I plan to fight a traffic ticket for $130 in New York City (lower Manhattan). The ticket says "Failed to yield to a pedestrian at an intersection," which was not what happened. I was making a U-turn on a green light, and the officer told me I made a wrong U-turn. Pedestrians had the red light for them, and there were no pedestrians attempting to cross. There were no signs prohibiting the U-turn, and no other cars/pedestrians were delayed.
This is a popular place to make U-turns and it seems that the cop is sitting there catching everybody & writing tickets all day. He told me the law says one should make the U-turn from the right lane, not from the left lane. But with a small car like mine, the U-turn from the left lane is easy and less disruptive for other cars than U-turns from the right lane. Seems like a bad law.
1) If the officer does show up, the judge will probably take his word over mine. My only recourse is to have a public attorney find some technical/procedural issues with the officer's docs, etc. Do you agree? Anything else I could do to fight this?
2) My best chance is if the officer doesn't show up, so I plan to reschedule the hearing to delay the trial as much as possible. If I ask for a motion for discovery, would that lead to the officer being contacted for his notes? If he is forced to review his notes, perhaps, he'll be more ready/willing to show up and fight? If so, maybe it's better not to request the discovery until the trial?
3) What plea bargains are commonly offered by prosecutor for this type of offenses? I have no other offenses on my record (my prior 2 tickets and points were in 2002, which means they should be deleted by now). If the officer shows up, and his case is bullet-proof, maybe I should take the plea bargain?
I don't want an expense of hiring an attorney and will use a public attorney + any help that you will give me. Thanks!