No one likes to be stopped by the police while they are driving. Drivers
may think they've done nothing to warrant a traffic stop and it can
be an inconvenience that costs a person both their time and money. It
is not uncommon for a person to get upset, frustrated or even angry after
being cited for a traffic violation in New York.
One man recently found himself in this situation after he was stopped and
ticketed for speeding. Upset at the high cost of the offense, he expressed
his displeasure by writing a note to send in with his payment. This small
gesture of anger quickly spun out of control and the man ended up being
charged with aggravated harassment.
According to reports, the 22-year-old man received his speeding ticket
and was mailing in his payment but added a personal message with the payment.
The message contained profane language and vulgar expressions of his distaste
for the town in which he was ticketed.
After the mailing was received, the young man was informed that his payment
had been rejected. He was ordered to appear in court, was arrested, charged,
fingerprinted and jailed for over four hours before being released on
bail. He was accused of violating a state statute and was charged with
aggravated harassment because he had allegedly attempted to harass, threaten,
alarm or annoy someone with his written communication. Eventually, the
charges were dismissed.
Instead of simply letting the issue go and chalking the note up to the
frustrations of paying a traffic ticket, authorities ended up blowing
the entire matter out of proportion. The young man at the center of this
debacle has fired back and filed a lawsuit in an attempt to challenge
the legality of the statute under which he was charged. He is also asking
for compensation for all the time he had to spend in legal proceedings
to deal with the matter.
Traffic tickets can be at best annoying and inconvenient. However, it does
not take much before a traffic ticket turns into criminal charges, arrests
and even the suspension or revocation of a driver's license. People
who wish to protect themselves from unnecessary and inappropriate punishment
because of a traffic ticket may want to speak with an attorney.
Source: The New York Times, "
Arrested After His Vulgar Response to Traffic Ticket, Man Files Suit," Marc Santora, June 13, 2013