Traffic crimes in New York City

Traffic crimes in New York City

An estimated 4,000 New Yorkers suffer serious injury in vehicle-related accidents every year, and over 250 people die as a result of these collisions. These statistics, along with the fact that being hit by a car is the leading cause of fatal injuries for children under 14, has driven the formation of the Vision Zero Action Plan, whose mission is to end traffic deaths and injuries on the streets of New York. It advocates the following:

  • Increasing the enforcement of traffic violations
  • Increasing penalties for dangerous drivers
  • Increasing the use of enforcement cameras

Vision Zero signifies a growing intolerance toward traffic violations, especially speeding, in New York City. Therefore, getting a traffic ticket is no longer a minor annoyance. Below are some of the potential consequences you face:

  • Large fines and surcharges
  • Higher insurance costs
  • Accumulation of points that could lead to a suspended driving license
  • Tarnished driving record

Civil offenses

Even if you are convicted of a relatively minor driving offense, you can rapidly face license suspension because every condition adds points to your record for 18 months. Once 11 points are accumulated, the suspension process is immediately set in motion. Safety violations could receive a penalty of three points, and a single reckless driving conviction places five points on your record. Over time, it adds up to you losing your license, which can in turn impact your ability to get to work and other important destinations.

Examples of civil offenses include:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Cell phone tickets

Criminal offenses

New York law recognizes a number of crimes related to driving. The most common is DUI or DWI, (driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated) but other commonly charged criminal offenses include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving with a revoked license
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Hit and run
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia in a car
  • Drugs found in a motor vehicle
  • Aggravated unlicensed operation

When you are charged with a criminal traffic offense, it means trouble for your future. If you are a college student, then you could be suspended or even expelled. If you work, then spending time in jail or on probation could jeopardize your employment and seriously limit future prospects.

As mentioned previously, New York City in particular takes traffic violations very seriously. If you are charged with this category of offense, then contact an experienced New York traffic offenses attorney immediately. Some people choose to represent themselves for ceretain violations, but if convicted, then you face problems that will have a detrimental effect on your life long after you have paid the fine or have been released from custody. Julie Rendelman is a lawyer with the training and experience necessary to pursue the best possible results when defending you. She has worked as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney in New York City for more than 20 years. If you have been charged with a crime, then contact her office at 212-951-1232 for a free consultation. Visit for additional contact information.