City of New Rochelle, NY Speeding and Traffic Court Defense Lawyers
The City of New Rochelle, New York is a city in south eastern Westchester County bordering Bronx County, NY. The New Rochelle City Court is located at 475 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801. The court has jurisdiction over all speeding and traffic moving violation cases within the confines of the city, as well as auto crimes and criminal misdemeanors.Case Study – Missed Return Date on a Speeding Ticket & Suspended License
The first operative date on a speeding or traffic ticket is the “return date,” i.e., the date on the ticket by which your plea of “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” must be before the court. We call this date a “soft date,” because unlike in other states when you miss a return date your license is not automatically suspended. You have at least 30 days before a license is suspended for missing a return date and maybe even more. Moreover, you always receive at least 2 warning letters before you are suspended – 1 from the court and 1 from the DMV. So long as you answer the ticket prior to the suspension date you will be fine your license will not be suspended. That is in all court of New York State except the New Rochelle City Court.
The New Rochelle City court is quirky. While they are prohibited by State Law from suspending your license on the day of the return date, they do everything in their power to misery people who miss return dates to death. Our client was charged with speeding, NY VTL § 1180 and shortly thereafter went out of the country on business. He failed to mail his ticket in with a “Not Guilty” plea prior to leaving, and when he came home he received the warning letters. Being prior to the suspension date he thought ‘not a problem’ and mailed his ticket in with a “Not Guilty” plea. A couple of days later the court called him and advised that they were rejecting his plea and he had to come to court. Being a busy guy he told them that he would just switch his plea to “Guilty” and pay the fine. Nope, not going to happen before this court. He had to come in.
This is what the New Rochelle City Court does to you when you miss a return date. They refuse to accept your plea by mail and also for some inexplicable reason refuse to accept payment of a fine by mail. Our client, being tied up and busy could not go to court prior to the suspension date, so his driver’s license was suspended. Shortly thereafter he went to court to get a court date and pay the suspension lift fee, but the court had him conference the case with the prosecutor for resolution. Our client, not understanding the proceedings, wanted to retain counsel. His whole goal was to go to the window, pay the $70.00 suspension lift fee, post a bond if required, get a court date, and leave. However, they forced him to meet with the prosecutor. The prosecutor understood hid dilemma and agreed to and adjournment, however the court would not allow his license suspension to be lifted prior to the next court date.
Once we were hired we had the court advance the court date to the next date. We also knew that the court was going to demand fine payment THAT DAY (not that the court has to, but just because “that’s the way we do it here” when someone misses a court date). We got our clients personal court appearance waived, kept his credit card number on file, resolved the case with a 0 point parking ticket, and immediately paid the fine and suspension lift fee on our client’s behalf. We presented our client with the receipt, and reimbursed our office through his credit card.
In the New Rochelle City Court even when a motorist has not missed any dates often, and for unknown reasons, the court refuses payment of fines via mail. Even when the client mails payment in via US Postal Money Order they will insist the person pay in person. I even had a client that lived in Rhode Island demand that the client come in person and pay the fines. Rather than bang my head against a wall with this court, and just to make it easier on everyone, any client that we represent in New Rochelle City Court we keep their credit card number on file, pay the fine as soon as we wrap the case up, send our client the receipt, and ring through the fine payment reimbursing us on their credit card.