We get a lot of inquiries from people who have found out one way or another their license or privilege to drive is suspended in New York. Whether you find out while in the process of renting a car, renewing a driver license in another state, switching auto insurance or are pulled over in New York and informed by the officer, once you know you’ll need to fix the situation. Note that even people without a NY driver license can be suspended in NY for failing to properly handle a NY traffic ticket or some other related act or omission.
When the cause of the suspension is straight forward, the solution often is as well. For example, if you are suspended simply for failing to pay a fine due, can you guess what our advice will be?
The inquiries we get, however, are rarely of the straight forward variety. If people are able to really pinpoint the problem they are often able to fix the situation on their own as well. More commonly, we receive inquiries from people with multiple suspensions and/or thousands of dollars due or older issues which have been long forgotten or other potentially complicated situation that is anything but straight forward. These are the types of driver suspension issues that lead people to reach out to an attorney.
So how do we handle these situations? There is no one way or easily explained fix–each situation is unique.
Generally, our firm’s policy is to suggest the following:
1. Allow us to do a license investigation. We usually will charge a relatively small flat fee to pull your driving record in NY, review every suspension or problematic issue on it and then do the research necessary to figure out the potential solutions if they are not readily apparent. For example, a driving record might just alert us that there is an outstanding issue in so and so town court in so and so county. We’ll still need to call the court, speak to the clerk, determine what the outstanding issue is and what options this court is offering to enable us to remedy the situation. In a system where each court does things differently and some are only open a few hours per week, gathering this information can often take some effort and expertise.
2. After we’ve identified each outstanding issue and our options for fixing each issue, we’ll sit down with you and discuss. There may be court appearances necessary, there may be money that needs to be paid and/or there may be decisions to be made if certain issues can be handled in more than one manner. We’ll walk people through it all, lay out the options and potential consequences and help you come up with the plan that best fits your situation. Some people live near, some far…some are concerned with the money they’ll need to pay, for others time is of the essence. Different solutions often work for different people.
3. If your plan requires further legal work, we’ll let you know what it entails and what we charge. If you do hire us for any legal work related to the investigation, we’ll put the investigation fee you paid towards that work.
If you do reach out to an attorney about a suspended NY driving record and the solution is very straight forward, the attorney should just let you know how to handle it on your own. However, it isn’t always that simple and having an experienced law firm figure out exactly what the issues are and how they can be cleared might just be the best way to get yourself cleared in NY.
Submitted by Scott Feifer, Esq.