The City of Poughkeepsie is the largest city in Dutchess County with several areas of heavy enforcement. The East-West Arterial/Dutchess Turnpike/NY 55/ U.S. 44 runs the span of the city, while U.S. 9 runs North to Hyde Park. Enforcement in the city is handled primarily by the Poughkeepsie City Police. The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office also maintains a strong presence locally as its headquarters and the Dutchess County Jail are located in the city. The NYS Police tend to stay in the area near theMid-Hudson Bridge, often patrolling between Dutchess and Ulster County. The MTA Police patrol the area where the Metro-North Railroad Station is located.
Speeding tickets are written for speeds under 10 mph over the limit, as the police are stricter in 30 mph zones. In addition, the police regularly look for miscellaneous vehicle and traffic violations due to the heavy pedestrian traffic.
The NYS Police are prohibited from negotiating plea bargains on traffic violations. As a result, a special prosecutor has been appointed to deal with tickets written by the NYS police. 95% of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with the special prosecutor. The prosecutor and both judges are reasonable about plea bargains as long as the speed was not too high.
Local police officers prosecute their own tickets, though the special prosecutor may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
Expect a modest 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 and Prosecutions
All criminal prosecutions are handled by the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office. The Dutchess DA’s office has taken a fairly hard line on DWI prosecutions. In 2009 there were more than 3000 alcohol related driving arrests impaired or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Dutchess County. Both the NYS Police and the Dutchess 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 Dutchess County District Attorney’s office. Non-DWI cases are handled by local Assistant District Attorneys, but DWI cases are handled by three “DWI Prosecutors” working out of the DA’s office in Poughkeepsie.
Both judges in Poughkeepsie City Court are attorneys.
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 on your ticket or DWI charge,, click here.