Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Speeding tickets in New York - On the horizon

Another new thing coming, and a lot sooner than the Extreme DUI I mentioned in my last post, is a change in how New York State Trooper tickets will be handled in local courts.

One of my best friends is a Trooper. The other day we were out and he mentioned this coming change. I've talked to a few other Troopers and a couple of attorneys about it and it sounds like it's for real. ... Oh, you're probably wondering what I'm talking about. :-)

The story is that, starting September 1st, Troopers will no longer be allowed to plea bargain tickets. If they show up in Court, the only options are to plead guilty to the charge or have a trial.

The underlying idea here is that the head honchos want to cut down on Trooper overtime. By creating the new policy, they are hoping to force local DAs and/or municipal prosecuting attorneys to handle the Trooper tickets. If the local prosecuting attorneys handle these matters, Troopers will make a lot fewer trips to local courts, and that will dramatically reduce overtime expenses for the State Police.

Sounds to me like yet another example of the State finding ways to push their costs onto local governments, who will now need to hire more prosecuting attorneys. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but I doubt we'll see the locals get a greater share of the fine money to go along with this change.

It's not clear how this will affect the average struggling speeding ticket lawyer. But I'm sure we'll manage.

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