Interstates I-90, I-190 and I-290 (NYS Thruway Extension) runs through the whole North-South length of the Town of Tonawanda. Enforcement on all three interstates is almost exclusively handled by officers from “Troop A” of the NYS Police. The speed limit along part of I-290 is 65 mph, however it drops to 55 mph in the Town of Tonawanda. There are also numerous “work zones” where speed limits are lower and fines are doubled. Almost all speeding tickets are written for speeds more than 10 mph over the limit. Stationary radar and laser speed detection are widely used. Traffic law enforcement along all of the other roads in the Town of Tonawanda is largely done by a combination of the NYS Police, Erie County Sheriffs and local town police officers. Tonawanda is home a large shopping plaza district frequently visited by Ontario residents.
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, the Town of Tonawanda has appointed a special prosecutor to handle all tickets written by the NYS police. 95% of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with the special town prosecutor. Tonawanda Town Court is one of the busiest traffic courts in NYS with more than $2M in annual traffic ticket fines and surcharges assessed. The prosecutor and both judges are usually reasonable to deal with regarding plea bargains, as long as the driver has a reasonably good driving record (in both NYS and home jurisdiction).
Local police officers sometimes prosecute their own tickets, though the special prosecutor may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains. Traffic court sessions can last 2 hours or more. 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 Erie County District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s office takes a very hard line on DWI prosecutions. In 2012 there were more than 1500 alcohol related driving arrests impaired or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Erie County. Both the NYS Police and the Erie 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/or the Tonawanda City police. DWI and drug possession enforcement can be very intense on evenings during the college semester. All of these offenses are “criminal” violations of the law and, as a result are prosecuted by the Erie County District Attorney’s office.
Other typical criminal cases heard in Tonawanda Town Court are petty larceny, assault, harassment and drug possession. Misdemeanors remain the jurisdiction of the town court, while felonies are transferred to the Erie County Court if there is a felony indictment by the Grand Jury.
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 yourticket or DWI charge,, click here.