By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:
In Louisiana, there’s no reason too small for a celebration. One thing Louisianans don’t celebrate is getting a traffic ticket. This is true even if the ticket is from out of state. Drivers from the Pelican State could be singing the blues when they find themselves charged with a traffic offense while in New York. While Louisianans are familiar with how expensive traffic tickets can get, they could still be taken aback when the final costs of a New York ticket come home to roost. Worse, tickets from NY carry a risk of unexpected consequences, including massive insurance increases and even a suspended license.
A driver from Louisiana should not simple plead guilty and pay traffic ticket issued in New York! At the same time, ignoring the ticket can be just as bad. Out-of-state drivers really have one choice when it comes to dealing with a traffic violation in New York: Hire an NY attorney to fight the ticket.
Can a Louisiana Driver Ignore a New York Traffic Ticket?
Thanks to the Driver’s License Compact, both Louisiana and New York share information about drivers with each other. As such, when a Louisiana driver is ticketed while in New York, and fails to respond to the ticket, Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) is notified and can suspend the driver’s Louisiana driving privileges as a result.
Louisiana Drivers Can Lose Their License Over a NY Ticket
If a driver pleads guilty to a NY ticket or is convicted in court, it will be noted on his/her New York driving record and that record of conviction will be reported to Louisiana. Unlike other states, Louisiana has no point system and the vast majority of traffic violations carry little risk of a suspension. There are some exceptions, such as reckless or careless driving, drunk driving, and failing to stop for a school bus. Even then, the decision to suspend a license is left up to a judge based on each driver’s record and driving habits. Since tickets issued in New York do show up on Louisiana driving records, these will likely be taken into consideration during any hearing to decide if a driver’s license should be suspended.
New York, however, is much more strict. There are many different ways that an out-of-state driver in New York could find their driving privileges suspended in state. These include:
- Failing to timely respond to a traffic ticket
- Getting 11 points assess against a license based on NY’s point system (see below).
- Driving without auto insurance
- Participating in a speed contest
- Speeding three times or more in 18 months
Moreover, because Louisiana is part of the Driver’s License Compact, the LA OMV may also choose to reciprocate a suspension issued in New York.
NY Can Apply Points Against Louisiana Drivers
While Louisiana does not use a point system but New York does and those points can lead to additional consequences for out-of-state drivers. Drivers who accrue 11 points in under 18 months can find their right to drive in NY suspended. Unfortunately, it is very easy to reach 11 points in NY. For example, just one ticket for texting while driving (five points) combined with another for speeding 21 mph over the limit (six points) add enough points for a suspension.
NY Tickets Can Increase Louisianans’ Auto Insurance
Remember, New York traffic offenses will show up on Louisiana driving records. As such, these convictions can impact auto insurance rates. Insurers tend to pull up the driving record of their customers periodically, especially around renewal time. Louisiana is the most expensive state to get any kind of traffic ticket based on how it affects insurance premiums. A single speeding ticket can increase rates of LA drivers by as much as $602 per year! And if NY or LA suspends a driver’s license, those rates could go up even more.
Louisiana Drivers Face Substantial Fines in NY
Traffic offenses that take place in New York are paid to New York. As such, drivers face the fine that NY sets for the offense. Many of those fines are similar to what LA drivers would pay back home. The difference comes in the special fees New York applies to each ticket. For example, Louisiana drivers know expect court fees of $25 to $50 any time a driver is pulled over. While New York does not charge court fees, it does slap a mandatory state surcharge on top of every ticket. This typically costs $88 to $93 per violation. In contrast, Louisiana only charges one court fee per traffic stop, regardless of how many citations were received during the stop. As such, the combined cost of the fine and surcharges for two tickets such as improper turn and speeding 15 mph over the limit in NY would be $636 ($150 for improper turn + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge).
NY’s special fees don’t end with per-ticket surcharges. When a driver hits six points or more within an 18 month period, they will have to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA). This is an annual fine that a driver must pay each year for three years after reaching six points. The DRA costs $100 plus an additional $25 for each point over six. Drivers who refuse to pay a DRA (or any fine from New York) could see their driving privileges in New York suspended, and possibly their home state as well (see above).
The two above-mentioned tickets alone are worth six points (two points for improper turn and four points for speeding 15 mph over the limit). That means the final cost a driver would pay for these tickets is $936! This would be in addition to any possible hike in insurance premiums.
Louisiana Drivers Should Hire a Lawyer to Fight a NY Traffic Ticket
If you are licensed to drive in Louisiana and recently received a traffic ticket while in in New York, contact Rosenblum Law right away. Let our experienced team of NY traffic ticket attorneys help you avoid the insurance hikes, suspension risk and other consequences that come with a conviction.
Contact us today at 888-883-5529.