Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New York Speeding Diversion

In some New York counties District Attorneys are allowing some drivers to get their speeding tickets completely dismissed through Diversion. Now before you jump up and applaud, there are a great many conditions, obligations, and costs involved with diversion.

Is speeding ticket diversion always available? Is speeding ticket diversion worth the time, cost, and hassle?

New York Speeding Ticket Diversion is Not New

Here we are in 2019 and I have seen diversion programs for traffic tickets, DWI cases, and even felonies in many upstate New York counties. These programs come and go as time goes on. Once we have a program in place it may last till the next election, or the next office overhaul.

Key Take Away: I always advise people to check to see if a diversion program exists in that specific county. Check all your options with any criminal or non-criminal matter. Sometimes options exist but are not made public (using the magic word). You have to ask to know.

New York Diversion for Speeding Doesn't Include High Speeds, Work Zones, Or School Zones

Many serious traffic infractions do not qualify for diversion. Seriousness is determined by the nature and character of the violations. Also if there was an accident, then no diversion. If you were disrespectful to the police officer, whatever that may mean? then no diversion.

If your speeding ticket is higher than say, 25 mph over? The possibility of diversion may be questionable. If the speeding ticket is in a work or school zone, again not likely to qualify for diversion. If you received multiple tickets for other moving violations along with speeding again maybe diversion is not in your future.

Sometimes depending upon the circumstances DAs will make exceptions for their diversion rules. It happens because not every person fits into neat little boxes.  Sometimes the situation calls for a more complete understanding of what happened. In one Steuben County case where a truck driver made a series of driving errors due to confusion. That perhaps the native Spanish speaking driver was unclear speaking with the State Trooper about an accident.

New York Counties Offer Drivers a Standard Diversion and an Elevated Diversion

Elevated diversion implies that since your speeding ticket is more serious, faster, or with other tickets then you have more to pay, more to do, and more to make up for. Remember the key to diversion is that you must complete a specific set of conditions prior to the ticket or tickets being dismissed or reduced. These conditions can include: community service hours, specific classes or courses, hundreds of dollars in administration fees, or even writing an apology.

Speeding Ticket Diversion has Tight Time Limits 

Most District Attorneys will only provide a limited time window to complete their diversion conditions. Often this time period after acceptance into a diversion program is 30 days. We have had numerous people over the years call us after they failed out of diversion. Sometimes we were able to revive the diversion program and in other cases we went back to the handle the ticket through negotiation.

Speeding Ticket Diversion Must Still Include the Court and The Judge

Any speeding ticket must be handled by the conventional method before Diversion. The driver must first place a NOT guilty plea with the court (and judge), and then requesting an extension of time to deal with the District Attorney, this doesn't change with diversion. The court and judge will still be involved in the process. The judge must also be in agreement with diversion.

If the judge doesn't accept a District Attorney's reduced plea offer, or diversion then you must go back to the drawing board. We have had judges say, the deal offered was too good and they wanted a less generous offer.

New York Speeding Ticket Diversion and Doing It Yourself 

You can Do It Yourself speeding ticket diversion but it's what we call a PITA (pain in the ass).

1. There is definitely more paperwork. There are more letters and contacts with the court, judge, and the district attorney then with a non-diversion speeding ticket. This isn't good or bad, it just means there are more possibilities of an issue with miscommunication.

2. The District Attorneys rules, conditions, and process may be confusing. For someone who practices in this area all the time it's less confusing but it's not simple or clear.

3. If you mess anything up it's generally a one way street. Meaning that you will not get a do over or a second chance. It's a take it or leave it offer, once began, the clock starts to tick.

4. Diversion is time sensitive. You will have to keep with the District Attorney's time parameters.

Newman and Cyr is a boutique law firm focusing on Traffic, Criminal, and DWI and DWAI drug defense in Upstate New York. If you would like a free consultation concerning your charges either call, email, or fill out the form on our website.




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