New York Traffic Defense Lawyer

Experienced Attorney Representing Drivers Throughout Upstate New York

James F. Hughes

An arrest can be stressful. Many people are rightly concerned about their interactions with the police and the criminal justice system. If you are arrested in upstate New York for a traffic violation, such as speeding, cell phone violations, or unlicensed operator, and you want a finding of not guilty, you will need prompt intervention by a skillful attorney. James F. Hughes has 50 years of experience in traffic, DWI, and criminal cases, including 20 years with the New York State Police and seven years as a City Court Judge in Mechanicville. As a Saratoga traffic defense lawyer, he understands the emotions that you may be feeling, and he can minimize or eliminate the negative impact that an arrest can have on the rest of your life.

Mr. Hughes is a former zone sergeant with the New York State Police who understands how a police officer thinks when making an initial stop or an arrest. He can vigorously defend a motorist who has been arrested for a traffic violation or for reckless driving. Mr. Hughes has an office in upstate New York. He is highly respected and trusted by the legal community and understands the workings of all of the local courts.

Mr. Hughes is also a former Mechanicville City Court Judge. He is deeply familiar with every aspect of the judicial process, from arraignment to sentencing. He understands both plea bargaining and taking a criminal case to trial. Mr. Hughes always treats clients with dignity and respect. You can be confident that you will be in good hands if you hire Mr. Hughes to defend you.

Traffic Tickets

You can receive a traffic ticket for speeding, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, or other traffic violations. There is usually a minimum and maximum fine for a traffic violation. The court has discretion when setting the fine within the statutory range. A traffic defense attorney in the Saratoga area can help a driver avoid a fine or urge the judge to issue a lenient fine.

Once a traffic ticket is issued, you will likely appear in court for the first time. You can plead guilty or not guilty by completing a waiver on the traffic ticket. If you plead guilty, you have waived an attorney and trial, but this is generally not wise unless the charge is very minor and straightforward. When you plead guilty by mail, a fine and surcharge will be assessed, and if you do not pay them, your driver’s license can be suspended. A trial will be scheduled if you plead not guilty. Mr. Hughes is an experienced traffic attorney and former New York State Trooper who spent many years patrolling roads and highways in upstate New York. His background and firsthand knowledge of how police officers think, as well as his years as a City Court judge, provide him with a unique advantage in fighting traffic tickets.

Driving With a Suspended License

One of the most common traffic violations that our Saratoga criminal attorney handles involves driving with a suspended license. In New York, driving with a suspended license is called aggravated unlicensed operation. First-degree aggravated unlicensed operation is the most serious form of this offense. It can be charged if you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs while having a prior second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation offense. It also can be charged if you committed this offense while 10 or more suspensions had been imposed on 10 different dates for failure to appear, pay a fine, or answer. It also can be charged if you perpetrated the offense while your license was permanently revoked due to three DWI convictions, two DWI convictions resulting in death or serious injury, or three refusals to take a chemical test. First-degree AUO is a felony, for which you can be fined $1,000-$5,000 and for which you can spend up to four years in prison.

Criminal Defense

Crimes can be divided into misdemeanors and felonies. All crimes need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a tough burden. Even so, you should consult an experienced attorney about your situation because prosecutors usually do not bring charges unless they have built a reasonably plausible case. Usually, the first appearance before a judge is the arraignment. At the arraignment, if you ask for the assistance of an attorney, the court is supposed to stop the arraignment process so that you can contact an attorney. The prosecution and the defense usually negotiate to figure out whether the matter can be resolved through a plea bargain rather than a trial. Not every case should be resolved by a plea bargain, and you should hire an attorney who is ready to go to trial if needed.

Consult an Experienced Traffic Defense Lawyer in the Saratoga Area

If you are arrested, the first thing you should do is call me before you say anything that might incriminate you.  You need the best legal defense when you are dealing with a matter that can affect your driving license, your job, and your family.  A violation of the vehicle and traffic law arrest could have a serious negative impact on the rest of your life.

I am experienced, committed, knowledgeable, and honest.  My experience is your best defense.

If you are charged with a traffic violation, or another felony or misdemeanor, you should consult experienced attorney James F. Hughes. He represents people throughout upstate New York, Interstate I-87, including Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren and Washington Counties. Call us at (518) 371-1299 or toll-free at (888) 371-1299, or use our online form to set up a free consultation.

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