If a police officer has ever pulled you over, the officer probably asked for your driver’s license and registration. Under New York traffic laws, drivers are required to carry an up-to-date registration for their vehicles. If you do not have proof of up-to-date auto registration, the officer may issue you a traffic ticket and a ticket for driving with an unregistered motor vehicle under VTL 401.
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers Will Fight Your Traffic Ticket For You
Facing traffic charges can be time-consuming and a major inconvenience. Many drivers pay the fine and move on instead of fighting the traffic ticket. Fighting your traffic ticket can have multiple benefits if you’ve been charged with driving an unregistered motor vehicle. You may be able to avoid fines, points on your driver’s license, and even jail time. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to learn more about how we can fight your traffic ticket.
New York Laws Related to Motor Vehicle Registration
Per VTL 401, New York requires all vehicles to be properly registered. Drivers must renew their vehicle’s registration every two years. The renewal process includes completing an annual safety inspection from an approved driver. Generally, drivers receive traffic tickets after they are pulled over under suspicion of a different type of traffic infraction.
However, law enforcement officers aren’t required to witness a moving violation to pull a driver over and ask for up-to-date registration. An officer can run a driver’s tag, discover the vehicle isn’t registered, and pull the driver over on that basis. As long as a law enforcement officer has an objectively valid reason for stopping the driver, the officer can cite a driver with an unregistered motor vehicle charge.
What Happens After an Unregistered Motor Vehicle Citation
Most drivers receive a traffic ticket that cites an unregistered motor vehicle charge, but a citation isn’t the only way to be charged. The officer who pulls the driver over may issue the driver a Notice to Appear in court. A law enforcement officer may arrest the driver for an unregistered motor vehicle. This practice is rare unless the driver is suspected of engaging in more serious traffic charges. In most cases, law enforcement officers won’t arrest a driver unless there is an open warrant, prior arrest, or a perceived lack of cooperation during the traffic stop. The law enforcement officer has the authority to cite a driver with a ticket or take additional action against the driver.
Will I Have to Go to Court For an Unregistered Motor Vehicle Ticket?
If you’ve been charged with driving an unregistered motor vehicle, you will have to address your case in court. In New York, driving with an unregistered motor vehicle is considered a criminal offense. As a result, going to a court hearing is necessary. The law enforcement officer who issues the citation will submit a copy of your ticket or Notice to Appear/Arrest Report to the clerk of the relevant court. At that point, the clerk will assign your case a case number associated with your name. As the defendant, you will receive a Notice of Hearing stating the date you’re required to appear for an arraignment.
The arraignment will include a formal reading of the charge or charges against you and will be your first court hearing. After the arraignment, you’ll need to attend more hearings, including the case disposition, plea conference, or status check. These hearings will allow you to hire an attorney. The court can review the evidence against you. You’ll be able to prepare a legal defense.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney Right Away
Many drivers forget to update their car registration, but that doesn’t mean an unregistered motor vehicle charge isn’t serious. Driving without an updated registration is a criminal charge in New York, and you will be required to appear before the court. The penalties are serious, and an attorney can help you develop a strategic legal defense as soon as possible. The prosecution may pressure you into accepting a plea deal at your arraignment. Before you accept a plea deal, you should have an attorney review your case. Your attorney can gather evidence in your favor and begin negotiating a better offer.
Additionally, your attorney can also help you understand your options and answer your questions, so you make the best decisions possible about your case. When you plead “not guilty” at your arraignment, you will have time to discuss your case with an attorney and hire an attorney who can prepare your defense.
The Penalties for Driving without an Up-to-Date Registered Vehicle
The penalties for driving without an up-to-date registration are serious. If your tags have only recently expired, the law enforcement officer who pulled you over may give you a verbal warning and let you go on your way. However, anytime your tags are expired, you can face fines between $100 and $200. If your vehicle appears to be incapable of passing the required inspection, or you don’t correct the problem quickly after being cited, your vehicle may be towed and impounded.
Even if you take care of the registration, you could still be required to appear in court. Finally, drivers with expired registrations can be required to spend up to 15 days in jail. The sooner you talk to an experienced attorney after being cited, the more likely you will be to mitigate or avoid these penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney
If you’ve received a traffic ticket in New York for driving an unregistered motor vehicle, you have options. Before you pay the fine and admit guilt, contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers. Our team of skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys will fight hard for the best outcome possible, which may include getting the ticket dismissed. We will handle the entire process for you. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how we can advocate for you and your rights.