Feifer & Greenberg, LLP

Dutchess County Justices dismiss NY State Trooper Tickets

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers | Feifer & Greenberg » New York Traffic Violations » Speeding » Dutchess County Justices dismiss NY State Trooper Tickets

Dutchess County Justices dismiss NY State Trooper Tickets

In 2006, New York State Police (the State Troopers) stopped negotiating plea bargains (reducing the severity of the violation charged) with respect to the tickets they issue. The Troopers argue it was a move to prevent allegations of impropriety, favoritism and corruption. Many (myself included) feel it was simply related to overtime and the additional hours in court spent negotiating these deals.

Courts rely on these plea bargains. It allows them to collect fine money, impose a fair punishment on the recipient of the ticket and avoid the more costly and time consuming trial that takes place when a plea bargain has not been negotiated.

I have argued since day one that this was unfair. Whether a driver can negotiate a lower charge and/or fine depends on where they get a ticket and from whom. Moreover, how do we reconcile the fact that an accused murderer is more likely to be offered a deal and negotiated with in certain courts than someone who got caught speeding?

Many lawyers have cited the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which mandates that laws be applied equally to everyone, to argue that the State Police policy prevents drivers from receiving equal justice.

Many towns have avoided the State Police directive by assigning special prosecutors who can offer deals to drivers who are given tickets by troopers. This adds fuel to the equal protection argument, lawyers say, because drivers ticketed by troopers in towns with those special prosecutors are treated differently from those in towns without them.

Without special prosecutors, there have been incidents where judges dismiss or reduce tickets, even when troopers object. There have been two such cases in Dutchess County. Clinton Town Justice Barbara Seelbach last month dismissed “in the furtherance of justice” a speeding ticket issued by state police, ruling it would be an “injustice” to allow the driver to be prosecuted by a trooper who is blocked by state policy from plea-bargaining. Prior to that, in 2007 Milan Town Justice Frank Christensen reduced a speeding ticket issued by a state trooper, saying the policy against plea-bargaining. “regardless of a defendant’s unique circumstances, … is an improper and unreasonable position.”

As a NY traffic ticket attorney, the fact of the matter is that this policy hasn’t affected our clients as much as we expected (we also expected that this would only last for a couple of weeks). There has almost always been a work around like the special prosecutors in situations where the Trooper would otherwise prosecute. That said, I do hope the few hold outs come around soon and that judges who feel their hands are tied will follow the lead of the Dutchess County Justices and side with the motorists.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Your office is in NYC. How do you handle cases statewide?

We have organized a statewide network of attorneys. In our network are both attorneys who work for Feifer & Greenberg and attorneys who work for other firms that regularly provide of-counsel representation to our clients. This statewide network allows us to match clients in a particular county or court with local attorneys who regularly appear on similar matters in the same county or court. It enables us to help clients anywhere in New York State and in our opinion provide particularly effective and affordable representation for our clients. Local attorneys can draw on their particular local experiences and, with travel time and expense removed from the equation, help us keep our legal fees low.

Do you guarantee results?
We can only guarantee that we will provide the best possible client service and legal representation. We can’t guarantee results. These are legal proceedings and we can’t promise you that every case will end in our favor. We will always honestly assess your case (both good and bad) and set realistic expectations during your consultation. We’ll discuss our goals and objectives but no attorney can ever guarantee how a case will conclude.
Should I just pay my ticket or should I fight?

We recommend fighting almost all tickets. Even if the current NY traffic tickets aren’t particularly harmful, you have an incentive to keep your record clean for the future. Convictions quickly lead to surcharges, insurance increases and other complications. You should strongly consider any decision to pay a ticket without fighting.

How can our traffic ticket lawyers help you?

Our lawyers are experienced, prepared attorneys who understand the nuances of fighting traffic tickets. Experience, preparation and good decision making help us to help our clients avoid points, surcharges, insurance increases and the other negatives that can easily result from a traffic ticket.


Common Charges