Brooklyn, NY asked in Traffic Tickets for New York

Q: Cellphone ticket NYC. Officer stopped me 5 blocks from where he "observed" me (1548 ft) allegedly on the phone.

Location of occurrence is 5 blocks behind where the cops stopped me. First thing he said after he approached and looked inside, is that a GPS? (My cell phone was tucked between my torso and thigh, i literally have to look down and look at it and then i wouldn't be able to as it is upside down) which I confirmed yes it was but I was only listening to it since I have no Bluetooth (old vehicle).

I drive a crossover (high car) he is on a sedan. How could he see me holding it (as he claims) unless i hold it at shoulder height for him to see it from a lower vintage? And why drive for 5 blocks and 5 streets to stop me.

Clean record, no points, no tickets for 20 yrs. It upsets me that I gave him a chance to peer inside my vehicle before speaking to me

Do I stand a chance fighting for it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • White Plains, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You have a chance to fight it as you bring up legitimate evidentiary points which you can cross examine the officer as to how he could have observed the infraction, and the prosecution must prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. But to answer your question more realistically, my long experience with the NYC traffic courts (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens) is that the judges tend to favor the police to a great extent, and these tickets (unlike in the suburban counties) are never pled down. So you should prepare questions in advance, if you have any exhibits you want to use, have three sets (for you, the judge and the cop), and speak quickly and directly, so the judge doesn't lose patience, as they are wont to do, with many cases per calendar appearance. Good luck!

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

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