Even a New York traffic ticket lawyer can get confused as to how to calculate the number of traffic points a driver has on her or driver license. The rule is that any person can get up to 10 points within any 18-month period. Application of this rule, however, leads to some problems for people.
For purposes of the DMV, the first question is when do the points begin to run and when do they end. Points start on the day of the ticket and no longer count 18 months thereafter. For instance, let's assume a motorist is convicted on November 1, 2009 for a speeding ticket 78/55 (6 speeding ticket point) occurring on April 6, 2008. On November 1, 2009 (the date of conviction), the Department of Motor Vehicles will assign 6 points to that driver’s license. Those 6 points will count retroactively back to April 6, 2008 (the date of offense) and will remain on that driver’s license until October 6, 2009, 18 months later.
The part that an experienced New York traffic lawyer knows to do next is often missed by motorists. In particular, for the above example, to determine how many points the driver with this speeding conviction now has, he or she will have to add up the total points from 18 months before the date of offense and 18 months after the date of offense. The trick is that there are two 18-month periods which must be examined. That is, using the April 6, 2008 date of offense in the above example, you need to count how many points were assigned to the driver between October 7, 2007 and April 6, 2008 (the first 18-month period) and how many points were assigned between April 6, 2008 and October 5, 2009 (the second 18-month period).
If, during either 18-month period, the driver has more than 10 points, he or she is in jeopardy of being suspended for having too many points.
Another note, a driver with a NY traffic ticket point problem can take a driver safety class and consequently receive 4 points off his or her record. The points will only be deducted for points already assigned to the motorist's record or for subsequent convictions for tickets which were issued prior to the date the motorist took the class.
Finally, the point calculation rules for insurance purposes are very different. For insurance purposes, points are measured from the date of conviction (not the date of offense) and will be used to determine whether to raise a motorist’s insurance rates for 36 months from the date of conviction.
For a complete list of New York traffic violations and matching points, visit New York DMV Point System.