Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Suspended License: Why you should care and act quickly

Why should you care? If you are driving in New York State and you have forgotten to answer a ticket or never heard back from the court you may be suspended. If your license or privilege to drive (for out-of-state drivers) in New York is suspended and you are stopped while driving in New York, there is a very good chance you will be charged with a crime, known as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree (AUO 3rd). This is a misdemeanor (worse than a violation, but a lot better than a felony).

Have you moved recently or live out of state? A large number of people that have moved or live in Quebec or Ontario may not know they are suspended. The address that New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (“NYSDMV”) uses is the address at the time the ticket was issued. In addition, NYSDMV computer typically have problems sending suspension notices to Canada, since it only accepts five-digit zip codes, not Canadian postal codes.

It is almost summertime and many people are traveling into New York. If you are not sure what happened with an old ticket, you may want to follow up. If you are a Canadian citizen you may have trouble getting across the New York border. You may be able to resolve this with the help of NYSDMV . If you prefer, our firm may be able to help.

Remember you do not want to just plead guilty to a bunch of tickets that you forgot about. You have to first find out what the ticket or tickets were for. If you rush to plead guilty on speeding ticket for 86 in 65. You will not only be responsible for the fine, but also the driver responsibility assessment, which is an additional $300 in this case (as of June 2009). Also, if you are convicted of three speeds or two work-zone speeds in 18 months in New York State, your license or privilege to drive in the State of New York will be revoked.

Finally, an added incentive to act now is the fee to lift the suspension(s) is going up from the current $35 per suspension to $70 per suspension on July 6, 2009.

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