How to handle NYS or NYC criminal tickets for trucks and truck drivers
Greetings! My name is Michael Spevack. I am a lawyer located in Queens, New York. Since 1995, I have been helping professional motorists and owners of fleets of vehicles with their legal issues.
Article 19B, Section 509-p of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law contains the definition of a “commercial motor vehicle carrier.” The terms means any person, corporation or entity who directs one or more commercial motor vehicles and who operates a commercial motor vehicle wholly within or partly within the State of New York in connection with the operation or administration of any business.
Section 509-p also states that a “Commercial motor vehicle” shall mean a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles having a gross combination weight rating of more than ten thousand pounds used in commerce to transport property and it shall include a tow truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least eighty-six hundred pounds.
This is a broad definition which applies to delivery vehicles; for example a furniture store that uses one delivery vehicle.
Article 19B of the VTL places *several duties on commercial motor carriers and drivers for such carriers including VTL 509-r which requires written applications for employment to a commercial motor carrier,
*VTL 509-s which requires a commercial carrier to review the driving record of each of its drivers every 12 months,
*509-t which requires a commercial motor carrier to obtain a record of violations from its drivers,
*VTL 509-u which requires the commercial motor carrier to keep a file on each drivers qualifications to drive, and finally,
*VTL 509-v which provides the Commissioner of Transportation the right to inspect these records, among other powers of the Commissioner of Transportation.
_ Penalties for violating 19B of VTL or rules and regulations of Commissioner of Transportation made under 19B of VTL are a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1000.
Another important concern for truck owners and operators is VTL section 385 which announces specific limitations on the size of motor vehicles in NY and it also limits the weight and load such vehicles may carry. Please contact me if you need specifics.
Section 14-F of the NYS Transportation Law concerns transportation of hazardous materials in NYS. Section 140 of the Transportation Law concerns commercial vehicle safety.
If a summons is issued for an equipment defect in violation of section 14- F except for any out of service violation or 140 of the Transportation Law except for a violation relating to i. load securement,
ii. Brake systems,
iii. Steering components and/or
iv. Coupling devices or except for v. a violation involving the operation of any motor vehicle after it has been placed out of service, such summons shall be dismissed by a court if the violation set forth in the summons is corrected not later than one half hour after sunset of the first full business day and proof has been submitted to the court.
Acceptable proof shall consist of:
i. a state of correction from a state inspection station,
ii. A statement of correction from an automobile repair shop on letterhead of such shop duly executed by the person who made the correction,
iii. A signed statement of any police officer that the necessary corrections have been made.
_ If non-timely repairs are made for a non out of service vehicle, fines are $350 to $1000 for a first violation, $1000 to $2500 for a second violation and/or 90 days imprisonment for hazardous transport and slightly lower for non hazardous transport.
It is important to note that New York State Law, specifically Transportation Law section 140 and 17 NYCRR part 820.1 which incorporates federal law into our criminal courts. Frequently seen in NYC now are summons that reference 49 Code of Federal Regulations parts 390-397.
Police officers in NYC frequently write summonses with citations to 49 CFR parts. NYS expressly incorporates federal law to its commercial motor vehicle carriers. An awareness of these provisions are important.
I want to make mention briefly of the fact that CDL operators in New York State and New York City must fight all traffic tickets given to them because of the requirements of Article 19B of the VTL I discussed before. Even if the ticket does NOT carry a criminal penalty or large fine, it could seriously affect your ability to do your job.
If you own a truck or a fleet of trucks, or are a CDL driver ANYWHERE IN NEW YORK STATE OR IN NEW YORK CITY, please give my office a call at the number you see on your screen.
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