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Law Office of Lynne A. Papazian
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Understanding New York's driver point system

Unlike certain other states, New York has a Driver Violation Point System. This gives the state's Department of Motor Transportation a way to identify high-risk drivers so that the appropriate action can be taken against them. Under this point system, certain common traffic violations have been assigned points. If a driver gets 11 or more points in an 18-month period, his or her driving privileges may be suspended.

Before the points are added to a driver's record, the person must be convicted of the applicable traffic violation. However, the point total is calculated based on the day the traffic violation was committed and not on the day that the person is convicted. The points that the driver received within the last 18 months are used to figure the point total. This means that violations that occurred more than 18 months ago will not contribute to the driver's point total.

While points are assigned for a wide variety of common violations, such as using a portable electronic device, failing to yield and tailgating, among many others, there are some violations that do not have points attached to them. These violations include any bicycle violations, pedestrian violations and parking violations. Additionally, violations associated with unregistered, unlicensed and uninsured operation also do not have points attached.

Due to the point system in New York, keeping a driving record as clean as possible is important. If a person is facing convictions for alleged traffic violations, an attorney may review the details to look for weaknesses or any other problems with the prosecution's case. For example, the attorney may investigate the traffic stop to determine if the evidence may be considered inadmissible in court, especially if the police officer did not have probable cause to pull the driver over.

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