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.”
Just be respectful and, if issued at ticket, feel free to call us toll free at 1-877-DR-SUMMONS (1-877-377-8666) or visit us on the web at www.tilemandcampbell.com.