If you’re among the millions of visitors coming into New York this summer from as near as New Jersey and as far as the West Coast, you may end up getting a traffic ticket. Law enforcement officers are particularly out in force around the holidays, as the Fourth of July, and in busy tourist destinations like New York City, Niagara Falls and the Catskills.
Don’t make the mistake of throwing that ticket away and thinking it won’t follow you home. It will.
New York, like nearly every other state (and the District of Columbia), signed onto the Driver’s License Compact. This agreement requires states to report moving traffic violations committed in their jurisdiction to the state where the alleged offender’s driver’s license was issued. The compact’s motto is “One Driver, One License, One Record.”
Under this agreement, states treat violations in other states as they would if it had been committed at home. That means besides having to pay a potentially hefty ticket, you could get points added to your driver’s license. Your insurance rates could go up. You could even have your license suspended if you have other points on your license.
Therefore, depending on your alleged violation, you could end up with points on your license. Potentially your license could even be suspended, depending on the severity of the violation and how many previous points you have.
Often, people don’t bother to contest a ticket they get in another state even if they believe it was wrongly issued. They just pay it because they assume it will involve extensive time, travel and money to fight it. That’s not necessarily the case.
If you believe you were wrongly issued a ticket while you were in New York, and you can’t afford to have any more points on your record, it’s wise to find out what your options are so that you can weigh the pros and cons of contesting the citation. With legal guidance, you can make the best decision for your situation.
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