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New York Traffic Violations Legal Blog

Don't believe everything you see about traffic violations

People in New York may have seen an image on Facebook or another social media account that has gone viral, depicting a ticket for distracted driving in the state of New York in the amount of $850. Despite the fact that this image has been shared nearly 250,000 times, it serves as a prime example that you cannot believe everything you see.

That is because the entire image is fake. The image appears to show a distracted driving traffic ticket indicating that such an infraction would result in a $850 fine. However, upon closer inspection one can see that some of the words on the ticket have varying colors and are of different degrees of sharpness. Moreover, the section of law cited on the ticket actually is not related to distracted driving at all. Finally, a distracted driving ticket in New York will not result in a $850 fine. The maximum fine for distracted driving in the state is $400 less, at $450.

Navigate a distracted driving ticket carefull

Smart phones have become an almost omnipresent element of our lives and although many New York drivers know that using a cell phone while on the road is frowned upon by the state, it still does happen from time to time. If law enforcement catches you texting or surfing the web on your smart phone while behind the wheel, you could be issues a ticket that carries significant penalties.

This is clearly an unfortunate situation to be in, but one of the worst ways you could handle it is by attempting to represent yourself in court in the fight against a distracted driving ticket. You may be confident that you will be acquitted or that there has been a misunderstanding. History shows, however, that these kinds of tickets are notoriously hard to dispute. Because of this, representing yourself and attempting to fight the penalty may actually result in you getting convicted.

Work with experienced legal counsel to address search, seizure issues in DUI cases

We’ve been looking in recent posts at the topic of texting while driving, and the proposal to allow police officers to use devices giving them the ability to search drivers’ phones to determine whether they were texting prior to an accident. As we noted, there are privacy concerns with this proposal.

Privacy concerns are often at play in cases involving drunken driving charges. Police officers are required by law to abide by various rules in conducting searches and seizures, and failure to do so can result in improper searches and arrests. Screening for compliance with these rules is one of the things an experienced DUI defense attorney will do when examining a DUI case. 

“Textalyzer” technology proposed in response to problem of texting and driving, P.2

Previously, we began discussing the widespread problem of texting and driving, and an emerging technology that could help address the issue. The Textalyzer, as we noted, would allow law enforcement officers to determine whether a motorist had been involved in texting while driving prior to a motor vehicle accident or a moving violation.

To authorities, the technology holds a lot of promise in terms of improving highway safety, so much so that Governor Cuomo recently ordered the Traffic Safety Committee to study the issue and report on the potential effectiveness of the technology and how it may be used in the state of New York. 

“Textalyzer” technology proposed in response to problem of texting and driving

Cell phone use while driving, as readers know, is one of the biggest issues we face when it comes to highway safety nowadays. The widespread use of smartphones and other connected devices is a primary contributor to the problem. Of particular concern is texting while driving, a practice most states have prohibited.

Here in New York, all drivers are prohibited from using portable electronic devices while driving, whether to talk, text, play games or engage in some other activity on the device. The law makes certain exceptions, which include: using a hands-free mobile telephone to talk; using a handheld device which is mounted to a vehicle surface; using a GPS device attached to the vehicle; to make an emergency call; or when operating an emergency vehicle. 

Work with skilled legal counsel to fight drugged driving charges

Last time, we began looking at some of the special issues that need to be considered in drugged driving cases, whether based on use of prescription medication or illegal drugs. First of all, we noted, because there is no legal limit associated with drugged driving, police officers rely on a variety of pieces of evidence to build a case for impaired driving.

Evidence that can be used to establish to establish probable cause for arrest and drugged driving charges includes: the manner in which the driver was operating his or her vehicle; his or her appearance and demeanor when questioned by law enforcement; admissions of using drugs prior to or while driving; and performance on standardized field sobriety tests. The reliability of evidence presented in support of drugged driving charges is important to scrutinize in building a DUI defense case. Although there are certainly obvious cases of impairment by drugs, there are some cases where what appears to be drug impairment is not actually so. 

Tiger Woods arrest raises issue of DUI charges based on prescription drug impairment, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the fairly recent arrest of Tiger Woods for DUI and his subsequent statement that his impairment was due to an unexpected reaction to prescription drugs. As we mentioned last time, there are special issues to take into consideration with cases involving drug impairment.

One of these issues is that, unlike cases involving alcohol impairment, there is no legal limit to determine when a drugged driver is driving under the influence “per se.” In drunken driving cases, a determination that the motorist was at or above the legal limit generally makes it easier to convict that person, depending on the circumstances of the case. 

Tiger Woods arrest raises issue of DUI charges based on prescription drug impairment, P.1

New York readers may have heard that golf legend Tiger Woods was arrested at the end of May near his home in Florida and later charged with driving under the influence. According to police records, Woods had been asleep at the wheel with the car running, two of his tires flat, and damage to his vehicle.

Police based the DUI citation on Woods’ condition and appearance, as well as the fact that his speech was slurred and his lack of awareness of where he was, though he did apparently also ask how far he was from his home.  One interesting aspect of the case, though, is that Woods was not intoxicated with alcohol. 

New York Court of Appeals allows unlimited license plate scanning

Drivers cannot reasonably expect any privacy in their license plate numbers, according to New York's highest court. After considering the question for the first time, the court held that law enforcement may use license plate scanners at will -- even when no one is suspected of any crime.

Police agencies across the state have been using the technology for years, although neither the courts nor the legislature had officially sanctioned its use. For example, according to the ACLU, police in Rhinebeck, population 7,548, scanned 164,043 license plates over the course of just three months in 2011. A total of eight were linked in any way to suspicious activity.

Increase in State Police presence in NYC results in drastic increase of traffic tickets

Traffic tickets are presumably issued in order to ensure motorists follow traffic rules and regulations, to make the road safer for everybody. The issuance of traffic tickets is not always based purely and simply on these motives, though. Behind the scenes, there can be political, administrative, and even personal factors at play in the issuance of a traffic ticket.

A recent example of this is the increase in State Police-issued traffic tickets in New York, According to records from the New York State Police, officers issued traffic tickets at an incredibly higher rate in the first handful of months this year compared to previous years. Whereas no tickets were issued in 2014, four tickets were issued in 2015, and 1,692 were issued in 2016, a total of 14,542 were already issued in the first four months of 2017. 

Call 212-257-8321 to receive a free, no-obligation ticket evaluation from The Law Office of Craig Bondy or reach us by email.

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