PITFALLS TO AVOID IN TRAFFIC CASES
|FIGHT YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET|
The final book of the Old Testament, the Book of Revelations, speaks of Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death – the four horsemen that bring about the apocalypse and the end of the world.
When a driver is pulled over for speeding in New York State there are countless things that can go wrong and bring about the ticket apocalypse.
I my practice, I have noticed four common mistakes made by drivers that can bring about judgment day. I have dubbed these mistakes as the Four Horsemen of Speeding Tickets.
1. DO NOT ADMIT WRONG DOING
When a driver is pulled over, a police officer will routinely ask the driver, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” This is not the officer’s way of making small talk but a strategic maneuver used to strengthen the prosecution’s case. The officer is covertly trying to elicit a confession.
While Hollywood has glamorized the typical confession as a dramatic cross examination taking place in a dark room in with a two-way mirror, the vast majority of confessions take place in a far less dramatic manner. Most confessions are obtained voluntarily without much effort.
When a driver responds, “I’m sorry I was speeding,” the driver has admitted to committing the offense. The statement is a declaration against their interest and can be submitted to the court at trial as evidence of guilt. Most judges will overrule any objection made as to hearsay and allow the statement into evidence.
In brief, the premise in law is that a defendant will not inculpate himself or herself unless they are otherwise guilty. The confession is subsequently memorialized in the supporting deposition.
2. DEMAND A SUPPORTING DEPOSITION
While a supporting deposition may not be warranted in every case, in many cases a demand for a support deposition can yield significant benefits for a driver. Not only will a supporting deposition provide insight into the prosecution of a case, it can also be used as a tool to dismiss a ticket. If a timely demand is made for a supporting deposition and the officer fails to timely serve a copy, then a motion can be made to dismiss the ticket.
A driver who makes such a demand should be judicious in making the demand because a demand may result in a prosecutor taking an adversarial position. Furthermore, the failure to serve a supporting deposition is not a dismissal on the merits and a ticket can be re-issued and re-prosecuted.
3. BE POLITE TO THE OFFICER
Undoubtedly, being stopped for speeding along a busy highway is a stressful situation for every driver. The fear of the unknown and the fear of facing a costly speeding ticket is enough to ruin anyone’s day. This situation is not only stressful for the driver but it is also stressful for the officer.
When a police officer pulls over a speeding car, there are a myriad of situations that can escalate a routine traffic stop into a major crisis situation. For example, a driver pulled over for speeding can also be wanted on a felony arrest warrant, the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and face DWI charges, the driver may be agitated and drive away without cause thereby starting a high speed chase, or the driver may have contraband (such drugs or a gun) in plain sight. As such, the experience can be very stressful and adrenaline filled. As such, it is prudent for the driver to be as polite as possible to relieve any unnecessary tension and prevent any further escalation of the situation.
Furthermore, it is worthy to note that the New York legislature recently passed the Move Over Law under VTL 1144-a. This law was passed in memory of all the fallen and injured police officer that was injured in the line of duty while pulling over a vehicle. While it may be incomprehensible, many police officers around the United States have been struck and killed by passing cars while issuing routine traffic tickets.
In light of the stress involved, police officers dislike drivers that escalate the already stressful situation with a combative attitude. Although being polite and respectful to the officer may not get you out of the ticket, it may prevent you from receiving additional charges.
4. MISSING A COURT DATE
Many drivers view a speeding ticket as a mere nuisance. As such, once the ticket is issued, they simply throw it in the garbage and place it out of their mind. Meanwhile, a ticketed driver has a specific time to respond to the ticket and the failure to do so will result in their privilege to drive to be suspended.
Once a driver’s license is suspended it can be a cumbersome process to lift the suspension. Furthermore, the act of driving with a suspended license is a criminal act for which a driver can be arrested and have their car impounded.
This disregard of the law is the type of behavior that causes prosecutors to take an adversarial hard line stance against drivers.
ABOUT OUR FIRM
Our speeding ticket defense practice is lead by a former prosecutor. His experience viewing cases from both the prosecution and defense perspective has helped propel our firm into one of the most highly regarded firms in New York. Let our skill and experience work for you. Give our statewide practice a call at 800-893-9645 to learn how we can help you fight your traffic matter.
In summary, the defense of a traffic ticket starts at its inception. There are several proactive things a driver can do to help themselves make the most out of a bad situation. If you have a question about how our ticket defense law firm can help, give us a call at 800-893-9645. We have successfully defended drivers along I-81, I-90, I-95, Route 17 and the rest of New York. Our attorneys can have defended tickets in Whitehall Court, Hancock Court, and dozens of other town and village courts around New York.
|Over 30 Years of Legal Experience|