NYC Administrative Code 19-190: NYC’s Right of Way and Failure to Yield and Exercise Due Care

Any attorney who has represented a client arrested for violating New York City Administrative Code 19-190 will tell you that District Attorneys in New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx – are relentless and unwavering in their respective prosecutions for violating New York City’s Right of Way law. Equally concerning, many judges do not have issue with bare bone pleadings by prosecutors alleging that you, the accused, failed to exercise due care when you did not yield to a pedestrian or bicyclist. Often, the allegations as contained in an accusatory instrument appear on their face to be conclusory without reflecting how the arrestee failed in their exercising of due care. That being said, it is of critical import that when you are given a Desk Appearance Ticket or arrested in any other manner for NYC AC 19-190, your criminal lawyer and vehicular crimes attorney file a motion to dismiss to preserve your rights, challenge the allegations and put you in a position to best defend against an alleged Right of Way misdemeanor before it gains momentum. Simply, there is so much at stake.

NYC Administrative Code 19-190: Understanding the Crime of a Right of Way Violation

Pursuant to NYC Admin. Code 19-190(a), if you, a driver of a motor vehicle, fail to yield to a pedestrian or a person riding a bike when that person has the right of way, you are guilty of a non-criminal infraction. Although the penalty for committing NYC Admin. Code 19-190(a) is not a crime, there is a potential punishment of up to fifteen days in jail and / or a fine not exceeding fifty dollars. Not so bad, right?

Where the law starts to get ugly and you unequivocally need to hire the best criminal lawyer you believe can defend you in the face of New York City’s Right of Way law, if you are arrested for or accused of NYC Admin. Code 19-190(b) the penalties and sanctions are far more serious. According to this subsection, if the result of your failure to yield and exercise due care causes a physical injury, you face a greater fine of up to $250, but that is not very significant in the overall scheme of this charge. Upon conviction, you not only will have a misdemeanor criminal record, but a judge can also sentence you to imprisonment on Rikers Island for thirty days.

NYC Administrative Code 19-190: Other Considerations and Issues

Although it is often pled poorly by prosecutors in criminal court complaints due to the very low threshold for legal sufficiency, NYC Admin. Code 19-190(c) requires that where you failed to yield and / or you caused a physical injury, you also must have failed to exercise due care. Of course, as noted above, what courts and judges consider “due care” at the pleading stage routinely does not require that the People set forth speeds of vehicles, whether a driver was operating a vehicle recklessly (and how), or if an operator was on a phone, accelerating through a red light or acting carelessly in any other way.

NYC Administrative Code 19-190: Defense to Failure to Yield and Exercise Due Care

While filing a motion to dismiss for the prosecution’s failure to provide adequate notice of the criminal conduct and for legal insufficiency is critical, even if a judge denies such a motion know that the legal standard for dismissal at this stage is far less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Even before, or in conjunction with drafting a dismissal motion, as soon as you retain your criminal lawyer you must also begin collecting evidence. Is there any video of the street where the accident occurred? Did any witnesses see the accident and, if so, can they share any exculpatory evidence? How is it that the prosecution will prove you not only failed to yield, but what evidence exists of your failure to exercise due care? Again, were you on the phone, consuming alcohol, speeding excessively, looking somewhere other than ahead? Simply, there are countless questions to ask and equally as much evidence to potentially collect.

Don’t let law enforcement – the police or the District Attorney – paint you as a reckless, callous and indifferent person. Sometimes an accident as tragic as it may be, is just an accident. No matter what you are accused of, you have rights and its critical that you exercise them. When your life and career is on the line, let the New York criminal defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC use their experience, knowledge and advocacy to identify and implement your best defense.

Call our New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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