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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27765
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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i made an illegal left turn in manhattan . i pled not guilty

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i made an illegal left turn in manhattan . i pled not guilty and have hearing this coming tuesday. would like to get charges reduced or  dismissed. I was told that in the 5 boroughs there's no reduction and that my best bet is to try to keep delaying th hearing. it's already been a year since the infraction. should i get more delays. any other strategies?

Hello Jacustomer,

The information you got about Manhattan traffic court is correct. There is no plea barganing available. You either plead to the charge or you go to trial.

There's no advantage to dragging this out, except that you may be able to demonstrate that the police officer's memory is faulty as the longer the time passes, the more tickets he has written. If you can get the police officer to concede that he has no present recollection of the events on the ticket, you can get it dismissed.

Other than that, the burden of proof favors the state, and most traffic court cases are not dismissed. Do not count on a dismissal, even if the police officer doesn't show. You can ask for one if he doesn't attend but the odds are more likely that you'll just be given a new date.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A lawyer I briefly spoke with said dragging it out increases the likelihod the officer is transferred or leaves the area.


Can it hurt to ask for a later hearig and how would i do that so close to the date. Can I show up that morning and say I can't stay and would like another hearing?


How would I et the officer to concede that he as no present recollection of the events on the ticket.


How do i answer questions about what happened: i didn't see the sign it was late night and the streets were empty and other blocks around there allow left turns especially after hours.


any other ideas.


can i plead poverty?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Wil i hear back from you? I had other questions but it i don't see a note saying that you'll get back to me.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

or should i just pay it in online and accept the points since chances are so slim for getting this dismissed...

Hi Sara,

The problem is that you concede that you made the turn because it was dark and you didn't see the sign. Unfortunately, guilty with an excuse is going to get you a conviction. So you don't really have a defense to the charge.

That means what you have to hope for is that 1) the cop doesn't show up (it will generally be dismissed after the third time he doesn't make it) or 2) you can get the officer to concede that he doesn't remember what happened at that time, date and location.

The way to do that would be to take the officer through how many tickets he has written in the year since he stopped you, as well as the fact that nothing unusual or remarkable occurred durig the stop, so that you can argue that your stop was routiine and that there's no way he would remember it.

Again the burden is in his favor, meaning if the judge believes that he's made a better case than you have, even by as much as a hair, you lose. As you did it, it's highly possible that he will be able to prove it.

To try to adjourn it again, call the clerk of the court. If you lose, ask for time to pay, you can't plead poverty. It has never been a defense to a crime.

Traffic lawyers are cheap and can frequently work miracles. Price one, and he may be able to get the points down for you, since these guys show up in traffic court all day, every day, and know everybody. Even if you end up having to pay for him, it could be more favorable than a hike in your insurance rates.
Zoey_ JD and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

do you know a cheap traffic lawyer? i was offered 350 twice. which is

high for me...

you've been so helpful!

Hi Sara,

We are not, unfortunately able to give a direct referral to a lawyer or law firm as it's against the terms of service on the site. To look for a NYC traffic lawyer, contact the NYS Bar Association's Lawyer referral service. Keep in mind that what you don't pay the lawyer, you may end up paying your insurance company, which could be worse over the long haul.