Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
The Taconic Parkway runs through extensive sections of the Town of Ghent. Enforcement on the Taconic is almost exclusively handled by officers from “Troop K” of the NYS Police. 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 rader and laser speed detection are widely used on both highways. Speed enforcement is much more intense on the Taconic than most local roads as it is considered a “more dangerous” road. Traffic law enforcement along all of the other roads in the town of Ghent is shared by NYS troopers or the Columbia County Sheriff’s office.
Both town justices have “traffic calendars” which are devoted to adjudicating traffic tickets, sometimes both judges will sit at the same time and the traffic calendars will run in parallel.. The NYS Police are prohibited from negotiating plea bargains on traffic violations. As a result the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office (lcoal court Assistant District Attorney’s) deal with tickets written by the NYS police. 95% of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with the special prosecutor. The local court ADA’s and both judges are fairly reasonable about plea bargains as long as the speed was not more than 20 mph over the limit or over 80 mph.
Local police officers generally prosecute their own tickets, though the ADA may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
Expect a modest line of people waiting to talk to the ADA 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. Following a tragic 8 fatality accident on the Taconic in 2009 the Columbia County DA’s office has taken a fairly hard line on DWI prosecutions. In 2009 there were more than 1000 alcohol related driving arrests impaired or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Columbia County. 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 driver’s 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 the a combined task force of NYS Police and Sheriff’s Department.
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.
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.