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5 Points of Advice From a Deputy Sheriff With a Lawyer’s Perspective

by Seth Azria on 2/03/2017

Deputy Sheriff Michael Quigley of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department has given more tickets than any other person in the county over the last the years. He gives about 10 to 20 per day in the Syracuse-area, giving 67 in one 14-hour period.

Here some of Sheriff Quigley suggestion together with our perspective:

1. Beware of School Zones

Deputy Sheriff advises: Police monitor school zones, Police may give 25-30 tickets in four hours.

From a traffic defense lawyer’s perspective: School zone speeding tickets are more difficult to handle. Prosecutors view these tickets with disfavor and some prosecutors will not reduce the tickets at all. Many prosecutors also have similar feelings about speeding in a work zone tickets.

2. Don’t Touch Your Phone

Deputy Sheriff Advises: Phones emit a blue light that can indicate to police that you are using an electronic device. And police in SUVs are able to see the phone in your hand.

From a traffic defense lawyer’s perspective: To be charged under the law, the police need to only see you hold something that looks like a portable electronic device, including GPS, cell phones, and music players. More on what you should know about cell phone use tickets.

3. More Traffic Means More Police

Deputy Sheriff Advises: Police target high traffic areas in order to prevent accidents.

From a traffic defense lawyer’s perspective: Drivers ticketed in high traffic areas sometimes indicate to us that they were treated unfairly; explaining that there were many others cars traveling at the same speed that were not ticketed.  As practical matter, one police officer is only able to pull over one car at time. Unfortunately, it is not a defense that others were also speeding. Traveling with a pack of speeding cars exposes all drivers to a ticket. 

4. Be Honest

Deputy Sheriff advises: Some officers like to hear an interesting story about what happened, but he prefers people who are honest.  

From a traffic defense lawyer’s perspective: Our general advice is not make statements or admissions to the police. Simply be polite and cooperative but do not admit any wrongdoing.

5. Don’t Argue

Deputy Sheriff advises: Standing on the roadside is dangerous and keeping the officer on the roadside while arguing with him is not the best approach.

From a traffic defense lawyer’s perspective: Being polite and cooperative is the best approach. Arguing or antagonizing a police officer can complicate our negotiations when the officer becomes part of case. And in some courts, the officer, as oppose to the prosecutor, will be deciding whether and how much to reduce a charge.  

Please click here for the full text of the article about Deputy Sheriff Quigley.  

If you already have a traffic ticket that you need help with please call us at (315) 364-1155 to speak with one of your experienced traffic defense attorneys.   

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