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Serious Traffic Offenses

For many people, a traffic ticket is little more than a minor annoyance that might cost a little bit of money to be resolved and forgotten. However, some certain citations for traffic offenses can be much bigger matters for other drivers.

Criminal traffic offenses come with criminal penalties including jail time and hefty fines. Additionally, accumulating too many tickets or being convicted of certain types of criminal traffic crimes can result in a suspension of your driving privileges. 

Attorney for Serious Traffic Offenses in Manhattan

If you are concerned about the possible consequences of pleading guilty to a traffic violation or offense, you should seek the advice of skilled legal counsel. Jeffery L. Greco and Dustan Neyland have more than two decades of combined experience in courtrooms on both sides of the aisle, and they can negotiate to help you obtain the most favorable outcome for your particular case.

Greco Neyland, PC helps clients accused of all types of motor vehicle offenses in Manhattan and New York City. Call (212) 951-1300 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will allow our New York City serious traffic offense attorneys to review your case and discuss your legal options.


New York City Serious Traffic Offenses Overview


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Types of Manhattan Serious Traffic Offenses

Many traffic citations are civil matters, but there are some violations that result in criminal charges. A few examples include:

  • Reckless Driving — Misdemeanor under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1212.
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit-and-Run) — In accidents resulting in property damage but no injuries to other people, this is a traffic infraction under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600.1. However, leaving the scene of an accident that results in injury to another person is a class B misdemeanor under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600.2. A subsequent violation is considered a class A misdemeanor. If the violation is committed by a person who was previously convicted or the accident results in serious physical injury to another person, then this is a class E felony. If the accident results in the death of another person, this is a class D felony.
  • Unlicensed Operations — There are three degrees of aggravated unlicensed operation under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511, with classification of offenses ranging from misdemeanor to class E felony.
  • Vehicular Homicide — Aggravated vehicular homicide is a class B felony under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 125.14.

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New York Points System for Serious Traffic Offenses

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) assigns points for certain traffic violations and uses the Driver Violation Point System to identify and take action against certain drivers.  If a driver accumulates 11 points in an 18-month period, he or she could have his or her driver’s license suspended.

The number of points that is assigned for a violation depends on the specific offense:

Speeding — MPH over speed limit not indicated

3 points

Speeding — 1-10 MPH over speed limit

3 points

Speeding — 11-20 MPH over speed limit

4 points

Speeding — 21-30 MPH over speed limit

6 points

Speeding — 31-40 MPH over speed limit

8 points

Speeding — More than 40 MPH over speed limit

11 points

Reckless driving

5 points

Failed to stop for a school bus

5 points

Inadequate brakes

4 points

Improper cell phone use

5 points

Following too closely

4 points

Passing improperly, changing lanes unsafely, driving to the left of center, driving in the wrong direction

3 points

Failed to obey a traffic signal, a stop sign, or a yield sign

3 points

Railroad crossing violation

3 points

Failed to yield the right-of-way

3 points

Passenger safety violation, including seat belt and child safety seat violations for passengers under the age of 16

3 points

Left the scene of an accident that includes property damage or the injury of a domestic animal

3 points

Other moving violations

2 points

Inadequate brakes (vehicle of an employer)

2 points

Use of portable electronic device (“texting”)

5 points


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Mandatory Suspensions and Revocations for Serious Traffic Offenses in Manhattan

In some cases, license revocations and suspensions are mandatory—regardless of the number of points on the driver’s record. With a suspension, a driver’s license is taken away for a period of time before it is returned. When a license is revoked, the person’s privilege to drive is voided and he or she will have to reapply to the DMV once the revocation period is over.

A motorist may have his or her license automatically suspended or revoked in the following instances:

90-Day Suspension

90-Day Revocation

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol outside New York State

Six-Month Suspension

  • DUI of drugs outside New York State

Six Month Revocation

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Driving with BAC of 0.08 or higher
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-Drug)
  • DWAI committed within five years of any previous alcohol or drug-related violation
  • Homicide, assault, or criminal negligence resulting in death from the operation of a motor vehicle
  • Conviction in criminal court for false statement on an application for a license or registration, or substitution by another driver for a road test
  • Speed contest
  • Three speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic violations committed within 18 months
  • Three violations for passing a stopped school bus within 3 years
  • Leaving the scene of a fatal or personal injury accident

One Year Revocation

  • Aggravated DWI
  • Driving with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.18 or higher
  • DWI with a child 15 years old or younger in vehicle
  • DWI, driving with .08 BAC, or DWAI-Drug committed within 10 years of any previous violation
  • First alcohol or drug-related violation by a driver, except Zero Tolerance, under age 21
  • Second alcohol or drug-related violation by a driver, except Zero Tolerance, under age 21 (or revoked until driver is 21 years of age, whichever is longer)
  • Finding by a DMV Administrative Law Judge of false statement on an application for a license or registration, or substitution by another driver for a road test
  • Second speed contest within three years

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Driver Responsibility Assessment Fees for Serious Traffic Offenses in New York City

If a driver is convicted of certain traffic offenses or accumulates six or more points on his or her driving record within 18 months, he or she will have to pay a driver responsibility assessment fee to the DMV over a three-year period. This will be paid in addition to any applicable fines, penalties, and surcharges.

The amount of this fee depends on the type of offense and total points on the driver’s record:

  • Conviction for alcohol or drugged driving-related offense involving refusal to submit to a chemical test — Annual assessment of $250
  • Six points on driver record for violations committed during a period of 18 months — Annual assessment of $100
  • More than 6 points driver record for violations committed during a period of 18 months — $25 for each point in addition to annual assessment of $100 for original six points

It should be noted that drivers may be eligible to reduce as many as four points from their driving records and receive a minimum 10 percent reduction in the base rate of their automobile and motorcycle liability and collision insurance premiums every year for three years by completing a Point & Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) that is approved by the DMV. However, completing a PIRP course does not remove, delete, subtract, or erase any violation, conviction, or notice of original number of points from a motorist’s driving record.  It simply means that the DMV will not count up to four points on the driving record toward license revocation or suspension.


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Manhattan Serious Traffic Offenses Resources

City of New York Traffic Ticket Assistance — You can file an appeal, plead not guilty and schedule a hearing, or contact the DMV Call Center at this website. There is also information about traffic tickets, traffic violations, and traffic court.

City Hall Park
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 639-9675

New York Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) Locator — This website lists the addresses of the eight TVB locations in New York City as well as contact information for additional offices. There is also information relating to forms, tickets, points, and penalties as well as DMV office locations on this website.


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Find an Attorney for Serious Traffic Offenses in New York City

Are you worried that your license may be suspended or revoked because of a recent traffic citation you received? It could be in your best interest to contact Greco Neyland, PC before you make your next court appearance.

Police officers will often lack evidence or may not even be bothered to appear in court, and Jeffery Greco and Dustan Neyland can use these situations as an opportunity to seek a reduction or dismissal of charges that minimizes the possible penalties you face.

Let our Manhattan serious traffic offense attorneys review your case by calling (212) 951-1300 today to take advantage of a free consultation.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

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Experience as a former prosecutor gives Jeffery Greco an edge in building the strongest possible defense strategy for the accused in New York City.
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