It is very common for the police to respond to an auto accident and issue tickets for violations such as Following Too Closely (4 Points) or Speed not Reasonable and Prudent (3 Point).
Most times, the issuing officer has no direct knowledge of any alleged violations. It is common for an officer to respond to an accident scene, not conduct any accident reconstruction, but rather, speak to the parties involved and any witnesses and then issue tickets based on his/her accident investigation. These types of cases are very difficult for the police to prove and require any witness to testify in Court to prove such charges.
Typically, in addition to the citations issued, there is also an accident claim or personal injury claim pending against the motorist. Any guilty plea to the underlying tickets or any moving violation for that matter, can negatively impact your ability to fight a civil lawsuit arising from a negligence claim from the accident.
In the civil trial the Plaintiff cannot use a Guilty finding from the Traffic Court but can use a Guilty plea which is an admission of guilt. An experienced vehicle and traffic attorney can negotiate a settlement that should not adversely affect any pending accident claim or alternatively, try the case and make sure you have your day in court.
If you or someone you know has been charged with any violation stemming for an automobile accident in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Rockland, Orange or Ulster County, the Harold Dee Team can help.