Address: P. O. Box 326, 77 Main Street, 2nd Floor,
Chatham, NY 12037
Phone: (518) 392-5440
Fax: (518) 392-0043
Court Calendar: Wednesdays
Traffic Tickets: Prosecuted by Special
Town Prosecutor (State Police) or local officers.
Criminal Prosecutions: Columbia County District Attorney's Office
Judges:Hon. Doris T. Appel & Hon. Michael A. Hart
Chatham, NY Town Court Profile
Traffic Enforcement & Prosecution
The Taconic Parkway runs through extensive sections of the Town of Chatham. 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, local police 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 has retained a "special town prosecutor" to deal with tickets written by the
NYS police. 95% of state police tickets are adjudicated through plea bargains with the special prosecutor. The special
prosecutor and both judges can be challenging to deal with on speeding violations, particularly those involving
speeds more than 20 mph over the limit or over 80 mph on the Taconic.
Local police officers generally prosecute their own
tickets, though the special prosecutor may substitute for them. Again, most tickets are resolved through plea bargains.
a modest line of people waiting to talk to the prosecutor 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.
about having the Law Office of Glenn Magnell defend your speeding ticket or DWI charge,, click here.
Criminal Law Enforcement
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.
Glenn W. Magnell
Unlike many other defense attorneys I am NOT a former Assistant District Attorney nor a former police officer. I don't judge
our clients, I just defend them. In fact, I came to the practice of law as a second career. Prior to becoming an attorney
I spent 20 years as a business executive, eventually running a large subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company. While those years in private
business were challenging and rewarding, there came time that I wanted to do something different and more directly related to assisting
other people. So, I left the business world, went to law school, passed the New York State bar exam and became a practicing attorney.You can read my full bio here and meet our staff here.
If you'd like to read what some of past clients have thought of our work,
you can read about it here.
Defense Attorneys for Criminal, DWI, DUI & Traffic Offenses