Vision Zero Leads to Increased Arrests for Traffic Incidents

We have seen an increase in desk appearance tickets being issued for street level incidents involving cars, bikes, pedestrians, or some combination thereof. The law generally acknowledges that actions are often intentional, reckless, negligent, or accidental. Soon after taking office, Mayor de Blasio launched vision zero. The mission is to protect the public by making NYC streets safer. If you hit a bicycle with your car, or damage a side view mirror by walking into a car, etc. your frame of mind will be called into question. Now, under vision zero, the City of New York is taking the view that traffic incidents are not "accidents" but preventable incidents that must be addressed. This means the City will explore every possible way to view your behavior as intentional or reckless and charge you with a crime. Even if there's no collision, the City is cracking down on all vehicular crimes.

Common cases we've seen

  • Leaving the scene of an accident (VTL 600)
  • Criminal Mischief (PL 145.00)
  • Driving with a Suspended License (VTL 511)

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Someone in New York City calls the police and claims a car hit them. The police investigate and call you on the phone. You deny any knowledge of hitting them but the officer asks you to come into the precinct to make a statement and that everything will be ok if you cooperate. Should you go? You're probably going to be arrested. If you've been contacted by a detective or other law enforcement about a possible hit-and-run, hang up and call a New York City criminal defense attorney right away. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you may be able to minimize the severity of your situation or avoid arrest.

Criminal Mischief

Someone in New York City claims that you damaged their car, truck, or motorcycle on purpose. The police, spurred on by stricter enforcement, ignore your side of the story and arrest you. This rush to judgment can have harsh consequences if you go to court unprepared. If you've been arrested for damaging another vehicle, contact a New York City criminal defense attorney right away.

Unlicensed Driving / Driving on a Suspended License

The police often conclude that unlicensed drivers or drivers with suspended licenses cause more accidents. The arrest could leave you with a permanent criminal record because VTL 511 is a misdemeanor offense. Although all offenders face the risk of jail, repeat offenders face a much higher risk. If you've been given a desk appearance ticket for driving on a suspended license, contact a New York City criminal defense attorney for a consultation.

Read more about vision zero here: Vision Zero