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Old 12-16-2014, 08:51 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,253 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello all,

I am originally a FL resident with FL plates that was visiting NYC prior to Thanksgiving. Long story short I was driving in the Bronx looking for a European car specialty shop that handles BMWs as my car needed a few things to be fixed. As I was in the left most lane because GPS said upcoming left turn ahead my current lane suddenly turned into a left turn only lane with only about 30 feet of warning/markings. This wasn't my turn, the next intersection was my turn. It was a rainy day and so once I realized I was in the turning lane the light turned yellow. I crossed the intersection and went over to the proper lane and then got into the next left turn lane to make my left turn. While crossing the light there was a NYPD patrol car facing me waiting to make a left turn what would appear as my right.

He turned around and pulled me over and gave me 3 citations.

1. Disobey red light 3 points
2. Disobey pavement markings 2 points
3. Fail to turn as required 2 points

Total is well over $500

I knew all four of my wheels crossed the white solid line when the light turned yellow, it was a big intersection so it seemed like I ran a red light. But that's my word against the officers. Also, FL counts out of state moving violations on your driver's license point system. I really feel like the officer gave me as many citations as he could since I was out of state. I plead not guilty.

My defense is I ran a continous yellow where the rational safe decision would be to drive on rather than slam on the brakes and possibly lock them up causing a slide to opposing traffic because it was a rainy day. Also, my car had worn out suspension & brake components that got replaced at the shop that same day I have the paperwork for it. I also printed out the weather forecast of that day showing how much it rained. And lastly, I printed out a google image and a photo I took of the road displaying how poorly the pavement marking is and how short of a notice it gives you saying its a turning lane. I'm 24 years old with a clean record. My violations were in November and the court date is in June so I'll have to fly in.

What do you guys think I should do. Should I hire a lawyer or do I have enough evidence to prove myself out of it?

Thanks,
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:03 PM
 
1,477 posts, read 1,388,981 times
Reputation: 1991
I do not think you'll be able to get all three tickets dismissed. In all reality, you did break all three laws. You may get the judge to reduce the fines. Also, I don't believe the cop was out of bounds in ticketing you for breaking 3 separate laws. You state:

1- You were in the wrong turn lane as the light turned yellow and proceeded thru the intersection to the next light. During the time you were traveling thru the intersection, the yellow went to red. So you indeed ran a red light.

You should not be traveling at such a rate of speed on a NYC street (speed limit 25) so that you'd need to slam on your brakes and have a potential slide for a yellow light. What you should have done was stay in the wrong turn lane, and go around the block.

2- Technically, being in the wrong lane long enough to run a yellow/red into the next intersection, while not turning, is disobeying pavement markers.

3- You did not turn as required by the clearly marked left turn only lane pavement markers.

Having out of state plates in NYC is not uncommon. Many NYC'ers have out of state plates, there's plenty of out of state commuters, etc. IMO, that did not play into 3 tickets.

Hiring a lawyer, imo, is simply a waste of money for traffic court. If you rack up points, take a defensive driving class and be ready for an increase on your insurance or potentially dropped by your insurance company.

You may want to read this link about NYC traffic court. How to Prepare for Your Traffic Court Appearance in New York City and Suffolk County New York - Avvo.com
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:23 PM
 
64,694 posts, read 66,183,819 times
Reputation: 43107
keep in mind defensive driving classes only reduce points as far as losing your license. it does not remove the convictions from your license.

insurers do not use dmv points ,they have their own scoring system based on what the convictions are and how many.

nyc traffic court is not a court. you have no judge and no prosecutor to plea bargain down.

you go to the dmv for a hearing with an administrator who has zero latitude other than 100% guily or 100% innocent.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,724 posts, read 2,866,876 times
Reputation: 4685
OP, I feel for you since it is an expensive ticket. However, you did break the laws and now you just want to find an excuse to get out of paying. Driving on unfamiliar roads, I've been in this situation many times. You have the choice of either taking a detour or breaking some laws, hoping you won't get caught to get back on track. You gambled and you lost.
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:46 PM
 
58 posts, read 73,962 times
Reputation: 140
I hate out of state drivers, I hate drivers doing the things you did, and I hate Florida plates in particular!
Next time make the turn you were legally obligated to make and go around the block and/or let the gps reconfigure...
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:01 PM
 
1,477 posts, read 1,388,981 times
Reputation: 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
keep in mind defensive driving classes only reduce points as far as losing your license. it does not remove the convictions from your license.

insurers do not use dmv points ,they have their own scoring system based on what the convictions are and how many.

nyc traffic court is not a court. you have no judge and no prosecutor to plea bargain down.

you go to the dmv for a hearing with an administrator who has zero latitude other than 100% guily or 100% innocent.
There is indeed a judge- an administrative law judge (ALJ), an experienced attorney with special training in the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,407 posts, read 2,272,834 times
Reputation: 4870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggz494 View Post
I hate out of state drivers, I hate drivers doing the things you did, and I hate Florida plates in particular!
Next time make the turn you were legally obligated to make and go around the block and/or let the gps reconfigure...
And we hate you too when you drive to another state.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:19 PM
 
64,694 posts, read 66,183,819 times
Reputation: 43107
Nope he is not a judge. They call them administrative judges but they are just lawyers.

They have no leeway to cut you any slack, take clean clean records in to consideration or waive points or plea bargain .

They can only find you 100% guilty or 100% not guilty.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:19 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,407 posts, read 2,272,834 times
Reputation: 4870
To the OP, if all the tickets are over $500, you are going to fly back in June which will probably cost you several hundred dollars in plane ticket, are you really saving all that much fighting it?

Also, doesn't NYC let you plead not guilty through a written plea?
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:20 PM
 
64,694 posts, read 66,183,819 times
Reputation: 43107
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmed hour View Post
There is indeed a judge- an administrative law judge (ALJ), an experienced attorney with special training in the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
they are really just lawyers , they are not judges and they lack the powers of a real judge as I listed above. in fact there is not even a prosecutor.

TVB courts 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,

Last edited by mathjak107; 12-17-2014 at 02:09 PM..
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