Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
The most heavily trafficked thoroughfares in the Town of Wappinger are U.S. 9 and NY Route 9D. Route 9 in particular has a busy commercial area with a relatively low speed limit, so there is a significant police presence. Enforcement is handled primarily by the NYS Police from “Troop K,” which has a barracks located in town. Speeding tickets are often written for speeds under 10 mph over the limit, as the police are stricter in lower speed zones. In addition, the police regularly look for miscellaneous vehicle and traffic violations due to the heavy traffic flow in town.
Both town justices have “traffic calendars,” which are devoted to adjudicating traffic tickets. The NYS Police are prohibited from negotiating plea bargains on traffic violations. As a result, a special town 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 Town Prosecutor and both judges are reasonable about plea bargains as long as the speed through town was not too high.
Local police officers generally prosecute their own tickets, though the special prosecutor may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
The line of people waiting to talk to the special prosecutor can take a long time. A 1-2 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 Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office. The Dutchess DA’s office has taken a fairly hard line on DWI prosecutions. In 2011 there were more than 2500 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. The Assistant District Attorney assigned to Wappinger Town Court is particularly effective.
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 Wappinger Town 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, click here.