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?

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!

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