Virginia and Out-of-State Traffic Tickets
If you have a New York driver’s license and receive a Virginia traffic ticket, you are not off the hook just yet.
If convicted of a NY traffic offense and you are a VA driver, you will have to deal with:
- The conviction being placed on your driving record
- Points being placed on your record
- The hassle of paying fines
- Steep insurance hikes
- Possible suspension
- Possible revocation
Remember, New York and Virginia are members of the Driver’s License Compact, so they freely share driver information with one another. How can this be?
This means receiving a VA traffic ticket while having a NY license will lead to NY being notified about the ticket you received and vice versa for a ticket received in NY for a VA license holder.
What Can a Traffic Ticket Attorney Do for Me?
Face it: no one wants to travel all the way back to the state they just happened to pass through simply to fight their traffic tickets.
Hiring an attorney allows you to stay at home while your traffic ticket attorney fights for you.
Additionally, your lawyer understands the system better than anyone else, knows how to negotiate with the prosecutor in a way that will get you what you want, and can almost always get you a better deal than if you represented yourself.
Many people wrongly think that the cost of a traffic ticket attorney is simply too much. In reality, this could not be farther from the truth.
If you plead guilty, you might avoid travel costs, but the increase in your insurance and the associated fines will likely be well more than the cost of hiring an attorney.
If you fight the ticket yourself, you have to deal with administrative hurdles, may have to travel back to the state, and will be fighting a battle without the best weapons or ammunition.
Rules of the Road for Virginians
In Virginia, demerit points will usually be assessed against your VA driver’s license.
Essentially, as long as Virginia recognizes the traffic offense you committed in New York, you will receive points on your VA license for it.
Moreover, those points will go toward suspensions and revocations even though the offense was committed in a state other than Virginia.
Consequently, it pays to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney who can get your traffic ticket reduced to an offense that Virginia would not put points on your license for.
Many times, your traffic ticket attorney will already have a relationship with the prosecutors and it might be easier than you may think to have a favorable plea negotiated for.
How a VA Driver Could Lose His Driving Privileges in NY
If you are an out-of-state driver and accrue 11 points or more, you will lose your New York driving privileges.
This accumulation of 11 points will be determined based on the New York point system, not your home state’s point system.
Therefore, if you are caught speeding 41 miles over the posted speed limit or get cited twice for speeding 21-30 miles over the limit, you will no longer be allowed to drive in the State of New York for a specified duration of time.
Remember, your driver’s license will not be suspended by your home state and NY does not have the authority to suspend an out-of-state driver’s license.
However, since VA and NY are both members of the Driver’s License Compact, VA will honor the “suspension” of your New York driving privileges even though it will not take away your ability to drive elsewhere.
Adam H. Rosenblum of ticketdefenselaw.com is a traffic ticket attorney licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey.