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  • Cell Phone/Texting NYPD Question

    My record is nearly spotless, a few speeders back in the day but has been clean for years...even more so recently since I was in the selection process for the PAPD here in the NYC area the past year. Today while driving home, local driving. I stopped at a red light and just picked up my phone to read a text from my wife. Next thing I know I hear over a loud speaker, "you at red light, pull over."

    I pulled over without an issue and gave him my info...I have never once been stopped for this in my life. I figured maybe with a first time offense and a very clean record I would be let off but I wasn't. It says it is a $138 violation but is this a flat amount or will a first time offense be less? I am in no way trying to get out of it...just never thought I would get one looking at my phone while sitting at a red light. I don't think it will be worth fighting, just would rather not pay $138 and have 5 points put on my license. That is more points than a speeder and I wasn't even moving my car, crazy!
    Last edited by mattpugs; 05-07-2014, 11:24 AM.

  • #2
    If this was anywhere in NYC, the entity responsible for it not any court, but the DMV Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). This basically means "all or nothing", as there is no plea bargaining in any hearing where TVB has jurisdiction (a few other areas in the state as well).

    If you plead guilty and pay, you will be subject to whatever fine + points is on the back. If you plead not guilty and lose, TVB judges have a a *tiny* bit of discretion as far as the state surcharge I believe, but not the points. Even then, we're talking maybe a $20-30 difference at most, give or take a little.

    Technically, if your wheels were moving at anytime, even for just a second, the violation has been committed. I wasn't there so I won't debate whether or not anything was justified, but the decision to plead guilty or not is yours alone. If you have LEO aspirations, I'd say give it a shot in court...maybe you'll get lucky. I just wouldn't count on it, and keep in mind that if you lose, the penalty won't really be any different than if you plead guilty today.
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    __________________

    "I pity guys like you, I truly do. Everything you own and have you can thank the job for and still you despise it. I don't understand how any man can choose a career, hate it from the beginning, not have the balls to leave, and then complain about it once he's retired."

    -Thee Rant (surprisingly)
    __________________

    Originally posted by NYCTNT
    DF,

    Why do you bother?

    Comment


    • #3
      If you didn't commit the violation, I dont know the law in NY, fight it. That's what court is for.

      If you did, why bother. You know if you're wrong or not.

      Either way I doubt a single violation will make much difference.
      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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      • #4

        I wonder if that even counts as a "moving violation" -- but I don't live in NY, so I won't hazard a guess.

        In the grand scheme of things, I hardly think that such an infraction will DQ you from a law enforcement position. Just be honest if you are asked about it (or any other conviction) by your background investigator. Chances are that they'll know about it long before you do. :-)

        Good luck!!

        The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

        The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

        ------------------------------------------------

        "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

        Comment


        • #5
          $138 and an ?85 dollar surcharge? That would be our crooked politicians looking to squeeze every penny they can from the motoring public. I haven't figured out the 5 points for the violation though, I gotta wonder if the state somehow takes a cut of your increased insurance premiums. Back in the day the only 5 pointers I recall were passed school bus and reckless driving and of course extreme speeds.
          As far as TVB goes you need to look at the law and see if it says operating a motor vehicle, if it does I believe your operating even if not in motion ( just like a drunk asleep at the wheel) if so pay your fine, you are not going to win in TVB.

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          • #6
            I'm just going to pay the ticket and take a defensive driving course online to reduce the points...its crazy really.

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            • #7
              The old cell phone section required the car be in motion. That is not in the new section VTL 1225-d.4.

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              • #8
                Well according to the ticket fighting business located right near my place, I called just to see what they could do and when I told them what ticket I got they asked for the officer's ID. I gave it to them and he says, "yeah, had a feeling it would be him...we get about 6 calls a day about the same thing."

