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Articles Posted in SPEEDING

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Have you been charged with speeding, passing a red-light, unsafe lane change or other traffic infraction in Buchanan, New York and want to be represented by experienced and competent attorneys at a reasonable fee? The lawyers at Tilem & Associates have handled thousands of traffic tickets in courts throughout New York State including the Buchanan Village Court. Not only can Tilem & Associates provide you with experienced representation on your speeding ticket (or any other traffic infraction), they are also affordable.

Until August 31, 2011, Tilem & Associates is offering a Summer Special price of just $195.00 for representation on any traffic ticket charging traffic infractions in any court located in Westchester County, Rockland County, Broome County and St. Lawrence County. This Summer Special $195.00 price applies to all traffic infractions except Leaving the Scene of an Incident or Driving While Ability Impaired although our fees are very reasonable for those charges as well. Terms and Conditions apply and you must read them. Also, you must mention this Summer Special $195.00 when you first call us. See the Terms and Conditions of this offer.

Keep in mind, just about any attorney can handle traffic tickets (and plenty are doing so). Being the busiest and “best” traffic court attorney has very little to do with one’s legal skills and everything to do with one’s internet marking skills. Unless you are unlucky enough to retain a total buffoon of an attorney (and there are a few out there), you will most likely get just about the same plea bargain deal no matter which attorney you hire. There is no “Johnny Cochran” roaming around traffic court.

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Tilem & Associates can represent you on a Yonkers traffic infraction from start to finish. We can enter your not guilty plea, appear at your conference, negotiate your deal or have a trial, secure you time to pay any fines and surcharges (usually two week in Yonkers) and send you a closing letter informing you of the outcome, fine amount (if any) when the fine is due and where to mail it. All this for a flat fee of $195.00 (Offer Expires August 31, 2011 – See Terms).

While we make no guarantees and our past performance does not mean we can obtain a favorable result in your case, the truth is, we have handled hundreds of tickets in Yonkers and we have about a 95% success rate at obtaining reductions or dismissals.

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The Town of Greenburgh town attorney currently prosecutes traffic tickets for the Town of Greenburgh. Typically those who plead not guilty receive a conference notice instructing them to appear on a certain date to discuss the ticket with the town attorney and the possibility of a plea bargain whereby the defendant agrees to waive his or her right to trial and plead guilty to a reduced charge. We can appear for you at this conference and attempt to negotiate a reduction for you. Most times you will not have to appear with us. For a $195.00 flat fee, we will appear on your behalf and handle the ticket in your absence. You need not miss work or school.

While we can’t guarantee a favorable outcome, and we may lose your case, we have been successful at obtaining reductions or dismissals on Greenburgh traffic infraction cases about 98% of the time.

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Have you received a traffic ticket for speeding or any other traffic infraction in the Village of Ardsley in New York? The attorneys at Tilem & Associates can provide you with exceptional and experienced representation for just $195.00. In most cases you won’t even have to appear in court. Our lawyers have represented those charged with speeding and other traffic infractions throughout most jurisdictions in New York State including the Village of Ardsley.

While we make no guarantees and our past performance does not guarantee a particular outcome in your case, we have been able to secure a reduction or a dismissal in about 95% of the traffic infraction cases (such as speeding) that we have handled in the Ardsley Village Court.

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You are driving on I 287 in Greenburgh, New York, when you are stopped by a New York State Trooper who issues you a ticket for speeding. At a subsequent conference, for whatever reason, you (or your attorney) are unable to reach an agreement with the prosecutor on a plea bargain and your case is scheduled for trial.

At trial, your lawyer argues that the Trooper has not produced sufficient proof establishing that the radar unit he used to determine the speed of your vehicle was in proper working order. The judge agrees with your attorney and excludes all radar evidence from your trial. You win, right? Without any radar evidence or evidence that the Trooper paced your vehicle, how can the prosecution prove you were speeding beyond a reasonable doubt? Case over – not guilty. Wrong.

In New York, like many other states, you can be convicted of speeding based solely on the officer’s visual estimate of the speed of your vehicle, uncorroborated by devices such as radar or laser. People v. Olsen, 22 N.Y.2d 230 (1968). Prior to the Olsen decision, such visual estimate opinion evidence alone however, was insufficient for conviction. People v. Magri, 3 N.Y.2d 562 (1958).

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You’re driving on the Bronx River Parkway in Greenburgh when you’re pulled over by a Westchester County Police officer for speeding. What many motorists don’t realize is that the officer can arrest you for speeding; the officer is not required to issue you a speeding ticket on the side of the road. While it’s extremely rare for an officer to arrest someone for speeding alone; the officer does have that option.

New York Criminal Procedure Law sec. 140.10(1)(a) states in pertinent part “a police officer may arrest a person for: (a) Any offense when he has reasonable cause to believe that such person has committed such offense in his presence.” Speeding is an offense. Speeding is a traffic infraction, which is an offense. Despite the fact that traffic infractions are non-criminal offenses, technically CPL 140.10(1)(a) allows an officer to arrest you for speeding if committed in his presence.

