.
If you’ve been convicted of violations that add up to six points within an eighteen-month period, you’ll be subjected to a driver responsibility assessment fee of $250 per year for three years.
Suspension of your license is possible if you receive eleven points within an eighteen-month period and begins the day the violation occurred, not the date you are convicted of the violation in court. The good news is that after eighteen months, while the points may remain on your permanent record, they no longer count toward your total points.
Additionally, each time you get points on your drivers license, even if they’re not going to affect your ability to drive legally, your insurance premiums may rise. Due to the way points are reported to the DMV, your insurance company has access to this information. Even if you do not report the points to them, chances are that they already know and can hold it against you when it comes time to pay for coverage.
While the point system is disliked by many people, it’s actually quite fair since each violation has a number of points depending on severity and risk. While not every state counts points on an eighteen-month cycle, at least in New York you can always be aware of where you stand. However, because these points have the potential to cost you and cause you and your family problems in the future, it’s important to make sure you have a qualified legal team on your side when it comes time to challenge your ticket.
If you have questions about points on your license or you have received a ticket and want to know if you can avoid additional points, contact the Law Office of James Medows for help. Call us at 917-856-1247 or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to get started with a free and confidential consultation.