Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Old traffic ticket data can now be used for new citations

Drivers in New York have always had to take caution against traffic stops and citations. Following the laws of the road is a way to stay safe and to avoid fines and other penalties like points on a driver’s license. As the city continues its crackdown on speeding and other traffic violations, more and more drivers are at risk of receiving tickets, requiring greater care on the part of all residents.

The state appears to also be making things harder for motorists who may be stopped for some traffic infractions. According to a recent news report, law enforcement officials can reference a driver’s DMV records for as many as 10 years. Any data about tickets or arrests pertaining to drugs, alcohol, the aggravated unlicensed operation of any motor vehicle or other violations that resulted in points would be available.

It has not been uncommon for offices to write speeding tickets for lesser offenses but some people are concerned this is letting motorists off too easily. The call for increased efforts against repeat speeders or other offenders has contributed to this change. The article indicated, for example, that almost 130,000 people in 2010 were issued tickets for parking on pavement for what were essentially speeding violations. Access to the prior ticket data may mean that some drivers will receive tickets with higher fines or other penalties than they otherwise would.

It can be helpful for drivers facing traffic ticket convictions to talk with an attorney to learn their rights. Every situation is unique and every person stopped for a violation deserves a chance at a defense.

Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch, “Past speeding tickets can now be accessed,” March 13, 2014

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