October 30, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Most New York drivers understand that an intoxicated driving conviction or a serious traffic violation can come with a heavy fine and even jail time. However, there are a whole host of other consequences that can severely complicate a driver's life. For example, most drivers will see significant increases in their insurance rates. Commercial drivers
may lose their license and their profession. In addition, New York law requires most drivers convicted of serious traffic offenses to pay a "driver responsibility assessment."
Essentially, a driver responsibility assessment is a fine that exists in addition to the actual criminal penalties for the underlying traffic offense. It applies in four circumstances and is assessed when a driver:
- Is convicted of a traffic violation involving alcohol
- Is convicted of a traffic violation involving drugs
- Refuses a chemical test for intoxication under New York's implied consent law
- Accrues six or more points on their driver record in an 18-month period
It is not necessary for all six points to be accrued in one violation. For example, the assessment could be triggered by getting two tickets for low-level speeding or minor traffic infractions.
The amount of the assessment varies depending on the violation. Drivers who are convicted of alcohol or drug-related violations must pay a $750 assessment. Drivers who accrue six or more points must pay a minimum assessment of $300. The assessment will grow by $75 for each additional point over the initial six.
The Importance of Paying the Assessment
Many drivers balk at being asked to pay such a significant amount of money, especially since they already paid a large fine to deal with their traffic ticket or DWI
. However, it is important to recognize that failing to pay the driver responsibility assessment -- or paying it late -- can have serious and long-lasting consequences.
When a duty to pay the assessment is triggered, the driver will receive a mailed notice from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. The driver will then have 30 days to make the minimum payment. If the payment is not made on time, the driver's license will be suspended. Driving with a suspended license is a serious criminal violation that can bring even more trouble and even higher financial penalties.
The DMV allows drivers to pay the driver responsibility assessment
in three annual installments. While this can help to make the assessment more affordable, it is also a frequent source of trouble. Many times, drivers make the first payment, and then never get the next bill. They don't even think about the assessment until they find themselves getting arrested for driving without a valid license.
Talk to an Attorney Before Pleading Guilty
Once a driver is convicted of the underlying offense, there is no way to escape the driver responsibility assessment. That is why it is so important to talk to a New York City drunk driving and traffic violation attorney as soon as possible after being pulled over. Too often, drivers plead guilty without understanding all of the consequences of a drunk driving or traffic violation conviction.
Article provided by Katz Law Offices
Visit us at www.katzlawyers.com/---
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