Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Increased fines and jail time sought for suspended license offenses

New York traffic law can be complex and change with the introduction of new legislation or amendments to existing laws. In addition, special programs like the Vision Zero effort launched by New York City’s mayor can bring increased oversight by law enforcement to specific violations. Whether speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving or operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license, drivers can face a multitude of penalties.

A bill that would strengthen the penalties for people found driving an automobile with either a revoked or suspended license is on its way to the State Assembly after recently being passed by the State Senate. A State Senator introduced the bill in response to safety concerns associated with unlicensed drivers. Both jail time and monetary fines would be increased if the legislation is enacted into law. According to a 2008 study by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, as many as 20 percent of fatal car accidents in the United States involve drivers with revoked or suspended drivers’ licenses.

While the rate of unlicensed drivers in fatal accidents in New York was slightly less at 17 percent, it was enough for the State Senate to push the bill onto the Assembly. If passed, drivers could face as many as four years behind bars and be forced to pay as much as $10,000 in fines if found driving without valid licenses.

If you have been cited with a traffic violation, you may face these penalties as well as points on your license. Getting a copy of your record from the department of motor vehicles and contacting an attorney may be helpful in clearing a driving record.

Source:, “Senate Bill Targets Drivers With Suspended Licenses,” May 15, 2014

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