If you have an Alabama driver’s license and recently received a New York traffic ticket, the worst thing you can do is give in, plead guilty, and pay the ticket. New York and Alabama are both members of the Driver’s License Compact, so they share driver information with each another. That means if you receive a NY traffic ticket but are an Alabama driver, Alabama will be notified about the ticket you received.
The information below will help you better understand the role that out-of-state traffic ticket play in Alabama and New York.
Many people who come to New York from Alabama wonder why they should bother pleading not guilty to a ticket they received all the way in NY. They wrongly think that there are little to no consequences for it. This page was designed to clear up any confusion Alabama license holders might have about their NY traffic tickets.
Points Transfer from New York to Alabama
If you are an Alabama driver and get a traffic ticket in New York (or any other state), points will be assessed against your AL driver’s license.
According to Article IV of Section 32-6-31 of the Alabama Code:
“(b) As to other convictions, reported pursuant to article III, the licensing authority in the home state shall give such effect to the conduct as is provided by the laws of the home state.”
In other words, every time you plead guilty to or are convicted of an out-of-state traffic offense, it will be recorded on your AL driving record. Once the violation is recorded, AL will compare the offense you committed in New York to the equivalent offense in AL. Alabama will then determine how many points to put on your license for that particular offense. For example, getting pulled over for driving 25 MPH over the limit is a 6 point offense in NY. However, in Alabama it is only a 2 point violation. Therefore, AL will put 2 points (not 6) onto your Alabama driving record (presuming you plead guilty or were convicted).
New York Tickets Can Affect Your Insurance Rates
Since Alabama records the violation on your driving record, it is easily accessible by your insurance company. Many times your carrier will do a routine scan of its clients’ records and update their premiums to reflect new tickets and infractions found. Once your insurance carrier notices the out-of-state traffic conviction on your Alabama driving record, your auto insurance rates can go up tremendously. This premium increase can last 3-4 years, sometimes more.
Fines & Surcharges
Although you live in Alabama, because you got the ticket in NY, you are obligated to pay the State of New York your fine. There is no way around it; you will be forced to pay a fine. If you think you can end-run the system by not responding to the ticket, you are in for a rude awakening. Failing to respond to a New York traffic ticket is grounds for losing your ability to drive in New York. This suspension could then balloon into an all-out suspension of your license if Alabama chooses to honor the suspension.
Driver Responsibility Assessment
If you plead guilty to a New York traffic ticket worth 6 points under NY’s point system or are convicted of an offense or set of offenses that amount to 6 or more points in NY, you will be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA). If you get 6 points in 18 months, the assessment will be $100 per year for 3 years (or $300 total). If you get more than 6 points in 18 months, an additional $25 per year will be charged for each additional point you receive. This means 1 extra point will cost you $75 more (since the assessment lasts for 3 years). Also, getting convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related offense or refusing to submit to a chemical test will result in a $250 assessment per year for 3 years. The DRA applies for both in- and out-of-state drivers.
Suspension of NY Driving Privileges
Aside from failing to respond to a NY traffic ticket, if you are an Alabama driver and commit NY traffic offenses that total 11 points or more under New York’s point system, you will lose your New York driving privileges.
Moreover, under Article IV of Section 32-6-31 of the Alabama Code:
“(a) The licensing authority in the home state, for the purposes of suspension, revocation or limitation of the license to operate a motor vehicle, shall give the same effect to the conduct reported, pursuant to article III of this compact, as it would if such conduct had occurred in the home state, in the case of conviction for: (1) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; (2) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug, or under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle; (3) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; (4) Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another.”
This means that for all of the following violations that you commit in New York (or any other state), Alabama will suspend your driver’s license:
- Any Felony Where a Car was Used
- Drug- and/or Alcohol-Related Violations
- Failure to Stop and Render Aid in an Accident Resulting in Death
- Manslaughter Resulting from a Car Accident
- Negligent Homicide Resulting from a Car Accident
Although it might be tempting to simply plead guilty and pay the fine, doing so will not make these negative consequences go away. In fact, the conviction is the very thing that brings most of them on.
Who Should You Contact?
If you recently received a New York traffic ticket, contact Rosenblum Law today at 888-883-5529.
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