Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
The Town of Austerlitz has a relatively small court, but is quite busy as a result of traffic from the Taconic State Parkway. Enforcement is handled by the NYS Police from “Troop K”. The speed limit along the Taconic is 55 mph and almost all speeding tickets are written for speeds more than 10 mph over the limit. Stationary radar and laser speed detection are widely used on the highway. Speed enforcement is much more intense on the Taconic as it is considered a “more dangerous” road.
Both town justices devote part of their regularly scheduled calendars to adjudicating traffic tickets. The NYS Police are prohibited from negotiating plea bargains on traffic violations. As a result, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office handles tickets written by the NYS police. 95% of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with the prosecutor. The Prosecutor and both judges are reasonable about plea bargains as long as the speed is not too high.
Local police officers generally prosecute their own tickets, though the prosecutor may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
Expect a line of people waiting to talk to the prosecutor about a plea bargain. A 1 hour wait is typical. Attorneys are permitted to appear without their clients being present for traffic court.
For more information about speeding and other traffic offenses,click here.
To read some Frequently Asked Traffic Law questions, click here.
For information about having the Law Office of Glenn Magnell defend your speeding ticket or DWI charge,, click here.
Criminal Law Enforcement & Prosecution
All criminal prosecutions are handled by the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office. The Columbia DA’s office has taken a fairly hard line on DWI prosecutions. There are more than 1000 alcohol-related driving arrests for impaired or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Columbia County every year. Both the NYS Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department made numerous arrests. Most arrests occurred after dark with many taking place after midnight. Police officers assume that many drivers who are out after midnight have consumed alcohol and or drugs. As a result they are looking for any lawful reason to pull drivers over in order to investigate possible DWI incidents. Alcohol checkpoints were established several times by state and local police.
In addition to DWI and DWAI, numerous arrests were made for Driving While Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and Driving With a Suspended Registration. All of these offenses are “criminal” violations of the law and, as a result are prosecuted by the Columbia County District Attorney’s office.
One of the judges in Austerlitz Town Court is an attorney.
For more information about DWI, click here.
To read some Frequently Asked Questions about DWI, click here.
For information about having the Law Office of Glenn Magnell represent you, click here.