Of the total summonses issued during the full year of 2019 where 19-190 was the top charge, 56 percent were dismissed, the numbers show.
The city says this rate of dismissal is comparable to the overall dismissal rate at OATH, which adjudicates summonses issued by more than a dozen city agencies. And while summonses can get tossed out for a number of reasons, street safety advocates say one factor is that police officers are not required to attend OATH summons hearings, and the victims involved in a crash are not typically notified or involved in the hearing, either. That means decisions are often rendered based on a driver’s own testimony and what little information an officer included on the written ticket. Summonses can also get dismissed if an officer filled out a ticket incorrectly, or failed to include the right information on it.
“No tribunal could ever adjudicate these charges meaningfully without the cops showing up,” Steve Vaccaro, a personal injury lawyer who helped advocate for 19-190’s passage, told City Limits last year.
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