This is hands-down one of our favorite courts. The cases here are usually challenging with lots of high 6 point speeding tickets, work zone violations, Logbook issues, suspended licences and missed court appearances. Mr. Joshi handles them all with finesse and skill and we are happy to have made many repeat clients here. Contact us for court hours and other information or visit their official website at cliftonpark.org.
What you bring to court (and whether or not you need to go in the first place) will depend mostly on what crime(s) or violation(s) you are being charged with. Clifton Park Town Justices do not typically require you to make the trip all the way to the courthouse to answer an accusation of a traffic violation. This policy is generally-accepted throughout Saratoga County. If your case is a traffic matter you must answer the ticket by the date indicated on your paper citation by entering a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty either by mail or at your Pretrial Conference. Before doing anything, though, always seek the advice of an attorney - and we don't say that just because we are lawyers and make money practicing law. The final outcome of your case - which can involve fines, fees, and other penalties like license suspensions and jail time - will be largely affected by the course of action or, in some cases the fail to act, in the early stages of your legal troubles. Also, make sure to consult with a New York traffic attorney since your cousin's wife's friend who ust graduated from law school in Pennsylvania will not know the local rules and requirements that will play a vital role in the outcome of your case.
Misdemeanor crimes like DWI and UPM are no different and carry more serious, and long-lasting consequences than a traffic ticket. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case anytime and we will be happy to give you an honest evaluation and recommended course of action for the best result possible in your particular case. Our firm handles many different types of cases in the Capital Region and are happy to boast a long list of satisfied clients (read some of their reviews here). Some of the most common issues here in Clifton Park are:
Speeding is the most common type of type of legal issue we're contacted about in this area and it's no surprise as the Clifton Park boundaries include a section of I-87 ("the Thruway") where the speed limit drops from 65mph to 55mph. Since most people tend to drive about 10-15mph over the posted limit through here, many of those unwary drivers suddenly find themselves traveling at 20-25mph over the limit - well into the 6 point speeding category where fines and special Driver Assessment Fees can quickly add up to several hundred dollars upon conviction.
Drivers in this area also often include Canadian visitors and others traveling to and from New York City with rental cars. If you are more familiar with a KPH speedometer, going too fast in an unfamiliar rental is understandably very easy. Unfortunately for many of our clients, State Troopers are not so concerned about why you are in violation of local traffic laws. If you are caught speeding, there is no good excuse. Don't make your situation worse by embarking on a crusade of self-justification with the court clerks - that will get you nowhere and not win you any goodwill in the end. Instead, contact us. You have your right to your day in court and chances are we can help you resolve the situation in a more reasonable and affordable manner. Remember - speeding violations include all sections of VTL 1180 including Work Zones.
Impaired driving charges are very serious, usually misdemeanors but can be felonies. Leandra's Laws, near nationwide adoption of ignition interlock devices for convicted drivers, and recent pushes from the NHTSA for states to lower the legal BAC from .08 to .05 are indicative of the environment you will find yourself in when charged with DWI or DWAI in New York. Clifton Park's policies are not quite as difficult as neighboring Albany's but these cases must be handled carefully from their very outset. Did you take or refuse the roadside breathalyzer? What was your reported BAC at the time of the stop? Was there any accident or property damage involved? Where you driving a Commercial vehicle? Were there children in your vehicle at the time of the stop? These and many other factors will impact your available options and defense plan. Please contact us directly for a free legal consultation if you have been charged with DWI or DWAI in Clifton Park.
UPM or the unlawful possession of a cannabis product is also a very common charge in this Upstate NY area. Often, drivers will first be stopped for speeding or violating some other Vehicle & Traffic law and an officer will detect the scent of marijuana in or around the vehicle. A search will usually ensue and charges issued when evidence found. (Do you have the right to refuse a vehicle search when stopped for a traffic ticket? - Call us for the answer to that one).
Many people falsely believe that they will only receive "a slap on the wrist" for getting caught smoking pot or carrying a small amount of weed for personal use. It's true an "appearance ticket" will usually be issued - which means you will have to make a trip to the Clifton Park Town Court to answer your charges before a local judge. However, you would be well-advised to make that appearance with the benefit of experienced legal counsel at your side. Drug convictions will stay on your criminal record indefinitely and can disqualify you from securing student loans, certain positions of employment, and have other far-reaching effects. Do not take these charges lightly. We offer very reasonable legal fees to represent clients with UPM charges in this court and provide the option of payment plans when necessary. Remember that there is no such thing as a stupid quesion. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions about UPM.
