Address: 2306 State Route 66, Ghent, NY 12075-0098
Court Calendar: Mondays
Traffic Tickets: Prosecuted by Columbia County District
Attorney's Office (State Police) or local officers.
Criminal Prosecutions: Columbia County District Attorney's
Judges: Hon. David Harrison & Hon. Mark Portin
Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
The Taconic Parkway runs through extensive sections of the Town of Ghent. Enforcement on
the Taconic is almost exclusively handled by officers from "Troop K" of the NYS Police. The speed limit along the
Taconic is 55 mph and almost all speeding tickets are written for speeds more than 10 mph over the limit. Stationary
rader and laser speed detection are widely used on both highways. Speed enforcement is much more intense on the Taconic than
most local roads as it is considered a "more dangerous" road. Traffic law enforcement along all of the other
roads in the town of Ghent is shared by NYS troopers or the Columbia County Sheriff's office.
Both town justices have "traffic calendars" which are devoted to adjudicating traffic tickets, sometimes both judges will
sit at the same time and the traffic calendars will run in parallel.. The NYS Police are prohibited from negotiating plea bargains
on traffic violations. As a result the Columbia County District Attorney's Office (lcoal court Assistant District Attorney's)
deal with tickets written by the NYS police. 95% of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with the special
prosecutor. The local court ADA's and both judges are fairly reasonable about plea bargains as long as the speed was
not more than 20 mph over the limit or over 80 mph.
Local police officers generally prosecute their own tickets, though
the ADA may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
Expect a modest line
of people waiting to talk to the ADA about a plea bargain. A 1 hour wait is typical. Attorneys are permitted
to appear without their clients being present for traffic court.
For more information about speeding and other traffic offenses,click here.
To read some Frequently Asked Traffic Law questions, click here.
For information about having the Law Office
of Glenn Magnell defend your speeding ticket or DWI charge,, click here.
Criminal Law Enforcement & Prosecution
All criminal prosecutions are handled by the Columbia County District Attorney's Office.
Following a tragic 8 fatality accident on the Taconic in 2009 the Columbia County DA's office has taken a fairly
hard line on DWI prosecutions. In 2009 there were more than 1000 alcohol related driving arrests impaired
or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Columbia County. Both the NYS Police and the Columbia County Sheriff's
Department made numerous arrests. Most arrests occurred after dark with many taking place after .
Police officers assume that many driver's who are out after have consumed alcohol and or drugs. As a result they are
looking for any lawful reason to pull drivers over in order to investigate possible DWI incidents. Alcohol checkpoints
were established several times by the a combined task force of NYS Police and Sheriff's Department.
In addition to
DWI and DWAI, numerous arrests were made for Driving While Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and Driving With a Suspended
Registration. All of these offenses are "criminal" violations of the law.
Please note: Information on this website is intended to inform, not to advise. No one should attempt to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of an attorney that is familiar with that area of law, the rules of the court involved and the specific facts of each individual case.
NOTICE: In compliance with the New York State Attorney's Code of Professional Conduct this website and all information contained within should be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.
Law Offices of Glenn W. Magnell
Defense Attorneys for Criminal, DWI, DUI & Traffic Offenses