FAQ

Questions & Answers

Am I allowed to hold my phone while driving?

The short answer is, NO you can’t hold the phone while driving.

The NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-d states that you are not allowed to “use” a portable electronic device while your vehicle is in motion. “Using” here is defined as holding the
electronic device for all of these, and some other reasons;

taking or sending pictures,
playing games,
preparing to send communication or sending that communication,
accessing a webpage,
looking at email or texts
instant messages or other electronic data,
transmitting email or messages or other electronic data.

In short, do not touch your phone while driving. It will be assumed that you were using the phone– an assumption that you or your lawyer will need to disprove.

Drivers of commercial vehicles are not allowed to hold an electronic device even while the
vehicle is stopped.

Electronic Device tickets are 5 points in New York- and could lead to increased insurance
premiums, high fines and possible suspension or revocation of your license. If you do receive a
summons for IMPROPER CELLPHONE USE, call us at Michael Block, Attorney at Law P.C.
and we would be happy to answer any questions about improper portable electronic device tickets.

How much time do I have to answer my traffic ticket?

Drivers have 15 days to answer traffic tickets; however, we recommend that you contact a New York traffic ticket attorney as soon as you receive the ticket. This way, we can enter a Not Guilty plea right away, and you will not risk answering the ticket too late.

What if I don’t answer my ticket?

If you do not answer your ticket within 15 days, your license will be suspended until you answer the original ticket and pay a suspension termination fee. If you continue to ignore the ticket and suspension, you will be found guilty by default conviction on the original ticket, and also have to pay extra fines, surcharges, and fees to terminate your license suspension.

How will pleading guilty affect your insurance?

Insurance companies can increase your premiums based on the points accumulated on your driving record. Rates can rise dramatically with just one speeding ticket. If an insurance company examines your record to find that you are in a high risk category, they can cancel your insurance altogether.

Will I have to appear in court to defend my case?

In most cases, you will not have to appear in court if you have retained a New York traffic attorney. Sometimes you may have to appear for criminal summonses and Refusal Hearings, though the attorney will let you know exactly what you need to do.

Will a police officer give me all the correct information regarding my ticket?

It depends. Police officers do not have to give you legal advice, such as whether or not it would be better to fight a ticket or plead guilty. It is always better to contact a New York traffic ticket attorney and let them examine the ticket. A traffic ticket attorney will tell you how to best proceed in your own best interest.

What is the New York Driver Responsibility Assessment?

The New York Driver Responsibility Assessment is a fee imposed on drivers for the following offenses:

● Convicted of a DWI/DUI involving an automobile, boat, or snowmobile in New York State
● Refusing to submit to a chemical test for blood alcohol level
● Receiving 6 points on your driver’s license within 18 months for traffic offenses in New York State, Ontario, or Quebec.

For more information, please visit our NYS Driver Responsibility Assessment page.

When are adults required to wear a seat belt?

Any adult passenger in the front seat is required to wear a seat belt; however, if you are over the age of 16 and sitting in the backseat you are not required to be buckled up. As an NY Traffic Lawyer, I do recommend that you buckle up in the backseat too.

Am I allowed to talk on my cellphone while driving?

Yes you are- as long as the phone isn’t in your hand.

The NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-c(2)(a) says that you are not allowed to “use” your phone while your vehicle is in motion. They define “using” as the phone being close to the motorist’s ear. Specifically, how close is not defined in the law.

For the driver of a commercial motor vehicle, talking on your cellphone even while the vehicle is stopped is forbidden.

Speaking on the phone through a speaker or through Bluetooth is ok, just as long a you don’t have your earpiece in both ears – because that’s a separate violation!

Cellphone tickets are 5 points in New York- and could lead to increased insurance premiums, high fines and possible suspension or revocation of your license. If you do receive a summons for IMPROPER CELLPHONE USE, call us at Michael Block, Attorney at Law P.C. and we would be happy to answer any questions about that ticket or any other summons.

I got a ticket for going 96mph in a 50 mile speed zone. It is my first infraction ever. Will my license be suspended?

If you are convicted of this violation you will receive 11 points on your driver’s license.
You will be fined at least $400. You will receive a Driver Assessment Fee.

It is within the discretion of the judge as to whether your license will be suspended. The length of suspension is also within the discretion of the judge.You can be suspended although this is your first violation. You can even be suspended for an 8 point speed. I have even seen suspension issued for motorists with less than 8 points, although that is rare.

Can a Police Officer give me more than one ticket in the same car stop?

Yes.
For example, a sign prohibits right turns at an intersection (Traffic Control Device). You make the right turn, and it is from the middle lane (improper turn).
The Officer can give tickets for improper turn and disobey traffic control device. You can be convicted of one, both or neither violation.
Some Judges will convict on only one, and consider this as a turn that should never have been made.
There are other cases where the violations occur at two separate intersections- for example a Red Light ticket for Sixth Avenue and 49th Street and a Red Ticket for Sixth Avenue and 50th St. Again, you can be convicted of one, both or neither.

