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DL Suspension Issues for New Drivers

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New York simultaneously has some of the worst traffic in the country as well as some of the harshest driving safety laws and regulations. Any number of offenses can lead to a license suspension or revocation, and young drivers are at especially high risk for triggering one of these offenses. Read on to learn about license suspension offenses common to young drivers as well as recent changes to the driver suspension laws in New York, and call a knowledgeable New York criminal defense attorney if you are facing New York driving offense charges.

Common Reasons New Drivers Face License Suspension

In New York, there are several reasons why your driving privileges can be either suspended or revoked. Typically, suspension or revocation occurs due to the commission of a crime or a driving-related offense, or failure to adhere to some court obligation. Some of the most common reasons for definite or limited-term suspension for new drivers include:

  • Driving without car insurance
  • A conviction for an alcohol or drug-related driving offense
  • Failing to follow the rules for junior drivers

Regarding the latter point, drivers under the age of 18 face special restrictions. Junior learner’s permits allow drivers under 18 to operate a vehicle on certain roads only with supervision. Drivers with a junior driver’s license can drive unsupervised but face certain restrictions. Additionally, New York law sets an age threshold of 16 years for anyone to drive in the state; even if you have a valid driver’s license or permit from another state, you cannot drive here until age 16. Violating these rules for junior drivers can lead to license suspension.

Young drivers also commonly face indefinite periods of license suspension for failing to answer a traffic ticket, failing to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment or other fine, failing to file a report after a traffic accident, or failing to carry the requisite auto insurance.

Driving without insurance, a conviction for a serious traffic offense or drug/alcohol driving charge, making a false statement in an application for a driver’s license or registration, or being at fault in a fatal car crash can lead to a driver’s license revocation.

Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act

Historically, one of the most common ways in which to lose your driver’s license in New York has been to fail to pay traffic tickets and other court fees. In recent years, civil rights advocates and state officials have argued that the practice tends to disproportionately burden lower-income individuals and people of color; those who are more likely to be pulled over and prosecuted as well as those who are simply less able to pay fines on time. Effective 2021, the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act (DLSRA) aims to remedy the problem.

Under the DLSRA, New York courts must offer a payment plan for parties who are ticketed. The plan can be either two percent of monthly income or $25. If the driver enters into a payment plan and makes their first payment, their license suspension will be lifted. Moreover, although failure to appear is still grounds for license suspension, entering into a payment plan counts as an appearance. The bill also extends the period after a missed appearance from 30 to 90 days that will lead to a license suspension, giving drivers much more time to correct a missed appearance before they will lose their driving privileges.

Upon going into effect in June 2021, the DLSRA automatically lifted then-existing suspensions for unpaid tickets and allowed drivers to enter into payment plans. If you are facing suspension of your driver’s license, you might have a pathway through the new law to stave off suspension or have your license reinstated. Talk to a savvy New York driving offense attorney for help.

Defend Yourself Against Hudson Valley Driving Offense Charges

If you have had your driver’s license suspended or you’ve been arrested on charges in New York, call Dupée & Monroe, P.C., to get help from a dedicated New York criminal defense lawyer. From our offices in Goshen, we represent clients charged with all manner of criminal offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.

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