The DMV Is Trying to Trick You

Don't let the DMV intimidate you with threatening letters.

DMV is sneaky — and not in a good way, like a scrambling quarterback or your traffic attorney’s favorite point guard.

If you’re a normal New York motorist, you keep a keen eye on your mailbox for mailings from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

And for good reason, right? You don’t want to miss something important. You want to make sure you’re on top of things, to make sure your license is not suspended for missing a court date or failing to answer a ticket.

Let this be a warning from your friendly traffic attorney: when the DMV mails something to you, it’s not trying to help you.

New tricks from the DMV

These days, whenever a new ticket is issued, the DMV mails this letter to the motorist’s home address. The notices look like this.

The notice threatens you with a suspension date and pressures you to plead guilty. Notice, the top option on the letter is all about how to plead guilty.

Right after that, the letter warns you, in frightening language, of the consequences of not pleading guilty on time.

When you miss a court date, the DMV sends you a similarly frightening notice.

At every turn, the Department is trying to convince people to plead guilty, or to waive their rights to a fair, in-person hearing. They will try to get you plead guilty, appear by statement (an almost certain way to get yourself found guilty), or appear via a virtual WebEx hearing (ditto).

Don’t let them scare you. You’re entitled to your day in court.

The law entitles you to a fair hearing, in person, in front of a judge, and with the chance to confront the officer who wrote you the ticket.

If you’re my client, you hired me to represent you at this hearing, and give you the best possible chance to win.

Please ignore any threatening letters you receive from DMV. Don’t let them bully you. And don’t forget, I’m here to fight for you.