When your brother or husband is a cop, should you get preferred treatment when it comes to speeding tickets? What about if you’re an important community member or official? Well, the practice of trashing tickets or “ticket fixing” has been around for ages and was long seen as a professional courtesy, sort of a favor for important people. But now, the practice is under the spotlight and it seems many rank and file officers may take the brunt of the investigation.
According to multiple news sources out of NYC, a grand jury investigation is underway in the Bronx, looking into ticket fixing. Depending on where you look, anywhere from a handful to hundreds of officers are being looked at.
The investigation is said to have begun when a recorded telephone call in a drug investigation revealed a father calling his cop-son to get a traffic ticket thrown out. Internal Affairs got involved but local prosecutors have yet to confirm or deny the formal investigation.
It’s been suggested that Union officials were the ones to go to when you wanted a ticket to go away. For that reason, the union has been taking a lot of heat. This week the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association spoke out stating the long standing practice “is one of courtesy, not corruption.” He goes on to say the issue shouldn’t be a criminal or disciplinary issue at all but one handled by a shift in practices.
He may be right in that targeting rank and file officers for their role in the practice might unfairly penalize some. After all, if an officer is instructed by a superior to not show up for a court date, he likely won’t show up for that court date, whether to avoid potential consequences for disobeying an order or simply because that’s the way things have always been done.
Some have said as many as two dozen people could face charges and hundreds more could face disciplinary action. But will this “witch hunt” as it’s been characterized really have a major impact on the culture that has encouraged this practice for decades?
Most of us caught speeding or in another ticketable offense, have to deal with the consequences. We aren’t offered a free pass and instead are left to navigate the courts and hope for the best. The same can be said when accused of a crime.
A criminal defense lawyer can help make sense of things when you are facing criminal charges. Whether you’re a well known community figure or simple someone who made a mistake, you should be treated fairly in the court system. Contact our attorneys today for a consultation on your criminal case and to see how we might be able to help.