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  1. #1
    jeffk is offline Junior Member
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    Suffolk County, NY confusing ticket for 1180(a)

    What is the name of your state? New York (TVB system)

    Hey guys, I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some insight. A month ago, I was pulled over for supposedly speeding. The cop kept telling me to "man up" and admit I was speeding, and that he "isn't stupid". Well I didn't admit anything. He came back with a ticket which said "speed not reasonable and prudent" and under the "in violation of" part it says "section 1180, sub. (a)" which is "speed not reasonable and prudent". Normally, when a cop gives a ticket for 1180(d), he will use the little space where it says "speed __ in a __ zone". For some reason, he put 60 in a 30 there, even though he is accusing me of 1180(a).

    I mailed my ticket in marked "NOT GUILTY" and got a letter back with my court date. Under "Violation Description" it says "SPEED IN ZONE 11-30". Can they do this? The speed should not be the relevant factor here. He gave me a ticket for not traveling at a reasonable or prudent speed. The NYS website describes an 1180(a) as follows:

    Can I be ticketed for speeding if I am not actually exceeding the posted speed limit?

    Yes. Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1180(a) requires that: "No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing." Where this very often comes into play is during the winter months when the roadway is slippery due to ice and/or snow. Under these conditions, and others like them, motorists are required to reduce their speed – even to a speed below the posted speed limit - to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, that is, to a speed at which the motorist can maintain control of the vehicle despite inclement road or weather conditions.


    An 1180(a) ticket is not so much for speeding, as it is for not reducing your speed in hazardous conditions. There was no inclement weather or anything that night.... It was perfectly clear and dry.

    How can they accuse me of one thing now, when the cop accused me of something else before? This might not be very clear cut, so let me use this example: If I was given a ticket for using a cell phone while driving, how can they say "oh he should have received a ticket for speeding". This doesn't make any sense!

    In any case, I appreciate any and all input. Thanks!
  2. #2
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    I'm confused. You were accused of going 60 in a 30 (which is clearly speeding), and the ticket you got was for not going a reasonable and prudent speed (*cough*speeding*cough*). What exactly is the problem here?
  3. #3
    jeffk is offline Junior Member
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    1180(a) "speed not reasonable and prudent" is not the same as 1180(d)"speed in zone"
  4. #4
    jeffk is offline Junior Member
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    oh and 1180(a) is independent of speed...... it is 3 points and a fixed fine. 1180(d) on the other hand has varying points with speed, as well as fines......
  5. #5
    cepe10 is offline Member
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    Well, you do have your citation right? It does seem to show a uncertain and possibly incompetant prosecution but now they seem to have changed the mistake charge to one they can attempt to prosecute.

    I can email you some case law regarding the foundation for evidence for speed measurement in NY, perhaps that is a better defense strategy.
  6. #6
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    If this entire argument is stemming from the letter advising you of your court date, then what most likely occurred is a clerk hit the wrong key when inputting your citation. Unless/until amended, the citation controls. The court letter is not evidence of anything, and certainly not a defense to the citation. Your best bet is to call the TVB, tell them about their error, and see what they do to rectify it.

    In any event, the "1180(a) only applies in bad weather" defense really isn't one you want to be pursuing - unless you enjoy being found guilty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  7. #7
    jeffk is offline Junior Member
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    well my argument was going to be that i was traveling at the maximum speed limit (30). since it was not raining or snowing, i would have no reason to travel at speeds BELOW the posted speed limit (which is what the ticket is actually for). there were no existing conditions which would warrant my reduction of speed. obviously i will not be arguing that i was speeding, and that it's ok since it was clear and dry out! he didn't even use radar or laser (i have a v1 which didn't go off) so chances are this is just a bogus ticket.
  8. #8
    jeffk is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cepe10 View Post
    Well, you do have your citation right? It does seem to show a uncertain and possibly incompetant prosecution but now they seem to have changed the mistake charge to one they can attempt to prosecute.

