New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1172(a) states that every driver, unless directed otherwise by a police officer, must come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign. If not, and the motorist is found guilty of this traffic infraction, they face fines and the imposition of three (3) DMV points on their driving record.
In most cases, assuming this traffic violation is not pending in the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB), this violation can usually be plea bargained to a lesser charge and may result in zero or lesser points. However, it is always important to seek legal advice from an experienced traffic attorney before proceeding.
If you truly believe that you stopped correctly and wish to take the ticket to trial, certainly you have that constitutional right. The question then becomes is whether the risk is worth the reward. As previously stated, usually most traffic Courts are willing to plea bargain this violation to an amended and reduced charge. However, tickets in the TVBs located in the five boroughs of New York City always have hearings for these tickets.
As to the prior question, if you decide to take the case to trial in a Court that does plea bargain, it is important to note that the so-called “rolling stop” does not constitute a complete and proper stop accordingly to caselaw. The stop must be complete. Even if you believe your stop was correct, you will have the police officer who issued the ticket give their sworn testimony before the Court. In most cases, the officer will be well-versed in giving testimony for these types of violations. More likely than not, the officer will be able to make a valid case that you did not properly stop. It will then be your word against the officer’s word as to whose testimony is more credible.
If there was another witness to the incident like your passenger, that passenger should certainly be included as a witness at trial if you believe their testimony will be helpful. Furthermore, if any video camera evidence can be ascertained, that evidence should certainly be requested.
Remember that if you take the case to trial and you have retained an attorney, most likely the trial fee is much more expensive that representation for the ticket for non-trial purposes. However, it is certainly your right to take a case to trial, but be sure you have evidence to substantiate your case because the prosecution will be prepared to proceed accordingly.
If you need an experienced Long Island traffic attorney, please contact us at the Law Offices of Michael W. Alpert at (516) 280-7288 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.