Congratulations! You’ve found a great new job opportunity and they plan to hire you. The only catch is you have to pass a background check first. At first you weren’t worried since you don’t have any criminal convictions. But what about those speeding tickets? Will those show up on a background check? How likely are those to affect your employment?
There’s no hard-and-fast answer. What comes up on a background check can actually depend how comprehensive the investigation is. It also depends on the status of those speeding tickets. For example, if you’ve paid your tickets then they will only show up if the employer also requests your driving record (also called a driving abstract) from the DMV. Not every background check will include that. However, large financial firms or private security firms that take your personal reputation seriously will certainly do this. You can also expect your driving record to be pulled up if driving is a primary or significant part of your responsibilities.
What Tickets Will Show on Your New York Driving Record?
The following violations will show up on your NY driving record once you are convicted:
- Suspensions or revocations (remains for 4 to 5 years after being cleared)
- Accidents (for 3 to 4 years after the accident)
- Convictions for traffic violations (up to 4 years after the date of conviction)
- Drunk driving/DWI and other impaired driving charges (DWI – 15 years; 10 for DWAI)
A traffic ticket that has been issued but that you have not been resolved will not show up in a driving record. The biggest issue, however, would be delinquent traffic tickets. These could come to light even if your driving record is not checked. For example, unpaid tickets that have gone to collections can show up as debt in a credit check (and will affect your credit score). In addition, if an unpaid speeding ticket has resulted in an arrest warrant being issued, that would likely be reported in even the most basic background check.
How Can I Keep Speeding Tickets off My Driving Record?
While it may seem easier to “do the right thing” and pay a speeding ticket, that will only increase the chances of the ticket appearing in a background check that includes your driving record. Not to mention the fact that paying a speeding ticket results in points being applied to your license. If you accrue more than 11 points on your New York license it will be suspended. (You could also lose your license if you plead guilty to three or more speeding tickets in an 18-month period.) A suspension will definitely appear on your driving record and could be seen as a major issue for any employer, even if driving is not part of the responsibilities; it raises concerns about your ability to get to work on time and is often seen as reflective of your character.
If you have not already paid the speeding ticket, a better approach would be to hire an attorney to fight the charges or negotiate them down to less significant, non-moving violations. A non-moving violation carries no points on your license, eliminating the risk of a suspension (and also ensuring your insurance premiums don’t increase). Moreover, non-moving violations do not appear on your NYS DMV driving record and thus will not come up on your driving record or in any kind of background check (unless they become delinquent).
For past speeding convictions, you can still fight to have the charges removed, although it is a little harder. To do this you will need an attorney to file a “Motion to Vacate,” which essentially asks the judge to withdraw the guilty plea and allows you to challenge the ticket in court. Be aware, however, that not all courts in New York State entertain this motion.
If you or a loved one have been ticketed for speeding and are concerned about the impact it will have on a background check, consult with an attorney right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are expert traffic ticket attorneys skilled in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses New York. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.