Putnam County, NY occupies 246 sq. mi. between the Hudson River and the NY/CT border. It extends from the
Westchester County border in the south for more than 15 miles north to the border with Dutchess County, NY.
The county is
made up of 9 towns and village municipalities. There are no cities in Putnam County.icipalities. The county has a population
of just over 100,000 and most of the communiteis would be classified as "exurban" residential areas.
The main north/south roads
are Rt. 9, Rt. 22 and the Taconic Parkway. I-84 runs east/west along the northern border of the county.
all of the other towns and villages in Putnam County have municipal police departments. Tthe NYS Police and/or the Putnam
County Sheriff's Office engage in extensive traffic and law enforcement activities.
Traffic law enforcement
along all of I-84 is exclusively handled by officers from "Troop T" of the NYS Police. The speed limit on I-84 is mostly 65
mph, though there are sections with 55 mph limits. Nearly all speeding tickets are written for speeds of more
than 10 mph over the limit. Speed enforcement is almost excluviely done through stationary or moving radar with occassional
two officer laser speed traps. Speed enforcement is very intense in the towns of Southeast (Brewster, NY) and Kent (Kent Lakes,
Enforcment along the Taconic Parkway is almost exclusively handled by officers from "Troop K" of the NYS Police (there is
some occassional traffic enforcement by the Putnam Sheriff's Department). The speed limit along the whole length of 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 along the whole length of the parkway. The Taconic's winding, hilly path creates numerous
opportunities for radar or laser speed traps that cannot be detected in advance. Enforcement is partuclarly intense in the towns
of Kent, Putnam Valley and Philipstown.
Traffic law enforcement along Rt. 9 and Rt. 9D is largely done by local town and village departments,
although both NYS Police and Putnam County Sheriff's patrol Rt. 9 on a regular basis. Stationary radar traps are less
frequent and most enforcement is by moving radar or "pacing." Speed limits along Rt. 9 vary between 30 mph and 55 mph and change
frequently as the road passes through more congested areas.
Rt. 22 is a north/south artery close to the NY/CT border. Speed
limits vary from between 30 mph and 55 mph. Enforcment is done by NYS Police, Putnam Sheriff's Department and local police
agencies. Radar speed enforcement by stationary or moving units is common along all of Rt. 22, though moving partrol car
enforcement is most common.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI / DUI) Enforcement
In 2009 there were nearly 800
arrests for alcohol or drug related impaired or intoxicated cdriving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Putnam County. Both the NYS
Police, Putnam County Sheriff's Department and all of the local police forces made numerous arrests. Most arrests
occurred after dark with many taking place after midnight. Police officers assume that many driver's who are out after
midnight 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.
All of these offenses are "criminal" violtions of the law and, as a result
are prosectured by the Putnam County District Attorney's office. DWI cases are handled by local Asst. District Attorneys
assigned to each local court, they make all final decisions about plea bargaining, prosecution, etc. For more
information about DWI, click here.
Other Vehicle Related Crimes
Aside from DWI arrests, the very large number of traffic
tickets isssued in Putnam County typically leads to several hundred other vehicle related criminal arrests. Most common
of these is "Aggravated Unlicsed Operation" and "Driving with Suspended Registration." Both are generally charged as misdemeanor
crimes and can result in a permanent criminal record if a driver is convicted as charged. In most cases, these charges can be
reduced to non-criminal traffic violations by an attorney familiar with the polices of the Putnam County DA's office. For
more information about other vehicle related criminal offenses, click here.
Putnam County Courts-Adjudication
traffic tickets are all prosecuted in local town or village courts. If the tickets were issued by a NYS trooper they are
prosecuted, in most localities, by a "special prosecutor" appointed by the District Attorney's office. In some rural communities
there is no prosecutor and the tickets are handled by the troopers themselves. However, this can create special problems since
the troopers are not allowed to plea bargain.
Misdemeanor criminal violations are also handled in local courts, but prosecution
is done by the Putnam County District Attorney's office. Felony DWI cases are prosecutored in Putnam County Court,
which is in Carmel and handled by the Putnam District Attorney's county court unit.
The busiest traffic courts in Putnam
County are: Kent Town Court (Kent Lakes, NY). Southeast Town Court (Brewster, NY), Putnam Valley Town
Court (Putnam Valley and Cold Spring Village Court (Cold Spring, NY).,
Each of these courts (except Cold Spring Village( has
its own "traffic prosecutor" for NYS Police tickets. They all have different policies as to plea bargain reductions, fines,
etc. All of these courts permit attorneys to appear on behalf of clients charged with non-criminal violations, without the Defendant
being required to attend the court session. For address and phone number information on all Putnam County Courts,
Law Offices of Glenn W. Magnell
Aggressive, Professional, Affordable Legal Defense
162 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924