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  1. #1
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Can You Take a Defensive Driving Course to Prevent Suspension

    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: New York

    Hello, I recently received a +5pt. cellphone ticket in NY for which I have 15 days left to plead guilty or not guilty. I have already accumulated 7pts on my license from a previous cellphone ticket and a uturn in the past 18 months. Will taking a defensive driving course at this point help prevent a license suspension? Or is it too late?

    Additionally, I am considering accepting the suspension and simply selling my car. If I chose this course of action, would I still be liable for paying the ticket, the associated Drivers Responsibility Assessment fee and any suspension fees?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Defensive Driving Course to Prevent Suspension

    Quote Quoting 26sramirez6
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    Additionally, I am considering accepting the suspension and simply selling my car. If I chose this course of action, would I still be liable for paying the ticket, the associated Drivers Responsibility Assessment fee and any suspension fees?
    Why do you think accepting the legal penalty will help you avoid the administrative penalty? Of course you are responsible for the Driver Responsibility Assessment, all fines and surcharges on the ticket, and the suspension termination fee, if you are suspended. Failure to pay the DRA and the fines/surcharges will result in more license suspensions and will cost you more money.

    You do realize that the 18-month "window" for violations is based upon the date of the violation, NOT the date of conviction? Have you taken that into account?

    Yes, you should take the Defensive Driver Class, in your case it just may help you avoid a suspension.

    Was this in New York City or elsewhere?

    You need to stay off the phone while you're driving.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Defensive Driving Course to Prevent Suspension

    Thanks for your response.
    Yes, this occurred in NYC. I asked about the fees because according to the nyc.dmv website:
    "What happens if I do not pay?
    If you do not pay the driver responsibility assessment by the payment date on your statement, DMV will suspend your driver license, your learner permit, or your driving privileges."

    If the consequence of not paying the dra is license suspension, which will happen regardless since this last ticket will put me above 11pts, then it's not clear to someone unfamiliar with the law like me what the actual purpose is of paying it. Based off your response, "more license suspensions", it seems there are multiple levels of license suspension? I did not know this.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Defensive Driving Course to Prevent Suspension

    In New York your license or driving privilege can be suspended multiple times.

    For instance, if you get tickets in three different jurisdictions and fail to answer them your license will be suspended three times.

    By allowing your license to get suspended you are just digging yourself into a deeper financial hole. Of course, if you don't want to drive ever again you won't have to worry about it too much.

    If you do drive with a suspended license or driving privilege that is a crime - the seriousness of which is dependent upon the number of time/dates that your license/privilege has been suspended. If you have enough suspensions on enough dates then it becomes a felony.

    You cannot get your license/privilege back until ALL the suspensions are lifted - each one requires you to pay a suspension termination fee in addition to satisfying the condition which caused each suspension to begin with.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Defensive Driving Course to Prevent Suspension

    Ok. Are my chances of avoiding suspension better if I block out 8 hours of my day between today and tomorrow to finish the course? Or would it not make a difference if I completed the course over a few weeks? To your point earlier about violation versus conviction dates, i will have technically accumulated 12 points within the 18-month window, so I guess what I'm looking for is some information on the "grace" period to completing a course to reduce your points by 4 (if it even exists).

  6. #6
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Defensive Driving Course to Prevent Suspension

    I don't know what you mean by "grace period".

    You should plead "not guilty" and appear in the TVB for a hearing. Make the officer testify and prove his case. It is always possible that he will fail to meet his burden of proof and you will be found not guilty. It's possible.

    In the mean time, take the defensive driving class - it has to be a DMV-approved class. You can take these either in person or on line. It doesn't matter when you complete the course but try to do so before your court date, which will probably be at least a month or two away.

    No points get removed from your driving record and no convictions get erased - that is a fallacy. The only thing the class does for you is give you an insurance discount and give you leeway when it comes down to having your license suspended for points - which is exactly the situation you are in. With 12 you would definitely get suspended. With the class taken you are probably going to be able to avoid suspension.

    You are living on the edge now - you'd better straighten yourself out and stop using your phone when driving. You cannot afford even one more conviction if it carries points.

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