The Kessler Law Firm

What A New York City Cop Must Testify To At Your Speeding Hearing

Speeding Chart (MPH over posted limit)


1 to 10  3 POINTS


11 to 20 4 POINTS


21 to 30 6 POINTS


31 to 40 8 POINTS


Over 40 11 POINTS

A speeding conviction in New York is serious. It will always carry points and a large fine. Remember 11 points accumulated in any 18-month period can result in a suspension. But just because you are written a speeding ticket by a police officer does not mean you are automatically going to receive points. You can plead not guilty and put up a defense. 


In the 5 boroughs, a police officer must testify to certain elements in a speeding ticket trial for you to be found guilty. In every case a police officer must establish the date of the offense, time, direction of travel, and a proper identification of the motorist. If one of these elements is not testified to by the police officer, move for a dismissal based on this. After these elements are established, a police officer has speeding-specific elements he/she needs to testify to. Note: Police officers may testify to each element in any order as they see fit. 


A police officer must testify about the type of device that was used to clock the alleged speed (i.e., a pro-laser unit). It must be established that the device was calibrated and in proper working order at the time it clocked a motorist’s speed. 


A police officer must testify that prior to clocking a motorist’s speed with the device, he/she made an independent speed estimate of the motorist’s speed. Estimated miles per hour (mph) and the recorded distance (in feet) must be testified to. The independent estimate must be plus or minus 5 mph of the device’s actual recorded speed. 


The actual recorded speed that the device records must be testified to with the feet at which the device “locked in” the motorist’s car. 


Next, a police officer must testify to a speed sign being posted or unposted. If there is a speed sign posted in a designated area, the police officer must describe the sign (i.e., Speed limit 50 mph, Speed Checked by Radar), testify that the sign was clear, graffiti free, and unobstructed, and that the motorist had to have passed the sign prior to the police officer locking in the motorist’s car. If there is no posted sign, then the speed limit is automatically 25 mph and the officer must testify that he/she surveyed the surrounding area (usually no more than a mile in any direction) and found no posted sign. 


Lastly, a police officer needs to testify to their training in the usage of the speed device and their training in independent speed estimates. Usually, a month and year is sufficient for a police officer to establish they were properly trained in these two kinds of speed readings. 


As previously mentioned, if a police officer fails to address an element in their direct testimony, move for a dismissal. Always feel free to call The Kessler Law Firm. Kevin Kessler has handled 100’s of speeding trials.