• Gennaro Calabrese

Payment Plan Option for Fines/Surcharges Imposed Upon Convictions for Traffic Violations

On March 31, 2021, the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act takes effect.

The Act creates a payment plan option for those convicted of a violation in relation to traffic. Section 1802 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law was amended and subdivision (2) was added. Under subdivision (2), if a fine and/or surcharge is imposed for a violation in relation to traffic, the Court must offer the individual the opportunity to enter into an installment payment plan. The installment payment plan will consist of either monthly payments that do not exceed 2% of such person’s monthly net income or ten dollars per month, whichever is greater. The term “net income” means such person’s total income from all sources and assets, minus deductions required by law including but not limited to administrative or court-ordered garnishments and support payments. The Court may require the person who opted for the installment payment plan to appear before such court, but no more frequently than annually, to assess their financial circumstances, and may set a new payment amount if such person’s financial circumstances have changed. A person who enters into an installment payment plan and experiences a reduction in income may petition the court at any time to seek a reduction in the monthly payment.

The Act gives judges the discretion in the interests of justice to reduce or waive the amount of any fine, fee or mandatory surcharge assessed for a violation in relation to traffic.

The Act also ends the practice of suspending a driver’s license or privileges for failing to answer an appearance ticket charging a violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and for failing to appear at any subsequent adjourned date.

If you have any questions regarding the content of the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act or traffic offenses in general, please contact the Calabrese Law Firm at (518) 350-7480. The Calabrese Law Firm handles criminal and non-criminal traffic offenses throughout Albany and the Greater Capital District.