    I can email you some case law regarding the foundation for evidence for speed measurement in NY, perhaps that is a better defense strategy.
    if you could do that, i would appreciate it very much!
  9. #9
    cepe10 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
    if you could do that, i would appreciate it very much!
    email me @ [email]cepe10@myway.com[/email] and I'll sent it .
  10. #10
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
    well my argument was going to be that i was traveling at the maximum speed limit (30). since it was not raining or snowing, i would have no reason to travel at speeds BELOW the posted speed limit (which is what the ticket is actually for). there were no existing conditions which would warrant my reduction of speed. obviously i will not be arguing that i was speeding, and that it's ok since it was clear and dry out! he didn't even use radar or laser (i have a v1 which didn't go off) so chances are this is just a bogus ticket.
    That's the rub with your defense - rain and snow are merely two of a laundry list of potential "excuses" the officer could come up with regarding driving conditions. They can also claim other cars, construction, road debris, road condition, glare, animals, etc...

    On the bright side is that because such tickets are so subjective, you can usually work out a favorable plea on them, usually something along the lines of a "failure to obey traffic device" or some similar 2-pointer. Occassionally, (if you have a spotless 30+ year driving record; if you catch the TVB on a good day; or if you're a chick with a huge rack), you can plea it down to a non-moving violation (but I wouldn't bank on it).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  11. #11
    busted_shady is offline Junior Member
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    suffolk county ticket 1180d vs 1180a

    I got a ticket for "in violation of section" 1180D which is speed in zone but the officer has not mentioned the speed on the ticket (the speeding MPH in a ___ MPH zone __ is blank) but in the memo section she has written "exceed maximum limit"

    Now i plead not guilty and I got a letter back with the hearing date but the violation description says SP-N/REA-PRUD which is basically speed not reasonable and prudent which is "1180A"

    so how do you think I should defend this case... please reply with something the hearing is tomorrow morning !!!
  12. #12
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    You should have started a new thread rather than dredging up only a slightly related four year old one to glom on to.

    You have to answer the charges as filed. What defense do you think you have?
  13. #13
    busted_shady is offline Junior Member
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    I was originally under the impression that I was going to be charged with 1180D, and was going to argue that the charge was invalid since the speed which I had exceeded was not noted. Which I have read is a requirement for that charge.

    Now that they have changed the charge to 1180A, I was going to argue that this charge is invalid because the officer had charged me with 1180D. And that charge should be dismissed because it is lacking a noted speed.

    Sorry about bumping this old thread. I had been reading this thread, and since it was related I figured I might as well post here.

    Thanks for the help.
  14. #14
    davidmcbeth3 is offline Senior Member
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    bring a ball to the hearing

    You'll need it (really). The officer may testify that he measured your speed by eye ..... so hit him hard if he does - ask him how he got this ability. He'll say he was trained. Then ask him what standard scientific method he used. He'll go duhhhhh. Then ask him about his training (when, where, describe all you remember from the training, was this training done in a group or individual, who else took the training .. ask specific questions & he'll say more and more I dont know) Ask him what the % error of the method is, and about analyst to analyst error too. The drop the ball from 1 meter high ... ask him how fast it was going when it hit the ground .... then say "you are way off, are you sure?, you are under oath.is this your opinion or fact". Then your speed estimation of my car is an opinion and not fact.

    ask him background questions: education, yrs on force, military vet, discharge rec., convicted of any crime (felony), convicted of speeding, etc.. ask him about the highest level of math he took. You want to establish that he aint the brightest bulb in the box. Do this first on cross.

    Ask him: why do you have the opinion that I was traveling to fast? Then you just made him say its just his opinion & not a fact.
  15. #15
    patstew is offline Member
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    Cool

    This reminds me of the story in "Pumping Iron" where Ahnuld tells of convincing one of his competitors that the new trend was screaming while posing.

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