Cortlandt Town Court
(Cortlandt Justice Court)
Westchester County, New York
GENERAL TRAFFIC TICKET AND CRIMINAL COURT INFORMATION
The Town of Cortlandt, New York is located in the northwestern corner of Westchester County with a population of almost 40,000 residents. Cortlandt Manor Justice Court has preliminary jurisdiction over all criminal and traffic related cases arising out of incidents occurring in the town. Such cases are on the Court’s Tuesday and Thursday morning calendars. The Justice Court has trial jurisdiction over all cases if the jail term that can be imposed does not exceed one year (i.e.; a misdemeanor offense). The office of the Westchester County District Attorney prosecutes criminal cases.
Cortlandt Justice Court has preliminary jurisdiction over all criminal and traffic related cases arising out of incidents occurring in the town. Such cases are on the Court’s Wednesday evening calendar. The Justice Court has trial jurisdiction over all cases if the jail term that can be imposed does not exceed one year (i.e.; a misdemeanor offense). The office of the Westchester County District Attorney prosecutes criminal cases.
Cases charging the commission of a traffic infraction are filed in the Cortlandt Town Court if the alleged offense took place in the town’s jurisdiction. A plea of “not guilty” is required to either be timely filed with the court either by the motorist or their attorney if they so elect. There are basically two choices: a plea of “not guilty” which allows a defense to be presented in the case, versus, a plea of “guilty” which locks in a conviction of the offense “as charged” which closes the door on a negotiated resolution or trial.
In New York, an attorney may go to court on a motorist’s behalf without the motorist having to personally appear. The attorney may be able to negotiate a resolution for the motorist or set the matter down for a future trial date where the police officer is required to appear to testify and the defense puts on their case as well. On traffic infractions, trials are held before a judge or “bench”; not a jury.
In addition to fines and sur-charges imposed by the court, convictions for speeding tickets and other moving violations can create other problems for motorists, such as, increased insurance premiums and a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Driver’s Responsibility Assessment – additional fines or assessments owed directly to DMV based upon a motorist’s point accumulation. Additionally, eleven (11) points accumulated with eighteen (18) months will result in a license suspension or revocation depending upon one’s record of conviction. See Point Chart below:
NUMBER OF POINTS ASSIGNED BY DMV FOR COMMON TRAFFIC OFFENSES
License Violation Points
|Speeding (MPH over posted limit)|
1 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 30
31 to 40
|Failed to stop for school bus|
|Followed too closely (tailgating)|
|Inadequate brakes (private car)|
|Inadequate Brakes (employer’s vehicle)|
|Failed to yield right-of-way|
|Disobeying traffic control signal, STOP sign or YIELD sign|
|Railroad crossing violation|
|Improper passing, changing lane unsafely|
|Driving left of center, in wrong direction|
|Leaving scene of property damage incident|
|Child safety restraint violation|
|Improper cell phone use|
|Use of portable electronic device (“texting”)|
|Any other moving violation|