Getting a traffic ticket while on vacation in another state can cause great anxiety for a driver. Chances are, you’re in a state you are unfamiliar with, and you don’t know where the courts are or what penalties you might be facing. In general, getting a ticket in any state involves a similar process as to your home state, though there are often differences in penalties.
West Virginia has two types of speeding laws: absolute speeding limits and basic speeding limits. As the name implies, going even one mile over in an absolute zone (business or residential district, school zone when children are present, and most open country highways) will result in a ticket and a large fine. Basic speeding limits require drivers to drive at a safe speed all the time.
One of the first things drivers in any state need to understand is that there is an agreement amongst most of the states in the U.S. that says if a driver from one of the member states gets a ticket in a different state, that different state tells the driver’s home state about it. Meaning, you can’t hide the fact that you got an out-of-state traffic ticket from your home state. West Virginia and New York are both members of this agreement, which is called the Driver’s License Compact.
One of the things out of state drivers often wonder is if they can just ignore the ticket they received while driving in West Virginia, since it’s not from their home state. The answer to that is no. To ignore the ticket could result in West Virginia suspending your license, which means New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles will also suspend it, as they have a reciprocity agreement with West Virginia. This would leave you without legal means of getting around independently. And, your license will remain suspended until you deal with the West Virginia ticket.
In general, tickets received for minor traffic violations in West Virginia by New York residents do not get added to the driver’s record in New York. However, tickets received for things like Driving Under the Influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or for things like assault, homicide, or criminal negligence while driving will become part of the driver’s criminal record. Similarly, New York does not assign points to a driver’s license for a ticket received in West Virginia for a minor traffic violation. But tickets received for the previously-mentioned offenses (things like Driving Under the Influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or for things like assault, homicide, or criminal negligence while driving) will result in the driver receiving points on his or her license.
All that being said, if you get a ticket while driving in West Virginia, your insurance company will be notified that you have received it, which will likely cause your rates to rise. And, you still have to pay whatever fines and costs that are levied against you by West Virginia.
Some traffic offenses result in a suspension of your license. If your New York license is suspended, West Virginia considers you to be prohibited from driving in their state, as well. If you are a New York driver and are caught driving under suspension in West Virginia, you will be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor by West Virginia police.
For drivers who receive traffic tickets in West Virginia, it can be difficult to find an attorney who knows the West Virginia court system. If you find yourself in that position, Logue Law Group is here to help. Call Sean Logue any time of the day or night at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. Initial consultations are free.
Don’t delay in calling a West Virginia attorney if you are from New York, or any other state, and are ticketed in West Virginia. Delays in seeking legal assistance may result in you paying higher fines than necessary. Call today!
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