I drive a four door station wagon and the trunk was full of camping gear all the way. The gear blocked the view out the rear windshield but not the rear windows as I had passengers in the back seats. I do have side mirrors and could see the roadway behind me fine with them. Was pulled over and given two tickets, one for that and one for not wearing a seatbelt. I plead guilty and on the payment form for the obstruction of view it says Veh Equip Violation (VTL 0375 30). I called the court and told them I wanted to change my plea to not guilty and they said I had to file a motion to change my plea. I most likely will get a lawyer and do this but was just wondering if its worth it or if I should just keep my guilty plea and pay the fines. Also should I get a lawyer from NH or NY I live in NH.
Hi, first things first, you need an attorney from NY. A New Hampshire attorney is not allowed to practice in NY.
It is definitely a case that is worth a shot. The pertinent part of VTL 0375 is:: "It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle with any object placed or hung in or upon the vehicle, except required or permitted equipment of the vehicle, in such a manner as to obstruct or interfere with the view of the operator through the windshield, or to prevent him from having a clear and full view of the road and condition of traffic behind such vehicle"
As long as we can argue that you had a clear and full view of the road behind your vehicle by way of your side mirrors it is winnable. It is only with respect to the front windshield that you cannot have any obstructions.
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If you do get a lawyer, you will need to get a lawyer that is licensed to practice in NY. It is usually better to get a lawyer that is familiar with the court that is involved, but if you know a lawyer near your home that is licensed in NY, then it is up to you.
As for whether or not it is worth it, that would depend on the fine that you had to pay by pleading guilty and how much an attorney would cost. This carries no points so you will have to do your own risk/reward analysis.
As my colleagues said, if you want to hire an attorney to represent you in this matter, then the attorney must be licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The maximum fine on this charge is $150.00 with a mandatory New York State Surchage of $50.00 or $55.00, depending on whether a City Court or Justice Court is hearing the case, and 0 points. You can certainly fight this on principle, but I think you'd get a pyrrhic victory at best because it would cost you more to hire an attorney than the maximum fine, and this is assuming you don't travel to court yourself to appear.
If you decide to hire an attorney, you will need to hire an attorney who is licensed to practice in New York State.
Because the equipment violation carries no points, whether or not to withdraw the guilty plea depends on what your goals are. It is likely you will pay more in attorney fees than you did for the original fine.
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