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DRIVER CHARGED WITH SPEEDING IN NEW YORK CITY NOT ENTITLED TO DISCOVERY OF DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO THE OPERATING PROCEDURES AND TESTING OF THE RADAR UNIT USED TO MEASURE DRIVER’S SPEED

If you are issued a speeding ticket in New York City, your case is not handled in a criminal court (as it would be if were issued a speeding ticket in Westchester County). Instead, your case will be heard by the Traffic Violations Bureau of the Department of Motor Vehicles (TVB). Cases heard by TVB are not criminal but instead are considered administrative proceedings. An experienced traffic court attorney can explain the difference between a speeding ticket issued in New York City and one issued in a city such as Yonkers or White Plains in Westchester County.
Often, people we represent who are charged with speeding in New York City ask if we can obtain information about the particular radar or laser unit the police used to measure their speed. For examples, the operating procedures and testing history.
The answer is generally no. The CPLR, including its discovery provisions, is not applicable in cases heard by the Traffic Violations Bureau. 15 NYCRR § 123.1. In Miller v. Schwartz, 72 N.Y.2d 869 (1988) the New York Court of Appeals upheld the constitutional validity of this rule and held that there is no constitutional right to discovery in administrative proceedings. (Note: The TVB is not a criminal court; it is an administrative tribunal).
Therefore, if you are going to take your speeding ticket to trial in NYC (or any other jurisdiction that utilizes the TVB system) the only proof that you will have that the radar unit was used properly by the officer and was in proper working order will be the testimony of the officer. Of course, if you could obtain a user’s manual from another source, you could use that to cross-examine the officer.
For more information about this or any other New York traffic matter (including DWI) feel free to contact us toll-free at 1-877-377-8666 or visit us on the web at www.DrSummons.com.

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