Motions to Vacate a Guilty Plea

Unaware of the serious and long-term consequences, many New York State motorists simply mail in a guilty plea to a traffic ticket, moving violation or speeding ticket. For a number of reasons (including convictions to prior speeding related offenses and/or the accumulation of too many points on your license within an 18 month period) a motorist's unwitting plea of guilty to a traffic violation or speeding ticket may result in a suspension and/or revocation of the their driver's license by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Nonetheless, even in these situations, you may still be able to do something about it.

Mr. McMillan may be able to obtain a Court Order allowing you to withdraw your guilt plea and restore your traffic or speeding ticket to the active status calendar. There are various reasons for vacating a plea of guilty, including a motorist's ignorance of the severe and long-term ramifications of a guilty plea as well as the possibility that the motorist actually was not guilty but was not fully aware of all possible defenses to the traffic or speeding ticket.

Mr. McMillan, an attorney whose main principal office is located in Westchester County, has appeared in and had success in most of the major Westchester County Courts, including Armonk, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Chappaqua, Cortlandt Manor, Elmsford, Harrison, Greenburgh, Larchmont, Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Portchester, Rye, Scarsdale, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, White Plains, Yonkers and Yorktown.

Some of the other Courts, outside of Westchester County, in which Mr. McMillan has appeared in, and has had success, include: East Fishkill, Pawling, Ramapo, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck and Wappinger's Falls (Dutchess County), Goshen, Highland Falls, Highland Manor, Newburgh and Tuxedo (Orange County), Brewster, Cold Spring, Garrison and Mahopac (Putnam County), Spring Valley, Stony Point, Ramapo and Nyack (Rockland County) Kingston, New Paltz, Plattekill, and Saugerties (Ulster County).

Once an Order to Vacate is signed by the presiding judge in the principality where the driver plead guilty to the traffic ticket, the Clerk of the Court will forward it to the driver improvement section of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notifying them to vacate the motorist's conviction and restore the driver's license, assuming there are no other suspensions or revocations on the driver's license.

While Mr. McMillan cannot guarantee that a Court will allow you to vacate your previously entered plea of guilty, he has had a high degree of success in the past. Providing that the guilty plea was entered into in ignorance, or without being fully apprised of your rights to a defense or the long-term consequences, the Courts may entertain it. If you drive for a living (such as bus drivers, taxi drivers, or other commercial licensees) and this guilty plea to the traffic ticket may cause you to lose your license for a significant period of time, it is well worth your consideration.

Time is of the essence in attempting to overturn a driver’s prior conviction for a traffic related offense.

Many New York criminal courts will not allow a motion to vacate a prior guilty plea to a traffic ticket which is over one year old (although some courts will allow it).

In addition, if the driver convicted of a prior ticket was represented by a lawyer at the same time of the prior guilty plea, it must be shown that the prior lawyer did not (or did not adequately) explain the driver’s rights and the ramifications of the prior guilty plea to them.

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