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Letter: Fees for 'innocent' in Suffolk

The Suffolk County seal.

The Suffolk County seal.

I can't comprehend why someone who is found not guilty in Suffolk County Traffic Court must pay an administrative fee when a ticket was given in error ["Official defends ticket fee policy," News, Nov. 22].

A finding of not guilty implies that the person was given the ticket because the issuing officer was wrong in writing the ticket. This is a miscarriage of justice, and it violates the spirit of the law. In many cases, the person who was wrongly ticketed had to come to court, lose a day from work and then prove to the court that he or she was innocent. It's just not fair or moral.

This ludicrous administrative fee also potentially denies the accused the right to defense counsel, if the fee would make it unaffordable to hire a lawyer.

There is a better solution: Save money. Open the court only two or three days a week and have the judges work seven hours a day. This is how traffic court works in New York City, and that court handles an enormous number of summonses.

Thank the Lord that I live in Nassau County and am a careful driver. I will just have to be extra, extra careful in Suffolk County. I do not want to get a ticket there for DWIS -- Driving While Innocent in Suffolk.

Stanford M. Altschul, Oceanside

Editor's note: The writer is a retired attorney.

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