Drivers involved in certain kinds of New York traffic violation convictions are often required to attend a safety hearing. Safety hearings are generally held to determine if you will be allowed to keep your license or if it should be suspended. This type of hearing is not a criminal hearing; rather it is takes place under the auspices of the DMV. The hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge whose job is to look into the facts, weigh the evidence, and make a ruling. This is not a trial and there are no juries in attendance. Because it is not a criminal procedure, the standards used to make a determination are less rigorous that those in a formal courtroom. The rules of evidence are more casual and a lower burden of proof is used.
Despite the relaxed standards mentioned above, it is important that, if you are facing such a hearing, you have legal representation. It is your right to have an attorney and one experienced in handling these types of hearings can make a significant difference in how it turns out. Your attorney can argue you case before the judge backed by effective evidence as to why your license should remain in good standing. At Stites Law, you can depend on our traffic ticket defense team; our NYC attorneys have defended countless individuals at safety hearings throughout our years of practice.
What Types of Traffic Tickets Can Result in Safety Hearings?
Many types of tickets do not call for safety hearings. However, the following circumstances will generally lead to the necessity for one:
- You were involved in a traffic collision where another person died; you may be required to appear even if you were not charged with a criminal offense
- You refused to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test when law enforcement believed you were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; under New York’s “implied consent” law, accepting your driver’s license obligates you to take such a test when asked to do so
- You are suspected of obtaining your license fraudulently, such as using a fake identity or otherwise engaging in some type of deceitful behavior
- You have three or more traffic violations of a serious nature spanning a 25-year period
In the safety hearing, you may be questioned by the administrative law judge who will expect you to answer up; you are not generally allowed to remain silent. Once the judge hears all the evidence sought, he or she will make a decision based on what is known as “a preponderance” of evidence. This means that the weight or significance of the evidence leans towards one ruling or the other. It is not a ruling based on “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Why Call Stites Law?
Our firm brings skilled traffic ticket attorneys to your case with the ability to craft an aggressive defense that can put the automatic suspension of your license into doubt. That doubt may save your license and preserve your right to drive. Stites Law focuses its practice on traffic ticket defense and has built a strong reputation in the community for positive results. With a 90 percent success rate in handling cases, we believe we are the right choice for this very important matter.
Request your free consultation with a NYC attorney online or call us at (212) 729-0472 today.