Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Northeast
Reload this Page >

Are NYC Bike Tickets Worth Fighting?

Notices
Northeast Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York |Rhode Island | Vermont |

Are NYC Bike Tickets Worth Fighting?

Old 11-02-19, 01:40 PM
  #1  
ahendricks2
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are NYC Bike Tickets Worth Fighting?

I was riding up the bike lane on First Avenue in the 120s about to cross the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx. Where I was biking (between 120 st. and 124 st.), there was a housing project taking up 4 blocks, so there was no cross street on my side. Because there were no cross streets, I didn't think it would be a big deal to run three red lights (never going to do that again); an officer stopped me and cited me for three tickets. Is it worth going to court to try to get a reduction on the $570 I would have to pay, or should I just pay up?

Thanks.
ahendricks2 is offline  
Old 11-06-19, 11:34 AM
  #2  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,057
Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9598 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 679 Posts
If you try to fight them will there be court costs added if you lose?

More importantly, what would your defense be?
indyfabz is offline  
Old 11-06-19, 04:16 PM
  #3  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,532

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Soma Smoothie, Miyata City Liner, Specialized FSR Comp, Fuji Professional

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1226 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 61 Posts
So obviously the cop watched as you ran the first and second red light, then decided enough and stops you after the third. So he gets 3 violations in his log book. Well good for him, but still typical and why NYPD beat cops are dicks. The thing that pisses me off is the reason for the ticket is to teach you (and others) a lesson to not run red lights. So after the first the cop needs to pull you over and give you a ticket. Or maybe he could follow you all the way to your destination as you repeatedly run red lights and shoot you. Dunno though, I could give the cop the benefit and assume he had no opportunity to pull you over until you went through 3 lights. Knowing how the NYPD cops think and act, that’s not likely the scenario as I’ve heard of this happening to other cyclists.

Obviously you are guilty and there’s no real excuse or way out of it, maybe if you went to court and explained to the judge the circumstances of no side streets in the direction you were traveling, they might cut you a break and only hit you for 1 light, but that’s a crap shoot in NYC.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 11-07-19, 01:36 PM
  #4  
ChiroVette
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
You might actually be able to get two of the three dismissed. I am not 100% up on the double jeopardy laws pertaining to scofflaw violations, but I think giving you three tickets for the same offense, in rapid succession, may garner you some sympathy from the judge if you show up to court with them. It might not be a legal argument, strictly speaking, but cops generally write one ticket for the same offense, and if you go to court, the judge may well just hold you to one of them. Especially if you are willing to plead guilty. Also, with tickets like this, I believe you get a chance to talk to the person prosecuting the case when you show up. Usually at that level it isn't an ADA, but a clerk or maybe the cop him or herself. I would be very surprised if you showed up to court and had to pay all three. I would be even more surprised if you showed up to court and beat all three.

Seems to me that cop had it in for you, or he would likely have just cited you once for all three instances of the violation. I'm curious about something. When the cop stopped you, were you maybe a little bit snarky, hostile, or a wise ass to him?
ChiroVette is offline  
Old 11-10-19, 04:31 AM
  #5  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 23,565

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3260 Post(s)
Liked 275 Times in 208 Posts
fight all tickets, hire a traffic attorney if necessary. yes, NYC has traffic attorneys. they're worth every penny! don't ask me how I know

Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-14-19 at 01:45 PM.
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 11-10-19, 09:08 AM
  #6  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 2,894

Bikes: http://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1215 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 61 Posts
Thank goodness I live in Chicago where the cops have better things to do.

What happens if you just ignore the tickets and don't pay?
kingston is offline  
Old 11-10-19, 12:37 PM
  #7  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,532

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Soma Smoothie, Miyata City Liner, Specialized FSR Comp, Fuji Professional

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1226 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 61 Posts
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Thank goodness I live in Chicago where the cops have better things to do.

What happens if you just ignore the tickets and don't pay?
You had 2 options when the officer asked for I.D. to write the ticket. Present something, with a drivers license or state issued I.D. or US (or other) passport as typical, OR get arrested, taken to the local precinct until such time as they can determine your identity. Sometimes they’ll be polite and take your bike with you, sometimes it’s left on the street. Oh Well.

