Canadian Driver With A New York Ticket
Canadian drivers often receive traffic tickets while traveling through New York. Rather than travel hundreds of miles to appear in court, these drivers often plead guilty and pay the fine by mail. This can be a big mistake if you are a resident of Ontario or Quebec.
New York has a reciprocal agreement with both Ontario and Quebec under which the parties agree to share information regarding moving violation convictions, criminal motor vehicle convictions, and suspensions. Thus, if you are an Ontario or Quebec resident who is convicted of a moving violation in New York, that conviction will be reported to your home province. In addition, should your driving privileges in New York be suspended, that suspension will similarly be reported to your home province of Ontario or Quebec.
Ontario Driver With A New York Ticket
Ontario licensed drivers should think twice before pleading guilty to a New York ticket. Pleading guilty to a New York moving violation can result in demerits to your Ontario drivers license and increase your insurance rates. In some circumstances, pleading guilty can even result in suspension of your Ontario drivers license.
Ontario uses a demerit point system similar to, but different than, the point system used by New York. The Ontario demerit system assigns specific point values to certain traffic violations. Ontario drivers begin with zero points and accrue points with each conviction. For example, exceeding the speed limit in Ontario by 16 to 29 kilometers/hour costs 3 demerit points. Accrue 9 to 14 points and you will be required to attend an interview and provide reasons why your Ontario license should not be suspended. Accrue 15 or more points and your Ontario drivers license will be suspended.
Because of the reciprocal agreement with New York, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation treats equivalent offenses committed in New York as if they had occurred in Ontario. Thus, violations recognized in Ontario, if committed in New York, will accrue demerit points to your Ontario license. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation states that the following traffic offenses committed in New York will add demerit points to your Ontario license:
- Failure to obey a stop sign
- Failure to obey a signal light
- Failure to stop for a school bus
- Failing to remain at or return to the scene of a collision
- Careless driving
The Ministry of Transportation will also suspend your Ontario drivers license for certain criminal motor vehicle offenses committed in New York. Specifically, the Ministry of Transportation states that the following criminal offenses committed in New York will result in suspension of your Ontario license:
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Criminal negligence
- Dangerous driving
- Failure to remain at the scene of a collision
- Impaired driving
- Driving while disqualified or prohibited
Quebec Driver With A New York Ticket
Quebec licensed drivers should also think twice before pleading guilty to a New York issued ticket. Pleading guilty to a New York moving violation can similarly result in demerits to your Quebec drivers license and increase your insurance rates. In some circumstances, pleading guilty can even result in suspension of your Quebec drivers license.
Quebec also uses a demerit system, albeit different than the one used in Ontario. In Quebec each driver is assigned to a demerit point bracket based on his or her age. For instance, driver's age 25 or older are assigned to the 15 demerit point bracket. This means that the driver's license will be revoked if he or she accrues 15 or more points from traffic violations.
The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec ("SAAQ") clearly states that it will treat equivalent moving violations committed in New York as if they had occurred in Ontario. Thus, a simple speeding ticket conviction in New York can have a significant effect on your Quebec drivers license.
New York's Driver Responsibility Assessment
Ontario and Quebec drivers are also subject to New York's Driver Responsibility Assessment. The Driver Responsibility Assessment is a fee imposed on drivers who in any 18 month period accrue 6 or more points on their New York driving record. This fee is in addition to any fines and surcharges imposed by the New York court. The driver responsibility fee is determined by the number of points received in the 18 month period, $300 for the first 6 points and $75 for every point thereafter. Fail to pay this assessment and your New York driving privileges will be suspended.
Suspension Of New York Driving Privileges
Canadian drivers also risk having their New York driving privileges suspended if they accrue too many New York moving violations. New York driving privileges will be suspended if the driver accrues 11 points or more in any 18 month period. New York will also suspend driving privileges if you receive 3 speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic convictions in any 18 month period.
What Does All This Mean?
New York moving violations can be very costly for Canadian drivers. A simple example illustrates just how costly. Assume an Ontario driver while traveling through New York receives two moving violations during one police stop, the first for speeding 76 mph in a 55 mph zone and the second for talking on a cell phone. Pleading guilty to those tickets will subject the Ontario driver to at least the following costs:
- Demerit points assessed to his or her Ontario drivers license
- Up to $500 in fines
- $186 court surcharge (Town/Village Court)
- 11 points on New York driving record
- Suspension of New York driving privileges
- $975 Driver Responsibility Assessment
Contact A Moving Violation Ticket Attorney
Contact The Shelton Law Firm if you are a Canadian driver that received a ticket while passing through New York's Hudson Valley Region. The Shelton Law Firm knows the Hudson Valley courts and how to get tickets reduced or dismissed. With our money back guarantee you can relax and we will do all the work. We will go to court on your behalf and fight to reduce your points, reduce your fines and avoid increases in your insurance rate. With the Shelton Law Firm on your side, you have the peace of mind to know that your traffic attorney will zealously defend your rights.