Petty Crimes Lawyers in Utica, NY Representing Clients Charged With Lesser Offenses
If you have been charged with a petty crime, you may be uncertain as to what exactly that may mean for you. Petty offenses are the least serious of any type of charge that you can face in New York.
Petty offenses include traffic offenses and violations. If you are found guilty of a petty offense, it is not considered to be a criminal conviction. Penalties can include restitution, fines, community service, and up to 45 days in a local jail.
If charged solely with a petty offense, photographs and fingerprints are not taken by the law enforcement agency that is interacting with you. Due to the less serious nature of the charges, if you are accused of a petty offense, you are not entitled to a jury trial.
If you have been charged with a petty offense, you need to consult with a qualified lawyer who can explain your legal rights and options and answer any further questions that you may have. Contact our law firm by calling (315) 500-6425to schedule a free strategy session with a member of our legal team.
What are Considered to be Petty Offense Crimes in New York?
Petty offenses in New York include the following types of infractions:
Traffic Infractions: A large number of violations of vehicle and traffic laws are considered to be petty offenses in New York. These can include speeding, an incomplete stop at a stop sign, or running a red light.
Penalties and/or fines are dependent on the type of infraction that was committed and are designated in statutes that pertain to that particular offense. Generally, in the legal system, a traffic infraction is not considered to be a violation or a misdemeanor. However, a conviction could have the potential for a jail sentence, even up to 45 days for repeat offenders.
Violations: Violations are also classified as petty offenses under New York state law. Violations can include traffic offenses in which a potential conviction could include a sentence of up to 15 days in jail and/or a $250 fine. In a case of a violation, the case is heard before a judge, which is also known as a bench trial.
Some examples of petty offenses include:
- Traffic and moving violations
- Disorderly conduct
- Disturbing the peace
- Harassment without sexual intent
What is the Difference Between a Desk Appearance Ticket and a Traffic Ticket?
A desk appearance ticket is given to an individual who has been accused of an action that falls into the category of a petty offense. The ticket informs the recipient of when and where they should appear for the court proceeding. A desk appearance ticket is frequently utilized for traffic infractions and other non-criminal actions.
A traffic ticket is also a form of an appearance ticket that is given when violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, Conservation Law, Transportation Law, or other less serious offenses occur. Traffic tickets may be issued to individuals who violate statutes that relate to the laws previously mentioned.
In most cases, violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law are considered to be petty offenses. It should also be known that a law enforcement officer is only permitted to file charges on petty offenses if the infractions were committed in their presence. The two exceptions are leaving the scene of a property damage accident and driving while ability impaired by alcohol.
Traffic tickets are not considered to be criminal offenses as they primarily involve the recipient paying a fine. They do not appear on a criminal record. If you do elect to go to court to fight a traffic ticket, you will appear in front of the judge, who makes a decision in regard to the ticket. In this type of court proceeding, you are not eligible for a jury trial.
What Happens After You Have Been Charged With a Petty Offense?
Normally, the officer will take down all of the pertinent information from the individual who has committed the offense and either issue a desk appearance ticket or traffic ticket. At this point, the accused is not considered to be in custody and is permitted to leave. Therefore, they will have to appear in court at a later date.
It is imperative that you appear in court on the date specified on your ticket. Failing to appear in court can cause you to be charged with a separate crime, and you could end up spending time in jail when law enforcement catches up to you.
Why Should I Hire a Petty Offense Lawyer to Help Me With My Charges?
Even though petty offenses are not considered to be criminal in nature, you still must go through the court process in order to have them resolved. A good rule of thumb is to be sure to consult an attorney in all matters that relate to infractions of the law.
The attorneys at Passalacqua & Associates, LLC are highly experienced and can help you to understand the various laws and statutes that may surround your particular case. This is particularly important if you have repeated violations for the same infraction, as your case may end up being charged as a misdemeanor which carries with it more potential time in jail and/or steeper fines and other possible penalties.
Contact our law firm by calling (315) 500-6425 and schedule an appointment with one of our Utica criminal defense lawyers. They will be happy to meet with you for a free strategy session and answer your questions, as well as address any concerns that you may have.