New York License Suspended Due to Child Support Arrears
It would be quite shocking to be stopped by the police, and instead of the officer simply issuing you a ticket for speeding, running a red light, or for some other traffic violation, the officer informs you that your license has been suspended. Of course, you are already annoyed that you may be facing a ticket with a high fine for the traffic violation. Now you are frustrated because you will be facing an even higher fine for driving on a suspended license, you are no longer permitted to drive, and your insurance rates are sure to increase. Having a suspended license may impact your ability to get to work, to take your kids to school, to run errands, and to generally get things done. In New York there are many reasons that a driver’s license can be suspended, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving without insurance, reckless driving, and multiple speeding tickets. What might be surprising to some is that in New York, under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) § 510, your driving privileges can be suspended for something that has nothing at all to do with driving. They can be suspended as a strategy to enforce child support collection. Not only can your driver’s license be suspended, but other licenses as well such as business licenses, professional licenses, occupational licenses, and recreational licenses. If you have been notified that your driver’s license is about to be suspended or has already been suspended because you are behind on your child support payments, contact an experienced New York driver’s license suspension lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We can help you get your driving privileges restored.Suspension of Driving Privileges and Child Support Arrearage
Under the law, N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 13-244-B, Family Court has the authority to direct the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend the driver’s license due to failure to pay children support. Driving privileges will not be suspended as soon as a driver is a day late, or even a month late. The court can suspend driving privileges only if an individual is 4 months or more behind in child support. However, the DMV does notify drivers whose licenses are at risk of suspension, giving the person 45 days to catch up, enter a payment arrangement, or request a case review.Risks Associated with Driving on a Suspended License
If your driving privileges have been suspended because you are behind with your child support payments, you may be tempted to continue to drive anyway. However, you cannot drive legally if your license has been suspended. The risk is significant. If you are caught, you could be thrown in jail, your license could be revoked, and you could be required to pay fines of up to $5,000. This is a major risk to take. A better strategy is to contact a New York driver’s license suspension lawyer who can help you get your license reinstated.Options
If your driver’s license has been suspended for getting behind in your child support payments, you have options for getting back on the road. For example, you can challenge the suspension. There are several bases for a challenge, such as you are not at least four months behind in your child support payments or that your level of income falls below the threshold for driver’s license suspension due to child support arrears.
Of course, the quickest way to get your license reinstated is to catch up with your payments. This is not always possible. You may be thousands of dollars behind, and not have the means to pay it all right away. However, without a driver’s license you are at risk of losing your job. Sadly, the law that allows driving privileges to be suspended due to getting behind in child support is problematic. While it is important for parents to keep up with their child support payments and the State of New York needs effective ways to enforce child support orders, many parents need driver’s licenses to get to work as well as to do their jobs. If driving privileges are suspended, it is not only the regular operator license that is impacted, but also commercial driver’s licenses as well. How are you to catch up with payments in order to get your license reinstated, if you do not have a way to get to work or if you are not able to do your job?
If you do not have the money to catch up on your back child support, you have the option of applying for a restricted license as described in VTL §530. With a restricted license you are permitted to drive only for very specific purposes such as going to work, going to school, going to medical appointments, or taking your child to school. That is it. Many find these limitations to be unacceptably stringent. As an experienced driver’s license suspension lawyer in New York will explain, another option is to pay less than the full arrearage. In some cases, the court may authorize a driver’s license to be reinstated upon payment of a portion of the delinquent child support payments.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If your driving privileges have been suspended because you are behind in your child support payments, there are options for getting your license reinstated and getting you back on the road, even if you do not have the means to pay the entire amount of your child support arrearage. Contact an experienced driver’s license suspension lawyer serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over two decades of experience representing clients in cases related to traffic violations, child support enforcement, and family law, we can help. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Queens, Bronx, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.