How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 24500
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
18321761
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the legal descrion of operating a vehicle in N Y

Customer Question

what is the legal descrion of operating a vehicle in N Y state, and where in the DMV manual can this be found ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

My name is ***** ***** I am a New York State Criminal lawyer.

You won't find the definition in the DMV manual. Nor is it in the VTL. "Operating a vehicle" means driving it. However, it also means sitting behind the wheel with the motor running, even under circumstances where the car is not in motion. You can see that in the jury instructions for DWI which I have attached below. Jury instructions contain the law that the judge instructs the jury on prior to letting them deliberate on a case.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was stopped in traffic with the car in park, engine off, when I was ticketed for a seat belt violation - I took my seat belt off to take mt wallet out of my pocket and immediately rebuckled. What are my chances ?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

It's a good defense. You were not operating the car when you were ticketed.

On the other hand, traffic violations are administrative and not criminal cases. That means the state doesn't have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, you would have the burden of trying to show that you were going to put the belt on again once you started the car.

Good luck!