Probationary Period for New Drivers in New York State
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.
What is a Probationary License and the Probationary Period?
There is technically no "probationary license". It is a regular driver’s license, but the driver has a probationary period.
After a New York driver obtains their full-time driving privileges (after passing a road test or following a suspension) they are placed in a six-month probationary period. During this time, a driver is expected to be on their best behavior. Convictions hold more weight than usual during the probationary period.
What Kind of Violation Will Result in Suspension?
The following results in suspension:
- Any two moving violations. It does not matter how serious they are. It also does not matter if the two tickets are from one traffic stop or two different traffic stops.
- Any type of speeding violation, even for driving 1 mph over the limit. This obviously includes school zone speeding violations and work zone speeding violations.
- Any ticket related to cell phone use while driving.
- Tailgating (otherwise known as Following Too Closely).
- Reckless Driving.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).
How Long is the Suspension?
Not all suspensions are the same. The minimum suspension is 60 days. Cell phone violations result in a 120-day suspension. DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) are 90-day suspensions. DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is a six-month revocation. When the suspension expires, a driver is placed on yet another six-month probationary period. Any subsequent suspension will last at least six months. Driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense. A conviction will result in a criminal record and possible jail time.
What Date Matters, The Date of Violation or Date of Conviction?
It is important to note that it is the date of violation that matters, not the date of conviction. This means a driver will get suspended even if the conviction of the ticket they received during their probationary period occurs many years after the date of the violation, when they are long out of their probationary period.
Can a Judge “Waive” the Suspension?
A judge does not have the discretion to waive the suspension. A judge does not order the suspension. The suspension is automatic, from the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albany. There will be absolutely nobody to talk to at the court of the DMV to get out of the suspension. Once the suspension is ordered and issued, the only way of getting out of the suspension is by vacating the guilty plea or appealing the conviction.
Is it Possible to Avoid a Suspension?
Yes. If you received a traffic ticket while under probation, it is imperative that you get a seasoned traffic attorney involved. A good traffic lawyer will maximize the odds of avoiding a suspension. There are various methods of fighting traffic charges, depending on the exact charge and the court where the ticket is being adjudicated.
Benjamin Goldman Law Office
The Benjamin Goldman Law Office has helped many motorists avoid such suspensions. You can consult, free of charge, with the attorneys at the Benjamin Goldman Law Office regarding your ticket. If you are not sure if you are under probationary period, we can figure that out for you. If you are not sure if your violations will result in suspension, we can figure that out for you. Contact us at your convenience.