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FAQs

FAQs

Frequently Ask Questions

A valuable resource for the motorist is the New York State DMV Website which is located at dmv.ny.gov.

Please feel free to give us a Call at (212) 754-1011 for a no-charge initial consultation which will include a discussion of points and general ramifications of your summons for your NYS or another state’s driver’s license.

What are the “odds” that the Law Offices of Michael Spevack will successfully defend me?

A competent lawyer and law firm will not and cannot give odds of success in any particular matter.  It is unethical, unseemly, and it lowers the quality of legal representation down to the status of a bookmaker.

With that said, nobody wants to waste their money on representation that is ultimately ineffective.  The Law Offices of Michael Spevack has been practicing in this area of law for the past twenty years and  has helped thousands of motorists with summonses in New York State.

It is our aim to competently represent our clients and offer cost-effective representation that leads a client to become a fan of our firm and even a friend.

What is the Driver’s Responsibility Assessment?

The driver’s responsibility assessment is a fee or a tax you must pay to DMV over a three-year period if you are convicted of certain traffic offenses in New York State or accumulate six or more points on your driving record within 18 months.

Think of it as a “bad driver” tax.  This fee is in addition to any fines, penalties or surcharges that you must pay for a traffic conviction.  The purpose of the assessment is “to prevent the repeated behavior of problem drivers and to improve traffic safety,” according to the DMV website.  The quickest and easiest way to pay a driver responsibility assessment is online.

Who must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment?

Effective November 18, 2004, you must pay a driver responsibility assessment if;

  • you were convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving-related traffic offense while driving a motor vehicle, boat, or snowmobile in New York State.
  • you were found to have refused to take a chemical test for blood alcohol content in New York State.
  • you received 6 or more points on your NYS driver record within an 18 month period for convictions of traffic offenses committed in New York, Quebec or Ontario.

You must pay the driver responsibility assessment whether you have a driver’s license issued by New York State, another jurisdiction, or if you do not have a driver license.

How much do I have to pay for a Driver Responsibility Assessment??

The amount depends on the type of violation or the total number of points on your driving record.

  • If you are convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving-related offense or if you refuse to take a chemical test, the annual assessment is $250. The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment. The total assessment for the three years is $750.
  • If you receive 6 points on your driver record for violations committed during a period of 18 months, the annual assessment is $100. The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment. The total assessment for the three years is $300. If you receive more than 6 points on your driver record during a period of 18 months, the annual assessment is $25 for each point in addition to the original six points. The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment. The total assessment for the three years is $75 for each point in addition to the original 6 points.

If you must pay a driver responsibility assessment, DMV will send you a statement with the amount you owe.  You must pay at least the minimum amount by the payment date or your driver license will be suspended. You can also pay the full assessment.

The amount you owe may increase if you are convicted of additional offenses after your statement is issued.

Will Quebec and Ontario drivers with New York Tickets Receive Demerit Points?

Yes.  Both Quebec and Ontario have reciprocity with New York.

You will receive demerit points on your driver’s license plus you will be penalized in New York for being convicted of a New York ticket.  Let’s suppose that you are adjudicated guilty of a speeding ticket for 21-30 miles per hour over the speed limit in New York.

That will result in six penalty points in New York and in addition you will receive demerit points in Quebec or Ontario.  You will have to pay the New York driver’s responsibility assessment of $300 plus suffer a possible driver’s license suspension in New York should you receive another moving violation in New York that carries five or more points.

What information do you have for CDL drivers?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) requires a commercial driver license (CDL) holder to be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when convicted of certain types of moving violations in a private passenger vehicle or in CMV.

No CDL driving authority is permitted when any driving privileges are suspended, revoked, disqualified, denied, or cancelled.

Below is an overview of the MCSIA disqualifying violations and is only intended to describe the key elements of State and Federal law and is subject to change without notice:
* Administrative per se (probable cause) for operating a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .04.
* Administrative per se (probable cause) for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08.
* Operating a CMV while your blood alcohol concentration is .04 or higher.
* Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
* Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance.
* Refusal to take an alcohol test.
* Leaving the scene of an accident.
* Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony (not a traffic offense).
* Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV.
* Driving a CMV when as a result of prior violations committed while operating a CMV, the driver’s license is revoked, suspended, disqualified, canceled, denied, barred, or withdrawn.
* Using a vehicle in the commission of a felony involving controlled substances. (Automatic Lifetime Disqualification)

If convicted of a Major violation in a private passenger vehicle or in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for one year for the first offense or three years if carrying hazardous materials.

What are SERIOUS TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS?

* Excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the posted limit).
* Improper or erratic lane changes.
* Following a vehicle too closely.
* Violating state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with a fatal accident.
* Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL.
* Driving a CMV without a CDL in the driver’s possession.
* Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements.
* Texting OR using a hand held mobile telephone while operating a CMV.

If convicted of two Serious Traffic violations in a CMV within any three-year period, your CDL will be disqualified for 60 days or 120 days if convicted of three or more Serious Traffic violations in a CMV within any three-year period.

FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING A CDL

If a State determines, in its check of a license status and record prior to issuing a CDL, or at any time after the CDL is issued, that the applicant has falsified information contained in sub-part J of 383.73, or in any of the certifications required in §383.71(b) or (g), or in any of the documents required to be submitted by §383.71(h), the State must at a minimum disqualify the person’s CLP or CDL or his/her pending application, or disqualify the person from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of at least 60 consecutive days.

VIOLATING OUT-OF-SERVICE ORDERS

If convicted of violating an Out-Of-Service Order in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for a period, no less than 90 days and no more than 1 year for a first offense. If convicted of violating an Out-Of-Service Order while transporting hazardous materials in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 180 days, and not more than 2 years for a first offense.

Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than one year, and no more than 5 years for a second offense within any ten-year period. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 3 years, and no more than 5 years for a second offense while transporting hazardous materials within any ten-year period. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 3 years, and no more than 5 years, for three or more offenses within any ten-year period.

RAILROAD-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING VIOLATIONS

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing violations include violation of a federal, state or local law or regulation pertaining to the following six criteria:

  1. Drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear.
  2.  For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train.
  3. For drivers who are always required to stop, failing to stop before driving onto the crossing.
  4.  For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.
  5.  For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.
  6.  For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

If convicted of a Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing violation in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 60 days for the first offense. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 120 days for a second offense within any three-year period. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 1 year for a third offense within any three-year period.  Be especially careful if you are a professional driver in New York State.

What information do you have for New York City Taxicab Drivers?

Attorney Michael Spevack has been helping New York City Taxicab Drivers for over two decades and he takes pride in helping this segment of the driving market in New York City.  If you drive a New York City for hire vehicle, it is important to fight every ticket you receive either from the NYPD, another police agency in New York, or from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors.

Furthermore, some basic advice is to take the defensive driver course every 18 months. Do not wait three years to take the DDC class that takes points off of your NYS driver’s license.

Please take the course every 18 months so if TLC sends you a letter to suspend or revoke your Hack or TLC license, you will have taken the class before you get such TLC letter. Now TLC is allowing you to take a course which takes three points off your DMV record according to TLC calculations after you receive a letter from TLC saying you have a suspension or revocation coming to you.

Also, if you are found guilty of a DMV summons it may be best to take a DDC course AFTER the guilty finding at TVB or in other NYS traffic courts. Moreover, there is a persistent violator course available to reduce TLC points which are now being combined with DMV points and can result in your losing your TLC license very quickly if you speed or talk on your cell phone while driving. Generally, any moving violation now puts you in jeopardy.

Be especially careful if you are a professional driver in New York State.

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