Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Child's death instigates push for tougher consequences to drivers

New York traffic laws account for a variety of crimes and charges based upon the circumstances. Some offenses may be minor and others more serious, determining the ultimate charge as a misdemeanor or felony and what degree should be assigned to them. Driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving and failing to obey traffic signals are some of the basic and more commonly violated traffic laws. Driving with a suspended license is yet another charge that faces many New York drivers.

An elementary school child died last week as the result of an accident that involved a driver with a suspended license. The 8-year old boy was on his way to school when he was hit by a truck. The driver had a valid New Jersey license but a suspended New York driver's license.

Currently, if a driver is found to be operating a vehicle while his or her driver’s license is suspended, he or she will face a misdemeanor charge. However, in the wake of the little boy’s death, a New York state senator from Queens intends to initiate a new bill to change that. If successful, any driver with a suspended driver’s license that is involved in a fatal accident or an accident that causes serious injuries to others would face a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.

While it could be some time before the outcome of this effort is known, what is known today is how important a good defense can be for drivers facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. If you are in such a situation, you might want to think about talking to an attorney to see what help you can obtain.

Source:, “Lawmaker wants tougher penalties for drivers with suspended licenses,” December 23, 2013

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