I was charged under VTL-512 (suspended registration). I was driver but not owner. Neither driver nor owner was aware of suspension. Owner did not change mailing address when moved. Does VTL-512 imply the driver must be "knowingly" driving with suspended registration? Some other states (e.g. GA) include the word "knowingly" in their laws, but NY does not.
Personal Injury Lawyer
No. There is no "knowingly" requirement under NYS law here. You should have the owner register and plead not guilty. At court, explain what happened, show the prosecutor the new registration and it will get reduced.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
You desire to argue public policy fruitlessly. Essentially, if the law only held the owner liable, if he let his brother drive the car all the time and he never drove it, nobody could be ticketed if the owner did not know of the suspension. Fair or not, mens rea (criminal intent) is not required.
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