The Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Bureau (SCTVPA) in Hauppauge can no longer sentence a driver to jail or impose bail on a traffic defendant. Instead, any such potential case, will be sent to a District Court judge at the Cohalan court complex in Central Islip, per a new order from Suffolk Administrative Judge C. Randall Hinrichs.
Previously, traffic judges at the SCTVPA could impose bail or incarceration in such serious traffic cases which would, then, be reviewed by the District Court judge while the traffic defendant was remanded to custody.
Under the new order, such cases are transferred and the traffic defendant remains free until the case is heard in District Court. Per Newsday, “under the new order, any prosecutor who is considering recommending jail or bail, or hearing officers who have determined such action may be appropriate, must transfer the case immediately to a District Court judge before any trial, hearing or plea.”
Newsday reported that County sheriff records indicated that 31 people had been remanded in the previous 7 months.
So what type of traffic offenses could lead to the severe penalty of incarceration? There are actually many but the most likely ones involved here are excess speeding (41+ mph) and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage.