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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 4396
Experience:  10 years of legal experience, including traffic law
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My brother was recently in rehab for alcohol. He had left

Customer Question

Hi, my brother was recently in rehab for alcohol. He had left his car at my house, and called me one day and asked if I could drop some stuff off to him at rehab since he had nothing there. I said yes, and drove there in his car since I don't own a car of my own. I got pulled over and the cop told me the car had a suspended registration. I didn't have my license on me either but I do have a license, and I had my permit on me. The cop told me that all I had to do was show up in court with my license and everything would be fine, however, my brother got released from rehab, took the car, and got it impounded, while my ticket was still in the car. I didn't know when my court date was, and so I missed it. However, tomorrow is my next court date which I will attend. Just wondering how bad this is ?? I didn't know the car's registartion was supsended!!
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: New Yrok York*
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: when I look on the website for my court date they have 5 counts against me but the cop didn't inform me that any of these counts were going to be charged.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no.
Submitted: 25 days ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 25 days ago.

Hello.

Sorry to hear about your situation. Do you know what the other four counts are?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
one is for no inspection, one is for not having the license on my posession, one is for suspended registration, and I think the other one is no registration?
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 25 days ago.

Thanks for the additional information.

So this is a bit tricky because the suspended registration is unfortunately a somewhat serious charge in that it is a misdemeanor (as opposed to an infraction) that carries up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. Now, it is VERY unlikely that you would get jail time on a case like this, but you could end up with a misdemeanor conviction, so typically I would recommend that someone get a lawyer to help them with a case like this to try to negotiate it downward. Unfortunately, given the time constraints and the fact that you already missed one trial date, you may have difficulties getting a postponement to try to get a lawyer.

So, you may end up having to negotiate on your own behalf. All of the tickets relating to the car itself (registration, inspection, etc.) are possible to get out of, because it was not your car. The law is that you have to have been driving when you "knew or should have known" that the registration was suspended. Given that the car is not yours, it is easy enough to make the argument that there is no way you could have known about the registration status. So you can try to show up to court early and see if you can negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea deal. For example, pleading guilty to not having your license on you (which is the only charge that is arguably your fault) in exchange for a dismissal, or to at least drop the misdemeanor charge so you don't end up with a criminal record. As a last resort, if you don't want to go to trial, you can try to get an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD or ACOD) meaning your case is put off for a period of time and if you stay out of trouble the charges are dismissed. But the main thing you will likely want to go for is to get rid of any charges that are misdemeanors and can leave you with a record. Simple traffic tickets will not do that, whereas something like suspended registration can.