Driving without a license or a license that has been suspended can be a felony in New York state. In most cases we've handled, the driver has a traffic ticket in another court (sometimes from many, many years ago) that has remain unanswered or they have failed to pay a ourt fine or DMV fee (failure to pay child support can trigger the same suspension of driving privileges). In most cases like these, the charge issued is Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, or AUO 3rd for short. The various degrees and penalties of AUO are defined in VTL 511 of the Laws of New York state if you would like to do some research.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operator differs from most traffic violations in that it is always a crime, not a violation. At the time of the stop your vehicle can be towed and you can be placed under arrest. This does not usually happen in Clifton Park, but the possibility is there. Points are not included as a penalty of conviction but hefty fines may be. Unresolved license suspensions can also affect your ability to travel internationally, citizenship status (for those applying to be nationalized), and affect your license status in most other states.
Other suspended license violations, not misdemeanor crimes, are VTL 509 Unlicensed Operation (note this is not Aggravated) and VTL 5511(a) Facilitiating Aggravated Unlicend Operator. These are both 0 point violations but can include a sizeable fine.
New York's Move Over Law is a recent addition to the VTL statutes and has received widespread media coverage. From time to time, campaigns targeting the enforcement of this law have been employed by the governor and probably will continue to be in the future. It was originally passed as a 2 point violation but was quickly upgraded to a 3 point ticket. Many states have a Move Over Law and, like New York, require that drivers slow down and move to an open lane when there are emergency vehicles stopped or standing on the roadway or shoulder.
The laws have been designed to protect the safety of law enforcement, road construction workers and other emergency crew. That being the case, not much sympathy is displayed from fellow law enforcement departments (like the District Attorney's office) towards those who fail to show a proper respect for the rule. Many courts in the Capital District will not accept plea bargains in these cases. For more informtion on VTL 1144-a points etc., please see our dedicated resource at 1144-a.com
As tragic teen deaths texting "YOLO" as their last words continue to make national headlines, distracted driving will continue to be an issue in many lawmakers' minds. New York's Governor recently increased the penalties of unauthorized cell phone and portable electronic device use from 3 points to a whopping 5 points, citing a dramatic increase in accidents and fatalities caused by distracted driving in recent years - primarily involving inexperienced teenage drivers. Suspensions and revocations for probationary drivers have also been increased to the equivalent of reckless driving.
These tickets are serious and are becoming increasingly unwelcome on the local docket. Please drive safely and contact us immediately if you are charged - falsely or not - with a cell phone or distracted driving ticket. You may be issued either VTL 1225-c or VTL 1225-d. Check your paper citation for details.
Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard in regards to their activities on the roadways and we know that most employers hold their drivers to strict or zero-tolerance policies. This creates a greater than normal need to avoid points and convictions on any traffic matter.
Logbook violations are a common and serious citation issued throughout this corridor of I-87. These are misdemeanor crimes punishable under the New York Transportation Law and put CDL drivers' income and careers in serious jeopardy. If you are a trucking company or one of your agents have been issed a Logbook violation, equipment violation, or other citation in a commercial vehicle in Clifton Park, contact us for a free consultation of your case.
Safety belt restraint violations are not typically serious unless and until children are involved. These are outlined in VTL 1229 of the the Laws of New York state and appear on your paper citation as FRONT SEAT PASS AGE 4-7 NO/IMPROPR RESTRAINT. The exact subsection and description will vary depending on the age of the children involved, but these are 3 point violations with accompanying fine and state surcharge (usually $85.00). Charges where the court feels the safey of children was compromised are taken very seriously and plea bargain reductions will often be off the table from the outset of the case. Please contact us to discuss.
The Law Office of Ken McCauley represents clients in Clifton Park and throughout Saratoga County and other Upstate courts. We provide expert legal services at an affordable fee and pride ourselves on the quality of our work and satisfaction of our clients in the results we achieve for them in some of the most distressing times in their lives. Along with traffic ticket and criminal defense, our attorneys also handle real estate closings, contracts, patents, internet harassment cases, and issues before the New York State Liquor Authority. Call us anytime at (518) 406-8330 or use our Contact page to send us an email.