North Dakota drivers may not realize how easy they have it when it comes to traffic tickets in their state. Nothing can make them appreciate the leniency of the Peace Garden State like getting a traffic ticket while in New York. The points, fines, hidden fees and other serious penalties can be a huge shock for most North Dakotans.
Someone licensed to drive in North Dakota who is charged with a traffic offense—no matter how minor it may seem at first—while in New York should not just give up and pay the ticket! Moreover, it is a bad idea to toss the ticket and ignore it. Either way could bring on a slew of unintended consequences, including massive insurance increases and even a suspension of driving privileges.
Instead, North Dakotans need to hire an experienced attorney to fight the underlying charges.
The information below will help you better understand the role that out-of-state traffic tickets play in North Dakota and New York.
New York and North Dakota Share Information
Drivers who think an out-of-state ticket will not follow them home are seriously mistaken. North Dakota and New York are both members of the Driver’s License Compact. States who partake in the Compact agree to share information about their drivers with other states, including information regarding violations that occur within their state.
ND Drivers Should Not Ignore an NY Ticket
North Dakota drivers should not assume that just because a ticket is issued out of state that it will not affect them. Failing to respond to an NY ticket can result in a suspension of driving privileges in the state. North Dakota could also choose to reciprocate the suspension at home, as per the Compact agreement.
New York’s Point System is Severe
Only a handful of moving violations in North Dakota incur points on drivers’ licenses, and one point comes off the license every three months a driver goes without committing an infraction. In New York, the point system is much more harsh. Nearly all NY moving violations carry points, and points for many violations can be high. For example, cell phone tickets, texting while driving, and failing to stop for a school bus are all five-point tickets—almost half way to NY’s 11-point threshold for a suspension of driving privileges. Moreover, New York keeps points on a driver’s license for 18 months after the date of the offense.
North Dakota Drivers Could See Higher Insurance Rates
Not only does North Dakota share and receive driving data from other states, but it also records every out-of-state traffic conviction or guilty plea (which happens when a driver pays a ticket) on driving records. Remember, all insurance carriers regularly check driving records and will likely update a driver’s rate whenever it notices new traffic offenses. An out-of-state traffic conviction on a North Dakota driving record can cause auto insurance preimums to potentially skyrocket.
New York Traffic Fines Are Expensive
The state where a traffic infraction occurs gets to determine the fine—and New York traffic fines can be significantly more expensive than what North Dakota would have charged for the same violation. For example, red light tickets vary throughout ND but usually cost about $20 for a first offense. The same offense in NY costs $150! Likewise, a ticket for speeding 15 mph over the limit costs $300 in New York. This is 10 times more than what the offense would cost in ND, which only charges $2 for every mph over the limit ($30 in this case). The offense also incurs only one point in ND, but is worth four points in NY.
Moreover, if a driver who pleads guilty to a New York traffic ticket worth six points under NY’s point system, or who accrues six or more points as a result of multiple convictions in NY could be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA). This will cost $100 per year for three years. Each point over six adds another $25 per year. Regardless of points, drivers convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related offense face a DRA of $250 per year for three years. Drivers must pay the DRA regardless of whether they are from out-of-state or licensed in New York. Failure to pay a DRA can result in a suspension of driving privileges in NY.
A Suspension in NY Can Mean a Suspension in ND
In North Dakota, drivers who accrue 12 points in a year could find their license suspended. The suspension lasts just seven days for each point over 11. New York’s threshold is similar (11 points) but is easier to reach. For example, a conviction for texting while driving carries five points in NY (no points in ND) and driving 21 mph over the speed carries six-points (five in ND). As such, it can only take two tickets in some cases for driving privileges to be suspended in NY.
Moreover, since North Dakota is a member of the Driver License Compact, it reserves the right to reciprocate a suspension issued by another state. In addition to racking up 11 points in 18 months, New York could also suspend a license for:
- Being found at fault in a fatal car accident
- Driving without insurance
- Speeding three times in 18 months (regardless of the speed)
As shown above, New York traffic tickets can be far more intense with significantly greater penalties than North Dakota drivers are used to. And while it might be tempting to simply plead guilty and pay the fine, doing so will not help avoid these negative consequences. The only way to successfully avoid the negative consequences of an out-of-state traffic ticket is to hire an experienced NY traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket.
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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