If you have been in an accident and received a summons or infraction of the Vehicle and Traffic laws, be aware that these charges may be used against you at the trial regarding your injuries.
If you have been issued a summons, you must consult with an attorney to oppose the summons. Your attorney should recommend you to a lawyer whose specialty is in the area of traffic summons. (There are a handful of such lawyers, for example, Jamie Birch in Staten Island is an excellent and experienced lawyer in that area of law. He is in Traffic Court almost every day and understands the nuances of traffic law).
If you successfully contest the infraction, then the charges cannot be used against you in your accident case. If you lose, t hen the judge will instruct the jury that the conviction should be used by them to determine whether you were negligent or not. For example, if you were charged (and convicted) with failure to wear a seatbelt, then the jury can legally presume that you (in fact) were not wearing a seatbelt. This fact will be used (for example) to determine to what degree you are responsible for your own injuries and/or your failure to mitigate your injuries.
The conviction must have some nexus with your alleged culpable conduct in order for it to be used against you. For example, if you were convicted of Driving While Intoxicated, then clearly your ability to operate a motor vehicle may have been impaired. Conversely, if you are convicted of not having an insurance card in your possession, clearly that has no bearing on how you operated your motor vehicle.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island, please feel free to contact an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Charles DeStefano. With over 25 years of experience, we can provide you with the service you deserve.