No--traffic summonses must be witnessed by the officer
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
I believe an officer has to personally witness a traffic infraction in order to issue a summons.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
A police officer may issue a traffic violation on information and belief, based on the statements and observations of others.
However, at trial, the witness of the alleged violation would have to testify.
Often this comes up when there are two officers involved, one who operates the radar gun and the other one actually writes the ticket. The officer who didn't see the violation will issue the ticket and reference the other officer who operated the radar. Then at trial, both officers would have to testify. Obviously, the testimony of the radar operator would be necessary to sustain a conviction.
But in short, an officer in NY may issue a ticket without seeing the violation as long as he is acting on "information and belief."
Another example is when there is an accident, officers often issue tickets even though they were not there.