Most likely arresting people for speeding would be frowned up by supervisors. Issuing a ticket for minor non-criminal offenses is preferred over arrest. As noted by one court: “Public policy arguments favor the issuance of ‘universal summonses’ (appearance tickets) where appropriate rather than arresting citizens where minor offenses are involved.” People v. Hazelwood, 104 Misc. 2d 1121, 1123-1124 (N.Y. City Crim. Ct. 1980)

However, it’s something to keep in mind before you decide to mouth off to an officer who stops you for speeding. Politely decline to admit to anything. For example, when asked the famous question: “Do you know why I stopped you?” — You certainly wouldn’t want to say something like: “Sure I do, I was doing 85 in a 55 mph zone.”

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Due to the number of highways that pass through it, many speeding tickets are issued in the Town of Greenburgh. The Bronx River Parkway, Route 119, I 287, the New York State Thruway (I 87) and the Sprain Brook Parkway all pass through Greenburgh. While there are posted maximum speed limits on these highways, there are times when drivers are legally required to drive below the posted speed limit.

Whatever the posted limit is, VTL 1180(a) requires that people drive at a speed “reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.” Id. Often, VTL 1180(a) is used as a “catch all” by the police to ticket anyone who has an accident or leaves the roadway for “speed not prudent.” Of course, without an accident investigation of some type, it is wholly inappropriate for an officer to issue a “speed not prudent” ticket simply because a driver was involved in an accident or skidded of the roadway.

There are also several specific situations when a driver must reduce his speed. A driver must drive at an appropriate reduced speed when
(1) approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing;
(2) approaching and going around a curve;
(3) when approaching a hill crest;
(4) when approaching and passing by an emergency situation involving any authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on a highway and which is displaying one or more red or combination red, white, and/or blue lights;
(5) when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway;
(6) and when any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians, or other traffic by reason of weather or highway conditions, including, but not limited to a highway construction or maintenance work area.
[VTL 1180(e)]
Most people are surprised to learn that even if there is no sign indicating a reduced speed limit, they must reduce their speed at intersections, around curves, when approaching a hill and on narrow and winding roads. [VTL 1180(e)]

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Most officers who issue speeding tickets in New York will typically testify that they first made a visual estimate of the speed of the vehicle and then confirmed that estimate with either a radar or laser unit.

At a speeding ticket trial in New York, the prosecution need not present expert testimony to explain how radar speed detection works or its scientific principles. In People v. Magri (1958) the New York Court of Appeals recognized for the first time, the general reliability of radar speed detection thus making it no longer necessary for the prosecution to produce an expert at speeding ticket trials involving radar speed detection.

Accordingly, held the Court of Appeals, “the time has come when we may recognize the general reliability of the radar speedmeter as a device for measuring the speed of a moving vehicle. Therefore, continued the Court, “it will no longer be necessary to require expert testimony in each case as to the nature, function or scientific principles underlying [radar].” Id at 566.

Of course the prosecution still must show that the particular radar unit the officer used was in proper working order. Id. Usually the officer testifies that he conducted an internal calibration test. This is generally done by the officer pushing a “test” button on the unit. If it is working properly a specific number will appear on the LED readout. The unit can also be tested by tapping a tuning fork provided by the manufacturer and holding it in front of the unit. The tuning fork is set to a certain speed. If the unit is working properly it will display the speed the tuning fork is set for. Also, the officer can test the unit by having another vehicle drive through the radar beam at a known speed and see if the radar unit displays the correct speed.

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You’re driving across I 287 eastbound in Greenburgh, New York one night heading towards White Plains. You have your cruise control set a 55 mph. You cannot possibly get a speeding ticket, right? Unbeknownst to you however, about an hour earlier the police finished clearing an accident just a mile or so ahead of you on I 287. Oil had spilled on the roadway. As you pass, your car skids on the oil; you lose control of the car and slam into the dividing wall.
A State Trooper arrives and asks you what happened. You explain that you must have skidded on some oil or similar substance. He asks how fast you were going and you tell him you had your cruise control set at 55 mph. The next thing you know, the Trooper, who most likely is not an accident reconstruction expert, who didn’t witness your accident or undertake any type of accident investigation, is handing you a speeding ticket.

How can you get a speeding ticket when you were driving at the speed limit? Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law sec. 1180(a), a driver can be charged with driving “a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”
Should you have had regard to the potential hazard of an oil spill on the road? If you came upon the accident scene before it was cleared away when there were emergency vehicles still present it could be argued that you should have known there was a potential hazard for which you should have slowed down. However, its not reasonable for one to have regard for a potential hazard (such as an oil spill) when one is driving in clear weather with no apparent hazards on the roadway.

Keep in mind; a charge of “speed not prudent” under VTL 1180(a) has nothing to do with the legal speed limit. Drivers are required to reduce their speed when conditions or actual or potential hazards are present. For example, a driver cannot continue to drive 55 mph during an ice storm even if the speed limit is 55 mph. Or, one cannot pass an accident scene at the maximum speed limit. Under such circumstances, it would not be prudent to drive at the maximum speed limit.

However, as I will discuss in future blogs, an accident alone does not mean one’s speed was not reasonable and prudent. Accidents occur for many reasons unrelated to excessive speed. I have found that officers issue tickets for “speed not prudent” as a matter of unwritten policy anytime they come upon an accident wherein a car left the roadway or skidded into something. This is wrong. Speed not prudent tickets should be issued where weather conditions or road conditions (such as accidents and disabled vehicles) that drivers should reasonably know about require a driver to reduce their speed to below the legal speed limit.

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