If you were issued a summons for your Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle (HDDV) and the police officer wrote section 217-5.4(a) or 217-5.4(b) as the violation, it means your HDDV either failed a roadside smoke opacity test, does not have a functioning emission control device or it was tampered with, or your HDDV has not had an exhaust emissions inspection within the past 12 months. The bad news is a violation under either 217-5.4(a) or 217-5.4(b) is costly, and even more costly for repeat offenders. The fines for both 217-5.4(a) and 217-5.4(b) are covered under section 217-5.7. Under 217-5.7(b) the first offense of 217-5.4(a) for failed emissions is $700, and the second and subsequent offense is $1,300. Under 217-5.7(c) the first offense of 217-5.4(b) for no inspection is $700, and the second and subsequent offense is $1,300. Furthermore, if your HDDV is owned and operated in a commercial business and your summons is a “pink summons” or a Criminal Court Appearance Ticket, you must hire an attorney to appear at court. The good news is if you have the HDDV repaired, according to section 217-5.7(b), a summons under 217-5.4(a) can be reduced to $150 for a first offense and $500 for a second and subsequent offense. If you have the HDDV reinspected or inspected by a Certified Inspector if it has been over 12 months, and have the necessary paperwork as proof of the repairs and inspection then section 217-5.7(c) states your 217-5.4(b) fines can be reduced to $350, down from $700, for a first-time offense, or reduced to $750 for a second offense, down from $1,300. This is why we call these Summonses "Fix-It-Tickets".
Because of the big reduction in fines it is important to get your HDDV into a state licensed inspection shop with a Certified Inspector as soon as possible. If you have your HDDV fixed and inspected before your court appearance date, and you maintain the necessary records of the repairs and inspection, your fines will be reduced. To reiterate, you must have an attorney do this for you if you have been issued a “pink summons”. It is also equally important to have an attorney familiar with the courts, laws and procedures in your jurisdiction to give you the best chance of a favorable outcome.
Most cases handled by our firm are straight forward, and once we are hired to represent you or your company, you typically do not need to do anything else. If your case is not straightforward, our firm is still your best shot at getting the best outcome. We have represented countless businesses and business owners in matters involving HDDV violations, equipment violations and other criminal violations for businesses. If you have received a “pink summons” for your HDDV or commercial vehicle give our office a call to discuss how we can help you and your business and give you the best solution to your problem. In just six minutes we can evaluate your case and determine your best outcome. We appear at all courts throughout New York City and Central and Northern New Jersey.
Walter Lau is a named partner at Lau & Nicolello, LLC. He holds a JD from New York Law School and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland - College Park. Walter is licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey and has handled business purchases and sales, insurance subrogation, UCC disputes, Criminal and Municipal Court appearances, and personal injury lawsuits.