Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer How Long Can You Stand at a Green Light in New York?



STAYING TOO LONG AT A GREEN LIGHT, 
IS THAT A VALID (LEGAL) REASON 
FOR THE POLICE TO STOP YOUR CAR?



Just a Green Light or a DWI Defense?
from business insider.com


DWI cases can sometimes turn on

mi·nu·ti·ae
məˈn(y)o͞oSHēˌē,-SHēˌī/
noun
  1. 1.
    the small, precise, or trivial details of something.


DWI stops of cars are usually for equipment and/or moving violations BUT this is NOT always the case. I recently had a case where they said (the po po) that my client paused too long at a light after it turned green.

That was the reason that they followed, and then pulled the car over.

A pregnant pause at a traffic signal is not the best reason to feel someone is out driving impaired or intoxicated or high. So I demanded a suppression hearing to get real clear on the details of this stop and the driving prior to it. My defense, there was NO bad driving (including this pause/hesitation).

Just because it is 3am on route 13 doesn't mean you lose your constitutional rights to be FREE from

"the unreasonable and unlawful search and seizure" by the police (this is 4th amendment stuff).

So at the hearing the cop testified (quite honestly) that the only reason they suspected a problem with the driver was this hesitation

Looking at NYS case law, there is one case directly on point for this exact thing. 


PEOPLE v. MARTINEZ2010NA023365.

31 Misc.3d 201 (2011)
915 N.Y.S.2d 819

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Plaintiff,
v.
CARLOS R. MARTINEZ, Defendant.


A person stopped at the green for almost 30 seconds (the yellow just came on) and then went. Other cars actually passed them as they waited. The high court still did not feel this was reason enough to warrant (to allow) the police to stop the car.

The officer testified at the suppression hearing to the following:


When the traffic light turned green the defendant's vehicle did not move. Officer Barnes indicated that he could not see the defendant doing anything unusual in his car at that time. There was no testimony as to whether or not the defendant had either of his turn signals activated or whether or not there was any oncoming traffic on Main Street traveling in the opposite direction of the defendant, Officer Barnes and the two other vehicles between them. Within seconds of the traffic light turning green, while the defendant remained sitting at the light, the two vehicles between the defendant and Officer Barnes moved around the defendant and continued on their way. Officer Barnes then pulled behind the defendant.
Approximately 30 seconds after the traffic light had turned green, the light turned yellow and the defendant proceeded to make a left turn onto Front Street. Officer Barnes did not testify that the defendant failed to signal this left-hand turn or that there was anything improper about the manner in which the defendant executed his turn.



KEY TAKE AWAY:

It is illegal (improper) to stop someone for waiting too long at a light before turning in New York.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses. 

SOMETIMES the little details can win the day?


Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 90% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 440 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.

http://www.ithacadwi.com

newman.lawrence@gmail.com



607-229-5184