If you present some form of valid I.D. and then do not pay the tickets, they issue a warrant for your arrest (well they do that anyway if you fail to pay, but with no good I.D. maybe they’ll never catch you). They also increase the fines in a major way, what was $500 or so is likely going to be 3 times or more then that when all is said and done. If they ever catch you for something else and determine you owe money and didnt pay some fines, it’s likely an overnite at Rikers Island. In NYC and likely other big cities, they stop and hold a LOT of people for fail to pay misdemeanor violations.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 11-10-19, 01:40 PM
  #8  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 2,894

Bikes: http://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1215 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 61 Posts
Good to know, @Steve B. I'll keep this in mind next time I'm in town and rent a citi bike. It will also go on the long list of reasons why New York is a nice place to visit, but I would never want to live there.
kingston is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 09:03 AM
  #9  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,057
Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9598 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 679 Posts
Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
You might actually be able to get two of the three dismissed. I am not 100% up on the double jeopardy laws pertaining to scofflaw violations, but I think giving you three tickets for the same offense, in rapid succession, may garner you some sympathy from the judge
The concept of double jeopardy has nothing to do with it. Double jeopardy addresses being "tried" for the same offense more than once after finality in the first proceeding. For example, a prosecutor cannot simply retry someone acquitted of murder simply because he/she is unhappy with the verdict.

In this case, the OP is accused of committing three separate traffic violations. He did not get three tickets for a single offense. He could be found guilty on all three, just like someone who kills three people could be found guilty on three separate counts of murder.

The judge may sympathize with the OP, but the legal principal of double jeopardy is not going to get him off.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 09:59 AM
  #10  
ChiroVette
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

The judge may sympathize with the OP, but the legal principal of double jeopardy is not going to get him off.
No, the actual, legal definition of double jeopardy is not going to win the case. But I have found, in NY City at least, that cops and courts tend to loosely treat scofflaw tickets like this.

Even parking tickets in the Big Apple are treated the same way. Yes, if you are ticketed for the same offense more than once in a day, say expired reg or inspection, and others, these are all legal to be given. However, if you show up to court, its customary for the judge to dismiss all the tickets for the same offense issued in the same day, except for one of them. Something similar happened to me a few years back while I was still in school. I used to sell these little plastic flying birds on the street, with no vending license. I would fly them around and people would buy them. Sometimes I got stopped by the cops and issued a summons. I was a little green, and quite honestly stupid, but after I got one ticket, I walked a few blocks to get out of that cop's precinct, or so I thought lol. An hour later, I get stopped by the same pair of cops!

This time, instead of calmly issuing me a ticket like he had a little while ago, he started yelling at me, and told me to get the hell out of here with my stuff. I had no idea why they didn't issue me a ticket, but I found out next time. A few days later, selling the same birds, I got swooped up in a no-license vending raid, shuttled into the Paddy Wagon, brought in, issued a ticket and released.
As I was leaving the two cops that had taken me in this time, and who I had the altercation with last time, both took me aside and read me the riot act. They knew I was going to school to support myself, and they actually tried their best to leave me alone as much as possible, and only get me if they had to for some street inspection reason. They also told me that they would have never even taken me in, in the first place that day, had I not disrespected them a few days earlier. So, I apologized, and then asked why they didn't just give me a ticket the second time. He explained that in NY City they don't write multiple tickets for the same offense in the same day, and that's why he was so pissed off. Because he obviously thought I knew that already, and was like spitting in his face. Now, in fairness to your point, he most probably was talking about just his squad, which was a task force for vendors without a vending license. But even in court, when I had to go every now and again for these vending tickets, and ended up paying some $25.00 fine (lol again) there were people with multiple tickets, but from different precincts, for the same day. And they all ended up getting dismissed, except for one.

To the OP, I am quite sure that if he goes down to court, that while you are correct about double jeopardy not applying, all tickets for the same thing in the same day, except for one of them, will be dismissed. It may not be a legal obligation of the court, but in tickets like this, which really are glorified parking tickets, it is customary to dismiss all but the first one.

From this site here:

Repeat Summons

This defense may be available to dismiss a duplicate ticket if you received multiple tickets for the same violation. The following conditions must apply:




  • The duplicate ticket was issued on the same day, for the same violation, at the same location, within three hours of the first ticket. You can receive a similar ticket every three hours.
  • Where multiple tickets were issued for status violations (registration or inspection), the repeat summons must have been issued on the same date as the first ticket. You can only receive one similar ticket per day—but note that you may receive more than one in a twenty-four hour period.
Of course there's no guarantee, and legally you are correct. But I would be very surprised if the judge made him pay all three tickets for the same offense, not only in the same day, but lol within the same minute. Either way, he has nothing to lose.

Last edited by ChiroVette; 11-14-19 at 10:08 AM.
ChiroVette is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 10:15 AM
  #11  
dscoduc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Ha ha ha... New York City... Just chalk it up to another 'benefit' to living in 'The City' and pay the fines...
dscoduc is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.