If I have a New Jersey or Pennsylvania license do I have to worry about paying an assessment fee if I'm convicted of a 6 point violation in NY State?

The short answer to that question is yes. The Driver’s Responsibility Assessment fee is a fee which any driver is charged when they are convicted of violations worth 6 or more points. It is a $300 minimum fee once the driver is convicted of 6 points, and $75 for each additional point. The assessment fee can be paid all at once, or in installments over a period of 3 years.
The assessment fee applies even if your license is from New Jersey, California, or any other state. If you do not pay the assessment fee on time, your privilege to drive in New York will be suspended until it is paid- this applies no matter what state you are licensed in. This means, if your driving privileges are suspended in New York, you are at risk of getting pulled over and arrested for driving while your driving privilege is suspended.

When am I required to stop for a school bus?

The law requires you to stop for a school school bus when that school bus has its red lights flashing and its stop sign extended. You must stop whether you are approaching the school bus from the front or the rear. What this means is if you are traveling on a two way street, you must stop for the school bus, even if you are going in the opposite direction.
This is very important – failure to stop could be putting children’s lives at risk. You are only allowed to proceed once the lights have stopped flashing and the stop sign is no longer out.
If you receive a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus, the minimum fine is $250 plus an $88 state surcharge and it also adds 5 points to your driving record – which will likely add to your insurance payments. The judge may also decide to suspend your license if he or she decides this was particularly egregious. This is why you need to hire an experienced attorney like Michael Block Attorney at Law P.C. to help fight your school bus tickets!

When will my license be revoked?

Licenses can certainly be revoked. There are a number of reasons they a license may be revoked:
· you were convicted of a third speed within 18 months
· you received a summons and were convicted of operating without insurance
· you were involved in an accident and were not insured
· if you were convicted of certain alcohol or drug related driving offenses
· you made a false statement on a license application or a registration
· you were involved in an accident that resulted in a fatality
· at the discretion of a judge, depending on the seriousness of the charge, like a very high speed
If you are revoked, then at the end of the period of revocation, you must re-apply for your license like you did when you first received it.

Can I get arrested for driving with a suspended license?

Yes, you can get arrested for driving with a suspended license. You may also receive a desk appearance ticket. In most cases, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Generally if there are 10 or more suspensions on your license, you may be charged with a felony. A misdemeanor conviction could lead to problems buying or renting a home, getting a loan or even getting into university.
At Michael Block, Attorney at Law P.C., we can represent you if you get arrested or receive a desk appearance ticket.
Our utmost priority is to get your case dismissed. If the case is not dismissed, then the second priority is to make sure that you do not plead guilty to a misdemeanor. In most instances, we are able to reduce it to a traffic violation, which would result in no criminal record, no points and a low fine.

What are the consequences for Reckless Driving and Careless Driving Summonses?

Reckless Driving Summonses are Criminal Violations. The tickets are to be answered in the Summons Part of Local NYC Criminal Courts. If you plead guilty or are convicted, you will receive 5 points on your license AND a Misdemeanor. The conviction will go onto your permanent Criminal Record. You will also pay a fine.

Dangerous Driving Summonses are heard in the Traffic Violation Bureaus.
You will receive 2 points on your license if you are convicted.
You will also pay a fine.

It is within the Police Officer’s discretion as to whether you receive a traffic or criminal summons.

If you receive one of these summonses , please contact us with any questions. We can fight these and any other ticket , and you do not need to appear in court.

Can The Traffic Violations Bureau postpone my hearing without my consent?

Yes. New York State may postpone your hearing for any future date. They are supposed to notify you at least seven(7) days before your hearing.

During the pandemic, some of the notices have been shorter than usual. Let’s hope that everyone receives timely notices going forward.

Do I have to go to court with the attorney for a Speeding Ticket I received in Rockville Centre?

Your attorney can go without you. You sign a written notarized statement and we will inform you of the outcome within 24 hours.
There is no benefit to attend your hearing for this case.
Your time is valuable and I always say one very important benefit of hiring an attorney on a Rockville Centre, Nassau County, or any other moving violation is to save your time.

I received a summons for going 77mph in a 55mph zone in Yonkers. What are the possible outcomes if you represent me?

The summons for 77 in a 55mph posted zone is a six (6) point ticket. If you have a good driver’s license, we will probably reduce the points.
You may have the summons reduced to a four or three point speed or a two point ticket. In some cases, we have reduced to no points. In almost all cases, you will be required to pay a fine.

I got a ticket in Queens for a Stop Sign last week. I slowed down, looked both ways, and turned. Why wasn’t that good enough? I tried to speak with the Officer, and she said it’s all on her Body-Cam. Will this affect my chance to win?

You must come to a full and complete stop before you reach the stop line or crosswalk. If you are convicted, you will get three(3) points on your license, and receive a minimum fine of $138.
Police Officers often say they have the whole incident on a Body-Cam.
I have not known of one case where an Officer has submitted the footage and it has been admitted in evidence. And, by the way, never discuss the ticket with the Officer.

I received last month. One was for Speeding in Lynbrook and one for Speeding on the Southern State near Wantagh. If I hire an attorney, do I need to appear in Court? Are these court appearances at night or during the day?

