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Failure To Yield Defenses In New York


If you have received a traffic ticket for failing to yield in New York, you might be wondering if you can fight it. It’s an understandable question – especially if you’re convinced that you didn’t actually do anything wrong. The real question is whether it’s worth putting the time and effort into fighting your ticket in court. In order to find out the answer, you might want to consider a few potential defenses to a “failure to yield” ticket in Rockland County. 

No Time to React 

The first defense is perhaps the most simple: You had no time to react. Even if you didn’t have the right of way, you can’t really be blamed for something that occurred within a few split seconds. Even the fastest humans do not have lightning-quick reflexes. Whether a pedestrian dashes out onto the road with no warning or a vehicle screeches around a corner at full speed, there might’ve been no time to avoid a collision. In order to yield, you must be aware of the other driver/pedestrian’s presence – and there must be enough time to actually make a conscious decision to yield. 

Disputing Right of Way 

Another obvious strategy is to dispute who really had the right of way. For example, a pedestrian who walks into a road outside of a designated crosswalk or Stop Sign is technically jaywalking. In many situations – such as a four-way stop procedure – the vehicle that arrives at the intersection first has the right of way. What happens when it’s not clear who arrived first – or whether a pedestrian should have crossed? These situations can pour enough doubt on your ticket that the courts will likely have no choice but to dismiss it. After all, the burden of proof lies with the accuser – and many right-of-way dilemmas are almost impossible to resolve. 

Roads Lines not Visible, Confusing Signage 

Sometimes, the condition of the road makes it very difficult to determine who has the right of way. For example, how do you know where to stop at an intersection if the white lines are barely visible? What happens if you approach a construction site with confusing signage that seems to direct vehicles into each other? What if a set of traffic lights malfunctions, causing vehicles to each assume that they have the right of way? These situations can present viable defenses for tickets. 

No Immediate Hazard 

Finally, you can attempt to argue that there was no immediate hazard when you entered the intersection. For example, you might have been making a left-hand turn at an intersection. After scanning the area, you may have determined that there was no immediate hazard. Perhaps you saw a vehicle far away down the road, but it was moving so slowly that you assumed that you had time to make the turn. After initiating the turn, however, the vehicle in the distance might have doubled its speed, to the point where it impacted you in the intersection before you could complete your turn. This type of situation may present a viable defense for a right-of-way ticket. 

Find a Qualified Traffic Ticket Lawyer in Rockland County 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified New York criminal defense lawyer, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous motorists fight their tickets with confidence. While there are many potential defenses to “failure to yield” tickets, the best option depends on your unique circumstances. To discuss these circumstances in more detail, be sure to book a consultation at your earliest convenience.




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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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New City, New York 10956

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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