The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is trying to make it hard for motorists to plead down a speeding ticket. Currently, defendants are allowed to plea to a lesser offense, which allows the local court to pocket the fine money rather than giving it to the state. Governor Cuomo believes that "this practice threatens public safety and leads to a loss of $58 million annually," so he wants to restrict plea bargaining with only a few exceptions. The proposal would hurt motorists who previously have pleaded to a lesser offense to avoid getting points on their insurance that leads to higher rates.
The DMV would also be required to make driving records more accessible to the courts so the prosecution and judges could see former convictions. One D.A. commented that this would be extremely helpful for prosecutors, referring to a case in 2004 in which a young man killed a bicyclist from speeding. The young man had previously pleaded speeding tickets down to parking violations, but the prosecutors didn't know because they couldn't see the record. The proposal includes a motion to add an $80 charge for any traffic violations in order to discourage drivers from trying to avoid state penalties for speeding by trying to plead down their offense to traffic violations.
While the proposal has garnered state support, local courts have yet to agree. One justice commented that the state already receives half of the revenue from his local court. The revenue they use from parking violations goes to pay their own equipment and personnel. With a possibility of new speeding ticket laws, it will be harder than ever for motorists to plead down their traffic tickets. To ensure that you are properly represented, hire a New York traffic ticket attorney from Gannes & Musico, LLP. We have extensive experience helping our clients dismiss their traffic tickets, saving both their wallet and their license! Contact us today for a free consultation.