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Driving on Cell Phone: Excessive time to receive court date?

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drgreenberg

Junior Member
I was pulled over in White Plains, NY in June 2004 for allegedly talking on a cell phone. After sending in the ticket, I heard *nothing* from NY for 15 months, until receiving notice just late week (9/6/05, with a letter dated 9/2/05). The court date is 9/22/05. It seems to me that:

1) This is a really long interval between the alleged offense and getting a chance to present my case and makes it hard to recall all the details for a good defense (right to a speedy trial??). I'd all but forgotten about this ticket. At this point, I can't even access my old cell phone records as evidence in my favor, as my provider only allows access to the past 6 months of invoices.

2) The letter gives me little time to prepare or schedule. In fact, I have a business meeting out of town on 9/21/05 and I'm not sure I can even be back in time. Note that they mailed the letter over the Labor Day weekend. If I'd taken that common opportunity to take a vacation that week, I'd have been left with less than a week's notice!

3) The letter says there can be no adjournment prior to the trial date and yet that if I don't show up for the date it's an admission of guilt.

It seems unfair to me that they waited so long to send me a letter, gave hardly any notice (not enough to avoid scheduling conflicts or for preparation) and are giving me no chance to delay the date due to conflict caused by their own late notice.

Is this acceptable behavior from the NYS court system and is there a way I can actually delay the date despite the wording on the letter? What is the proper response and recourse here?

Thanks!

David
 
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racer72

Senior Member
Your citation is a civil complaint, not criminal, the statutes for a speedy trial do not apply. You should have gathered your evidence at the time you were cited, not waiting till now. Some folks are called to testify years after the fact, 15 months is nothing. You can complain to the judge, he will likely ask you what your favorite kind of cheese is.
 

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