25 Oct Nassau, Long Island Cell Phone Tickets; What To Know
New York State is one of the toughest jurisdictions on cell phone tickets. Each violation adds 5 points to your driving record. A first time offender can be fined up to $293, a second time offender $393, and a third time offender $543. Of course multiple offenses can result in suspension and separate driver assessment fees of hundreds of dollars more. Drivers with a Class DJ driver license, Class MJ driver license, or learner permit, are looking at 120 day suspension for any cell phone violation conviction.
Most courts outside of New York City will accept some sort of plea bargain disposition for a first time cell phone violator with a clean record. Nassau County is the exception. Most Nassau County traffic tickets are adjudicated in the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency (NCTPVA) in Hempstead. In around August of 2016 a new Distracted Driver Education Program was initiate in this Court. The program allows for a plea bargain disposition but it requires jumping through multiple loops, making two long court appearances, and is also very costly.
Through the program calls itself an “education program” no actual classes take place. Here is how the idiosyncratic program works:
First you plead guilty to a slightly lesser 4 point offense of tailgating, a 4 point violation, and pay $283 in fines.
Then the case is adjourned for 120 days. In this time, the defendant is to buy a $125 device called a “cell control” and install it in their car. This device monitors whether the driver of the car is using an electronic device. The device creates a report. At 120 days you come back to court. If the device report is negative, then the court will vacate the tailgating conviction and instead you will be guilty of a zero-point ticket. The court will keep the $283 as a fine for the zero-point ticket.
If after 120 days the report indicates that a cell phone was used, then the court will not modify the tailgating conviction. Although a tailgating violation is one point less than a cell phone violation, is it not that great of a deal because for insurance purposes, tailgating is probably considered just as serious as cell phone ticket, if not more serious.
There are ways of avoiding this program. An experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer can take certain steps to perhaps get the ticket dismissed entirely. For free advice regarding fighting any traffic ticket issued anywhere in New York State, contact the Benjamin Goldman Law Office.
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, A Traffic Attorney Practicing in Long Island. Contact him at:
The Benjamin Goldman Law Office 1056 Nielsen Street Suite 4c Far Rockaway, NY 11691 Phone: (516) 350-0774