An attorney representing you on Speeding Summonses in Nassau County can appear without you. In Lynbrook, traffic cases are typically heard in the evening. The Speeding Ticket received on the Southern State is usually heard during the day at 16 Cooper Street in Hempstead.

I was driving my truck on the L.I.E. In Suffolk County and a Police Officer issued summonses for Improper Plates, Broken Tail Light, and Insufficient Log Book Entries. The tickets were issued in the company's name. I reside in Ohio. Can I send in proof of repair by mail or must I appear in Court in Central Islip?

In New York State, a corporation must appear by attorney. Your presence is not required, but the company’s lawyer must attend Court. The attorney will submit any proof to the Court.

I received a Speeding Ticket in Queens last week- 47mph in an Unposted Zone. There were no Speed Limit signs in the area. Is the ticket valid?

The ticket is valid.
The speed limit in NYC, unless otherwise posted, is 25mph. So the ticket in question is a six(6) point summons- 47/25mph. In early 2015, the Unposted Speed Limit in NYC was changed from 30 to 25 as part of Vision Zero.
If you are convicted or plead guilty, you will receive six(6) points on your license. The minimum fine is $213, and you will receive a $300 Driver Assessment, whether or not you a N.Y. State Resident.
Contact us with any questions about a Speeding Ticket in NYC, Long Island or anywhere else in New York.

If I get a ticket during my probationary license period, what may happen to me?

There could be some serious consequences, depending on what type of ticket you received. When you first receive your license, after turning 18 or after getting your license back after a revocation, your license will be placed on probation for 6 months. A conviction of any of the following while your license is under probation will lead to an automatic 60 day suspension of your license:

-Speeding (at any speed)
-Tailgating
-Reckless Driving
-Any two moving violations

A conviction of either of the following while your license is under probation will lead to an automatic 120 day suspension of your license:

-Improper cellphone use
-Use of an electronic device

After the suspension period is over, the 6-month probation period starts again.
It is very important that you hire a knowledgeable, experienced attorney who is familiar with traffic violations, because your license is at stake.

I was arrested for Driving While Under The Influence of Alcohol in Nassau County last week. I was given a notice to appear in Court in Hempstead in December. I then received a Notice from New York State DMV requiring my appearance via Webinar on October 26 for Refusing To Take a Chemical Test What is the difference between my Criminal Court Case and the DMV hearing?

In the Criminal Case in Nassau County, the issue is whether you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are convicted, you will have a permanent Criminal record. Your license will be suspended, and a fine will be imposed.
The DMV hearing will investigate your alleged refusal to submit to a chemical test at the time of your arrest.
NY State Law requires you to submit to a Breathalyzer Exam upon request of a Police Officer. If you refused to take the test, your license can be revoked for one year regardless of the outcome of your case in Criminal Court.

What does it mean if I have been charged with “Speed Not Reasonable Or Prudent” in Hempstead?

I received a summons issued for “Speed Not Reasonable or Prudent” is a 3 point summons. Section 1180(a) of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law states “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing”. It is important to note that this is a speeding ticket, and if you were to be found guilty of 3 speeding tickets within an 18 month period, your license automatically is revoked for 6 months- so these summonses are not to be taken lightly!
The particular summons gives an officer a lot of latitude in issuing the ticket- there does not need to be a specific speed or speed limit listed on the ticket. The officer needs to testify that the speed at which the motorist was traveling was unreasonable under the circumstances. For instance, the unposted speed limit in New York City is 25 MPH but if there was a heavy downpour or icy road conditions, some judges may see it as unreasonable that a motorist was going 25 MPH.

What is the Move Over Law about?

This is a relatively new law in New York State. According to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1144-a, where reasonable to do so, the operator of a motor vehicle “shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway and such authorized emergency vehicle id displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights…”. “Such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder..”. What this means is that if there is an emergency vehicle on the road or on the side of the road with lights flashing, you are to move over at least one lane, as long as you are not committing any traffic violations by doing so (like crossing into oncoming traffic).

A summons for failing to move over is a 2 point violation. Many courts treat there violations very seriously. Be aware of the conditions of traffic on the road. You can receive this type of summons in any county of New York State, including Nassau, Suffolk, and NYC. We can represent you for any moving violation received in NY State including Speeding, Cell Phone, and Unsafe Lane Change.

I received a summons for speeding in Queens at the beginning of 2019. I have received 3 letters from DMV notifying me the case was postponed. The case is now scheduled for May of 2021. Can the DMV do this?

The Police Department, can in advance, postpone your case, if they notify DMV that the Officer will be unavailable. They can request 2 such adjournments. Your notice will state the case was administratively postponed.

Additionally, your case can be adjourned by the individual Traffic Violation Bureau Office. The Courts had been closed until July due to the Pandemic. That would be an example of an Office postponement. A notice must be sent at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing date.

If you have any questions about a Speeding Ticket, a Cell Phone Ticket, or any other ticket you have received in New York State, feel free to call our office.