Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
The City of Kingston is the largest municipality in Ulster County. The major thoroughfares in the city are US 9w, NY 32, and I-87, all of which receive significant enforcement. Enforcement in the city is handled primarily by the Kingston City Police (the state police solely responsible for I-87 NYS Thruway enforcement). The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and NYS Police also maintain a significant presence due to their nearby stations and barracks.
The city has several busy commercial and residential districts. As such, due to the high volume of traffic there are fewer speed traps, yet more traffic stops from roving patrols. Speeding tickets are usually 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, Corporation Counsel for the City of Kingston prosecutes tickets written by the NYS police. The overwhelming majority of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with Corporation Counsel. 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 Corporation Counsel may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
Expect a modest wait for your case to be called. The prosecutor will try to speak to everyone before the calendar starts. If the calendar starts, you will have to speak to the prosecutor after your case is called by the Judge. 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 Ulster County District Attorney’s Office. The Ulster DA’s office has taken a fairly hard line on DWI prosecutions. In 2010 there were almost 2,000 alcohol related driving arrests impaired or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Ulster County. Both the NYS Police and the Ulster 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 Ulster County District Attorney’s office. The DA’s has a general rule that breath tests of .12% or more will not be reduced through plea bargains. However, this is not a hard and fast policy.
Both judges in Kingston 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, click here.