Vehicle and Traffic Offenses
In 1908, the first Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line. Although it was not the first car, the introduction of the Model T marked the beginning of America's long running love affair with the automobile. There are now over 275 million motor vehicles in the United States. The right to travel freely by motor vehicle is, contrary to what many people say, a qualified right and not merely a privilege. However, this right is subject to strict regulation by the various states. In New York State, the Vehicle and Traffic Law codifies the laws which govern motorists in New York. There are also various town and local ordinances which are applicable to motorists.
The most serious of the commonly cited driving offenses is Driving While Intoxicated. Even though DWI is included in the Vehicle and Traffic Law, it is a crime in New York and is different than the other driving offenses. Other than DWI, the most commonly cited criminal offense written under the Vehicle and Traffic Law is Reckless Driving. Reckless Driving is also a crime and carries 5 points. The other commonly cited traffic offenses, (such as speeding, disobeying a traffic device, passing a red light) are all non-criminal. They do carry points, however, and can affect insurance rights and the right to drive.
The ability to drive in our society is not a luxury. Most people, especially if they live outside of a major city, need their cars to earn a living and to live their lives. It can be very easy to have your ability to drive suspended or even revoked. Some summonses, such as those issued for excessive speed, carry many points. Whether or not you committed the infraction, it is foolish to simply mail in a guilty plea for a moving violation. All summonses should be contested. In most courts outside of the five boroughs of New York City, the points can either be reduced or eliminated as part of a plea agreement. I have successfully helped thousands of drivers keep their licenses. However, whether you hire me or any lawyer, you should not just plead guilty to get it over with. Your license is simply too important.