Copyright 2010: Law Offices of Glenn W. Magnell All Rights Reserved.
Dutchess County, NY occupies 825 sq. mi. between the Hudson River and the NY/CT border.   It extends from the City of Beacon in the south for more than 45 miles north.
The county includes two small cities, Beacon and Poughkeepsie, and more than 30 other town or village municipalities.  The western edge of the county is heavily settled and developed with very large commerical shopping districts along NYS Route 9.  The rest of the county is largely rural with substantial farming activity.
The main north/south roads are Rt. 9, Rt. 22 and the Taconic Parkway.  I-84 runs east/west along the souther border of the county.
Polices Agencies
Both Poughkeepsie and Beacon have fulltime police departments as do almost all of the other towns and villages along the Rt. 9 corridor in western Dutchess as do the towns and villages in the southern part of the county.  Many of the smaller and more rural towns in the northern and eastern parts of the county do not have full time police departments and rely on the NYS Police and/or the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office for traffic and law enforcement.

Traffic Enforcement

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.  Speed enforcement is particularly intense in the towns of Fishkill and East Fishkill.  Nearly all speeding tickets are written for speeds of  more than 10 mph over the limit.  Speed enforcement is almost exclusively done through stationary or moving radar with occasional two officer laser speed traps.


Enforcement along the Taconic Parkway is almost exclusively handled by officers from "Troop K" of the NYS Police (there is some occasional traffic enforcement by the Dutchess 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 radar 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 particularly intense in the towns of East Fishkill, LaGrange, Clinton, Stanford and Milan.


Traffic law enforcement along Rt. 9 is largely done by local town, village or city police departments, although both NYS Police and Dutchess County Sheriff's patrol Rt. 9 on a regular basis, particularly on the section north of Poughkeepsie.  Due to heavy traffic load on Rt. 9 below Poughkeepsie 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.  Enforcement is done by NYS Police, Dutchess Sheriff's Department and local police agencies.  Radar speed enforcement by stationary or moving units is common along all of Rt. 22, though moving patrol car enforcement is most common.


Driving While Intoxicated (DWI / DUI) Enforcement

In 2009 there were nearly 3000 arrests for alcohol or drug related impaired or intoxicated driving (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-D) in Dutchess County.  Both the NYS Police, Dutchess 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" violations of the law and, as a result are prosecuted by the Dutchess County District Attorney's office.  DWI cases are handled by 3 "DWI prosecutors" who make all of the 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 issued in Dutchess County typically leads to several thousand 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 Dutchess County DA's office.  For more information about other vehicle related criminal offenses, click here.


Dutchess County Courts-Adjudication

Non-criminal traffic tickets are all prosecuted in local city, 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 Dutchess County District Attorney's office.  Felony DWI cases are prosecuted in Dutchess County Court, which is in Poughkeepsie and handled by the Dutchess District Attorney's county court unit.


The busiest traffic courts in Dutchess County are: East Fishkill Town Court (E. Fishkill, NY).  LaGrange Town Court (LaGrangeville, NY), Stanford Town Court (Stanfordville, NY), Wappinger Town Court (Wappinger Falls, NY), Poughkeepsie Town Court, (Poughkeepsie, NY), Hyde Park Town Court, (Hyde Park, NY), Rhinebeck Town and Village Courts (Rhinebeck, NY), Poughkeepsie City Court and Milan Town Court (Milan, NY). 


Each of these courts has its own "traffic prosecutor" for NYS Police tickets.  They all have ifferent policies as to plea bargain reductions, fines, etc.  All of these courts permit attorneys to apear 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 Dutchess County Courts, click here.


Dutchess County Traffic Enforcement
Frequently Asked Traffic Law Questions, click here
Traffic Law FAQ's, click here
DMV Points & Fines Chart, click here

For detailed information about the busiest town courts along the Taconic Parkway select below:

Town of Yorktown-Westchester County - court profile 

Town of Kent-Putnam County - court profile 

Town of East Fishkill-Dutchess County - court profile

Town of LaGrange-Dutchess County - court profile

Town of Clinton-Dutchess County - court profile

Town of Stanford-Dutchess County - court profile

Town of Milan-Dutchess County - court profile

Town of Gallatin-Dutchess County - court profile

Town of Claverack-Columbia County - court profile

Town of Ghent-Columibia County - court profile

Town of Chatham-Columbia County - court profile 

For detailed info on Putnam County click here

For detailed info on Dutchess County click here

For detailed info on Columbia County click here

DMV Points & Fines Chart, click here
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Law Offices of Glenn W. Magnell
Aggressive, Professional, Affordable Legal Defense
162 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924
Phone: 845-294-0585