Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
Interstate 84 runs almost the whole east-to-west length of the Town of Kent. Enforcement on I-84 is almost exclusively handled by officers from “Troop T” of the NYS Police. The speed limit along I-84 is mostly 65 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. Speed enforcement is largely done by radar or laser speed traps that cannot be detected in advance. Traffic law enforcement along all of the other roads in the town of Kent is almost exclusively done by local town police officers.
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 was not more than 25 mph over the limit or over 90 mph.
Local police officers generally 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 several hours. 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 Putnam County District Attorney’s Office. Following a tragic 8 fatality accident on the Taconic in 2009 the Putnam 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 Putnam County. Both the NYS Police and the Kent Town Police 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 Kent 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 Putnam County District Attorney’s office. DWI cases are handled by local Assistant District Attorney’s, but their work is supervised by a DWI supervisor.
Both town judges are very diligent about insuring that defendant’s rights are observed. Generally, criminal defendants must appear at all court dates.
For more information about DWI, click here.
To read some Frequently Asked Questions about DWI, click here.