Matt 1, Traffic Violations Bureau 0, Asshat Cop -1

posted 07/10/2008 20:40:15 by matt flesch-kincaid: 61, grade level: 9 commentscomments(0) linklink
So here's how my visit to court went:
Cop: On Jan. 18th, 2008 at approximately 2:12pm, I was standing on the NE corner of 7th Ave and W 31st St. I observed.... (btw he pulled me over using a car so I guess he runs pretty fast to get in his car)
Cop: I don't have the direction he was traveling written down
Judge: You don't have the direction of travel?
Cop: No, I didn't write down the direction he was traveling.
Judge: So you cannot testify to these offenses?
Cop: No, I cannot.
Judge picks up his not guilty stamp...
Cop to Me: Wear your seat belt.
Me to Cop: I was, SIR.(if you know me you know the disdain that was in my tone while saying this)
Cop to Me: Oh were you? (winks and smiles at me)
Judge: You don't have to make his case for him.
Judge: Step to the side to get your receipt.
Me to Judge: Thank you.

To recap:
Total hours of research I did before court: 6-8
# of Printed pages I took up to the bench: ~20
Total words said by me: 3
Total words said by me that had anything to do with defending myself against the tickets: 0
Total % of my "testimony" on official New York State court transcripts of me being an ass to the jackass cop who pulled me over for no reason and then lied and gave me a ticket for not wearing my seat belt when I was wearing my seat belt: 100%
Not guilty verdicts: 2
Complaints with Internal Affairs filled by me against the Cop: 1 (2 if you count that I sent it by Email and Mail)
Approximate % of words used in my "testimony" compared to my complaint: 3/779 = 0.385%


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re: Matt 1, Traffic Violations Bureau 0, Asshat Cop -1
posted by: on 07/12/2008 16:53:09
Your experience is not uncommon. I have personally defending thousands of motorists with New York speeding tickets and other moving violations at he Traffic Violations Bureau (not to mention watching 1,000s of other NY traffic ticket trials). Below is an article I wrote which may help you'll to prepare for a real trial (in the event your officer writes down your direction of travel). Fighting A Traffic Ticket At The Traffic Violations Bureau This article will help you fight your own New York speeding ticket at the Traffic Violations Bureau covering traffic tickets issued in New York City, western Suffolk, Rochester and Buffalo. The most common type of moving violation is speeding. Because a New York motorist can get 3 to 11 points for committing such an infraction, it is important to know how to fight such a ticket. This information is particularly useful at the Traffic Violations Bureau because this venue does not allow for any type of deal-making or plea bargaining. This article will provide a basic framework to help you fight a New York speeding ticket at the Traffic Violations Bureau. The first step is to compute how many points are involved with the New York State speeding ticket you have been given. The following chart will help you figure this out: 1 - 10 mph over speed limit - 3 points 11 - 20 mph over speed limit - 4 points 21 - 30 mph over speed limit - 6 points 31 - 40 mph over speed limit (possible suspension) - 8 points More than 40 mph over speed limit (possible suspension) - 11 points Points are measured from the date of offense (even if you are convicted years later). So when adding the possible points for a newly issued speeding ticket. you must go back 18 months from the date of the new ticket and determine how many other points you have on your record. Also, three speeding convictions within 18 months will result in an automatic revocation in your driving privileges for 6 months. The next step is to determine whether your case is returnable at a Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) court or not. There are two, very different traffic court systems in New York State and, therefore, this determination is important for you to understand what you can and cannot do. If you are not within the TVB, then usually you can resolve the case by a plea deal. The TVB courts cover any New York traffic ticket issued in New York City (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island), western Suffolk, Buffalo and Rochester. A New York speeding ticket issued in any other place within New York State will not be a TVB court. The reason this is an important inquiry is that TVB courts generally do not allow any type of deal-making or plea bargaining. Rather, you must either plead guilty or not guilty and, if you plead not guilty, you are given a hearing where you will either win or lose. In this "all or nothing" court, it really pays to retain an New York traffic lawyer to fight your case. That is, a New York traffic attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in fighting speeding tickets at the TVB. Putting aside the emotions involved with fighting your own case, most motorists do not know how to listen carefully or cross examine. Rather, they basically ignore the officer's testimony, fail to ask any questions and, instead, just tell the judge their story. This incomplete approach is not recommended and is clearly not effective. If you do fight your own TVB speeding ticket, listen carefully to the officer's testimony and even take notes. If the officer omits critical testimony (ex., date, time, location, direction, your ID information), then point this out to the judge after the officer rests. Similarly, if the officer gives testimony which is inconsistent with his other testimony or the information on the ticket, then likewise point this out to the judge. For instance, I once was fighting a NYC speeding ticket when the officer testified that the motorist was proceeding east bound on the Long Island Expressway. The ticket, however, indicated W/B (i.e., west bound). After the officer rested, I showed the ticket to the judge who promptly dismissed the case. Even without an omission or inconsistency, you should still ask thoughtful questions of the officer. For example, if your defense is that the officer pulled over the wrong car, then ask him where was he when he first saw your car, did he have to pass any other cars to apprehend your car, and how long did it take him or apprehend you. These types of questions build on your defense. Also, ask to the see the officer's notes. Read them and determine whether his notes are consistent with his testimony. Any discrepancy should be pointed out to the judge. Also, do not be afraid to ask the officer to decipher illegible portions of his notes. After your cross examination of the officer, it is time for you to offer your defense. Speak slowly and clearly. Hand up any evidence supporting your defense such as photos, witness statements or diagrams. Keep in mind that the judge hears many, many such cases and, therefore, you should not be repetitive or rambling about irrelevant information. One last tip. Prior to fighting your case, watch the judge and how he handles other cases. Does he listen and take notes? Does he seem impatient or distracted? If you are concerned about whether you will get a fair hearing, ask for a new date. It is unlikely that you will get the same TVB judge on the next assigned date. I hope this article has been helpful in getting you prepared to fight your own NY speeding ticket when returnable at the TVB. Matthew Weiss, Esq. 212-683-7373