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21Jul

NY’s New Portable Electronic Device Law – VTL § 1225-d Analysis

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (355)

Juh Raffe - December 1, 2016 1:14 am

Thanks for the comments. I’m leaning now toward actually traveling to NYC to have my day in court, despite the costs. So, can you offer any advice for how to win? My guess is that the cop will show up and say, “He used his phone,” and the judge will believe this lie. How is it possible to win against a blatant lie like this?

* Can I bolster my credibility through witnesses, character references, clean driving records, etc.?
* Can I directly question the cop on details of the stop in an attempt to reveal inconsistencies or lack of knowledge about details of the supposed infraction? My basic idea here is just that since no infraction took place they’ll have to make up things or say they don’t know. Can I use the “don’t know” responses to help my case? Can I use inconsistencies to show they are lying?
* Can I bring pictures of my car with people inside either violating or not violating 1225-d and quiz the cop? Anything less than 100% accuracy would raise doubt in their assessment of my situation. Would the judge allow this, or do they ask all the questions?

Should I describe the events in great detail to establish a credible and detailed story, or just go for the one sentence bottom line for why the ticket was issued in error so the cop has nothing to use against me?

Reply
    Matthew Weiss - December 2, 2016 10:52 pm

    Juh Raffe,

    Answers below in bold:

    * Can I bolster my credibility through witnesses, character references, clean driving records, etc.? Through witnesses that can testify in an exculpatory manner (but not through character references or driving record which are irrelevant).

    * Can I directly question the cop on details of the stop in an attempt to reveal inconsistencies or lack of knowledge about details of the supposed infraction? Yes!!

    *Can I use the “don’t know” responses to help my case? Yes, they can help bolster your defense!!

    *Can I use inconsistencies to show they are lying? You can use inconsistencies to bolster your case (but that doesn’t mean the offer is “lying”).

    * Can I bring pictures of my car with people inside either violating or not violating 1225-d and quiz the cop? I don’t know how this would help and it sounds VERY irrelevant.

    * Should I describe the events in great detail to establish a credible and detailed story, or just go for the one sentence bottom line for why the ticket was issued in error so the cop has nothing to use against me? In my experience, traffic courts appreciate conciseness.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Juh Raffe - November 27, 2016 12:10 am

Looking for advice on a wrongly issued 1225-d ticket in NYC. My wife and kids were using electronic devices, but I was driving and I was not. My phone was in my pocket from the moment I started driving until after I was pulled over for supposedly using an electronic device. My wife and I both told the officer that I was not using any devices and that only my wife was using her phone. The officer still issued me a ticket. This entire stop is just blatantly wrong and very frustrating. What can I do to make things right (i.e., no points or fees)? I’ve read about many cases where people are doing questionable activities and asking whether what they did is wrong, but in my case it is 100% cut and dry that I did not violate 1225-d.

I would simply plead not guilty and have my day in court, but that would cost me more than the ticket, as I’m out of state. What can/should I do? Can I request video footage or other evidence from the stop? Can I talk with an administrator who can waive the ticket (squeaky wheel)? What can you do when a police officer simply makes up a charge that you know for a fact is 100% false? Can I counter-sue them for negligence or something like this? Can I file a complaint against the officer? Please help.

Reply
    Matthew Weiss - November 27, 2016 11:11 am

    Juh Raffe,

    Answers in bold below:

    I would simply plead not guilty and have my day in court, but that would cost me more than the ticket, as I’m out of state. What can/should I do? If you do not want to travel back to NY, then you could hire a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you.

    Can I request video footage or other evidence from the stop? You can request it but you will not get anything. There is no right to discovery at the NYC traffic courts. Yes, hard to believe but true.

    Can I talk with an administrator who can waive the ticket (squeaky wheel)? No. There is no “administrator” and they do not plea bargain in the NYC traffic courts.

    What can you do when a police officer simply makes up a charge that you know for a fact is 100% false? Your only options are to pay it for fight it.

    Can I counter-sue them for negligence or something like this? No.

    Can I file a complaint against the officer? Yes, if he acted inappropriately but the mere issuance of a ticket (even if you believe it was wrongfully issued) but this won’t help you beat your ticket.

    If you have an out-of-state license, you should check to see how an 1225d ticket can affect you there, if at all. In many states, this ticket does not carry points.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Carlos Hernandez - November 26, 2016 7:41 am

After 2 years I was found as they say clear and convincing evidence of using my cell phone. The officer says she observed me at around 5:31pm November 2 years ago. I argued that there was no way she could see me that in fact there were 2 unmarked NYC police vans who suddenly flashed there lights and I moved over as they passed only to be pulled over by a marked patrol car. The admin judge did not ask officer not one time if this was the way things occurred and totally disregarded my witness my daughter who was in passenger seat on her iPhone at time. Not only did my daughter state we pulled over to let vans pass us but that this officer gave my daughter the ticket instead of handing directly to me. What’s use of fighting violations if our argue,nets are not entertained. I plan on appealing but fear it’s a moot point. What do you think?

Reply
    Matthew Weiss - November 26, 2016 8:07 am

    Carlos Hernandez,

    Winning any ticket at the Traffic Violations Bureau is VERY hard. Winning an appeal is near-impossible. I agree that the system needs fixing. Hopefully, New York City will eventually do away with it (like Suffolk County and Buffalo have recently done).

    Matthew Weiss

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