Out-Of-State Traffic Violations
Buffalo Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Thousands of drivers across the state border into New York each day, whether it’s for work, visiting one of the great attractions around western New York or just passing through. Inevitably, many of these drivers violate a New York traffic rule or commit a criminal driving offense, like DWI that results in their need of an experienced Buffalo out-of-state traffic violations lawyer.
Often, out-of-state drivers will not contest the charge; they simply pay the fine and get on with their life. If the out-of-state driver lives far away and can afford the penalties, this usually makes sense. But in certain situations, out-of-state drivers should not be so quick to accept the charge and plead guilty. Under these circumstances, drivers should seek the advice of a traffic attorney in Buffalo, New York, such as Drew Fritsch to provide the best legal defense possible against these charges.
The Driver License Compact
The driver license compact (DLC) is an agreement among participating states (and Canadian provinces) where the states agree to share driver information so that a driver’s home state will receive notice of a driving violation incurred by the driver in another state. Information typically shared includes traffic convictions and license suspensions or revocations.
Not every state is a member of the DLC, although the majority of states are, including New York. Even though a particular state is a member of the DLC, it has the option to implement the DLC in its own way. For example, some states will comply with the DLC only with respect to major driving violations.
In addition to the DLC, there is also the National Driver Register, which is a computer database of serious driving offenses and suspended or revoked driver’s licenses. When you apply for a new driver’s license, the department of motor vehicles will check this database before granting driving privileges.
Penalties From Your Home State
Depending on the facts of your traffic charge and your home state, there is a range of things you might do, from simply paying the fine and pleading guilty to hiring an attorney to represent you in court and fight the charge.
For example, if your traffic violation is relatively minor and your home state is Pennsylvania, you probably don’t need to worry about getting any points on your Pennsylvania driving record. This is because Pennsylvania usually doesn’t add points to its drivers’ records for minor out-of-state offenses. In this situation, your best course of action is probably to just pay the fine and plead guilty. However, this assumes you don’t have a Pennsylvania commercial license. In that case, you likely won’t want to plead guilty and it might be worth fighting the minor traffic offense.
And if your home state is New Jersey, you will receive two points for the New York traffic violation, regardless of how many points New York would have added for that particular offense. Depending on how many points you already have and your auto insurance company, receiving the two points could be a bad idea.
In another example, if you’re charged with a serious crime, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), you should hire a DWI attorney in Buffalo, New York. Those charged with DWI face many potentially serious penalties and your home state will almost certainly impose its own sanctions should you be convicted. Large fines, license suspensions and even jail time are distinct possibilities.
Can I Ignore The Ticket?
If you plan to never return to New York and you’re from a DLC member state that doesn’t impose any points for minor traffic violations that occur out of state, you might wonder if you can ignore the traffic ticket. The answer is no.
Even though the ticket itself may be minor, the consequences for ignoring the ticket are severe. New York will automatically suspend your ability to drive in the state. If you don’t intend to drive again in New York, you may not think that’s a problem. But because your home state is a member of the DLC, your driver’s license in your home state will probably be suspended until the ticket is handled properly.
Out-Of-State Traffic Violations Lawyer Buffalo, New York
If you’ve committed a New York traffic violation during one of your trips to Buffalo, you should contact our office immediately for a free one-on-one consultation with Drew Fritsch, an experienced out-of-state traffic violations lawyer to guide you through the matter.