                He just hangs out on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn...not even in his car, just stands on the corner by the stop lights and looks for folks doing exactly what I did at a red light.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mattpugs View Post
                  Well according to the ticket fighting business located right near my place, I called just to see what they could do and when I told them what ticket I got they asked for the officer's ID. I gave it to them and he says, "yeah, had a feeling it would be him...we get about 6 calls a day about the same thing."

                  He just hangs out on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn...not even in his car, just stands on the corner by the stop lights and looks for folks doing exactly what I did at a red light.
                  He must be a traffic officer. In which case, that's his job.

                  Like we said, we weren't there so there's his side and your side. As someone mentioned before, that's what court is for. If you're sure you weren't guilty, fight it.

                  Just beware of those "attorneys"....they poach people just like you for exorbitant fees. Most of the time they know that it's a crapshoot whether you have a lawyer or not. I advise my friends that when it comes to traffic violations returnable to a criminal court, a lawyer is probably worth it. TVB...not so much (barring the heavy violations).

                  If you feel their fee is reasonable, go for it. Otherwise, take your chances on your own or plead guilty. Either way, if this officer writes this many, it's likely his specialty and I don't see him messing up in court.

                  There will also be lawyers lined up like a gauntlet at the actual hearing to get business. Some are very professional, some are just shady as all hell. There's one guy in MN TVB who would NEVER, NEVER win. He was terrible, but he was fun to watch. "YOUR HONOR, I WANT THE RECORD TO SHOW I STRENUOUSLY OBJECT!" during every single case...always followed by a finding of guilty. Good memories. Anyway, moral of the story is watch out when/if choosing representation.

                  Also, I'm a bit weary that everyone this officers summonses in one day happen to call the same attorney for the same violation? Sounds like a tactic to make them think you have a case...just saying. The "statistics" seem suspicious.

                  In the grand scheme of things, this will not hurt your chances. If you do end up guilty, make sure you take that defensive driving and you'll be fine.
                  sigpic
                  __________________

                  "I pity guys like you, I truly do. Everything you own and have you can thank the job for and still you despise it. I don't understand how any man can choose a career, hate it from the beginning, not have the balls to leave, and then complain about it once he's retired."

                  -Thee Rant (surprisingly)
                  __________________

                  Originally posted by NYCTNT
                  DF,

                  Why do you bother?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh I am not using them for this, I used them in the past and I do believe them about the officer. I pulled over out the outter road of Ocean Pkwy...he issued me the ticket, put the patrol car back in reverse and parked the corner he just left from and got out of his car. As the lights turned red he would walk in between parked cars looking for people on phones and registrations/inspections out of date. I mean it is what it is...i'm not complaining and do I think I am guilty of something? Not really but the law is the law and I was reading a text at a red light, so be it. I don't mind paying like I said...just crazy with NYC laws/rules how it is so much money/points for a first offense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mattpugs View Post
                      Oh I am not using them for this, I used them in the past and I do believe them about the officer. I pulled over out the outter road of Ocean Pkwy...he issued me the ticket, put the patrol car back in reverse and parked the corner he just left from and got out of his car. As the lights turned red he would walk in between parked cars looking for people on phones and registrations/inspections out of date. I mean it is what it is...i'm not complaining and do I think I am guilty of something? Not really but the law is the law and I was reading a text at a red light, so be it. I don't mind paying like I said...just crazy with NYC laws/rules how it is so much money/points for a first offense.
                      Those fines are set by the state. The only difference is that there is no plea bargaining down here. Though I do get your point. At least you're taking it in stride. One day you'll be writing a summons while the motorist is screaming at you and you'll look back at this and laugh
                      sigpic
                      __________________

                      "I pity guys like you, I truly do. Everything you own and have you can thank the job for and still you despise it. I don't understand how any man can choose a career, hate it from the beginning, not have the balls to leave, and then complain about it once he's retired."

                      -Thee Rant (surprisingly)
                      __________________

                      Originally posted by NYCTNT
                      DF,

                      Why do you bother?

                      Comment

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