The Value of Hiring a Traffic Violations Defense Attorney
Hiring a traffic violations defense attorney to handle a ticket may have been considered a waste of money back in the day, but here’s what has changed since then.
Traffic school, and therefore ticket dismissal, was available for the asking. But the state recently changed the traffic school eligibility rules. Therefore, this option might not be available, even if the defendant is a first-time offender.
The state also recently changed the drivers’ license points rules on a related note. The common infractions listed below are typically five-point offenses. Moreover, a single speeding ticket could be an eleven-point offense.
Additionally, traffic school is usually unavailable for subsequent offenders. Traffic law enforcement is very aggressive in western New York, especially during holidays and other specific times. So, there are a lot of repeat offenders in Monroe County.
Because of this environment, if you got a traffic ticket, a Rochester traffic violations defense attorney probably needs to handle the matter. Tickets in 2022 are a lot more complex than they were in 2002. A partnership with a traffic violations defense attorney in Rochester has other advantages. For example, many courts don’t require defendants with lawyers to appear at preliminary hearings.
Disregarding a Traffic Control Device
Since the dawn of time, motorists have treated stop signs like yield signs. Rolling right turns on red, the infamous California stop, are common as well. If officers witness such infractions, they sometimes let people off with warnings. But most police departments have quota systems, at least informally. As a result, many officers, especially those vying for promotions, aggressively write people up.
According to the New York Traffic Code, the vehicle’s wheels must stop moving at a red light stop sign. The Code doesn’t say how long that pause must last. It could be a millisecond. Because of traffic conditions and viewing angles, many officers cannot see if the vehicle’s wheels stopped turning.
In 2012, a physics professor at the University of California at San Diego wrote a four-page treatise on this subject and presented his paper to the judge. As a result, the judge threw out the ticket.
You do not need to be a physics teacher to use this defense. The state has the burden of proof on this point. A Rochester traffic violations defense attorney does not need to prove a defendant’s innocence. Attorneys must simply undermine the state’s evidence.
Using a Device While Driving
New York has a primary enforcement hands-free law. If officers believe motorists are using devices while driving, they may pull them over and issue tickets. That’s one of the broadest hands-free laws in the country.
Pulling over a driver for breaking this law is one thing. Proving the violation in court is another thing entirely. It is not illegal to look at a device while driving. The state must prove that the device was on at the time. This proof usually requires the device use log. Very few prosecutors go to the trouble of subpoenaing these records, authenticating them, and presenting them in court.
Speeding Ticket Help
Speeding citations account for a third of all traffic tickets in Monroe County. Due to the aforementioned traffic school rule changes, this option is usually unavailable in these cases. Fortunately, several defenses are available.
The manner of enforcement is usually the best defense in a speeding ticket case. Generally, officers use one of three tools to gauge vehicle speed:
- Laser: The officer aims a laser beam at a license plate, and the laser beam calculates the vehicle’s speed. Fortunately, laser enforcement is relatively rare. These tickets are hard to beat in court.
- RADAR: This acronym stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging. A gun fires radio beams at an object. The bounce-back speed determines vehicle speed. These guns are imprecise. If an officer aims a RADAR gun at a cluster of vehicles, the results prove one of them was speeding. The results don’t prove which one was speeding. Additionally, RADAR guns are only accurate at very close range.
- Pacing: Essentially, pacing means guessing another vehicle’s speed based on one’s own velocity. So, it’s challenging for a stationary officer to guess a moving vehicle’s velocity. Moreover, some muscle cars and other vehicles sound fast, even when they are not moving fast.
Ignorance of fact is another possible defense. Over time, trees and other objects often obscure speed limits and other warning signs over time. As a rule of thumb, if the sign is less than 50 percent visible to passing motorists, the traffic citation may not hold up in court.
Consult With a Traffic Violations Defense Attorney
A traffic ticket could mean big trouble in Monroe County. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester traffic violations lawyer, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.