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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Home Government Holding Court: Case @ Fleeing Rye PD Officer

Holding Court: Case @ Fleeing Rye PD Officer

Holding Court is a new series by retired Rye City Court Judge Joe Latwin. Latwin retired from the court in December 2022 after thirteen years of service to the City.

By Joe Latwin

Where I Work showcases people who work in Rye. The feature is inspired in part by exploring how the pandemic has impacted our work environment and part by wanting to understand how and where people work inside the City of Rye. Today we meet library director Chris Shoemaker. Do you know someone we should interview for Where I Work? Tell us!
(PHOTO: Judge Joe Latwin)

MyRye.com recently reported on the February 21st Rye PD arrest of Reinaldo L Gomez, age 46, of Shelton, Connecticut for unlawfully fleeing a police officer. Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved.

An out of state driver was arrested and charged by Rye PD.  The charges are based upon the defendant’s alleged disregarding a stop sign, failing to stop before proceeding through an intersection, failing to stop when the police activated the patrol car’s lights and siren, failing to comply with the police’s orders, and driving with a suspended driver’s license.  At this point, these are only the allegations of the police and have not been established as facts.  The driver was charged with violating the following sections of law:

Vehicle & Traffic Law (“VTL”) 511(a)(1) (Aggravated Unlicensed Operation)

(PHOTO: Reinaldo L Gomez, age 46, of Shelton, Connecticut was arrested by Rye PD Tuesday for unlawfully fleeing a police officer.)
(PHOTO: Reinaldo L Gomez, age 46, of Shelton, Connecticut was arrested by Rye PD on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 for unlawfully fleeing a police officer.)

VTL 511(a)(1) says, “A person is guilty of the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of  a  motor  vehicle  in  the  third  degree  when  such person operates a motor vehicle upon a public highway while knowing or having reason to know that  such  person’s  license  or privilege  of operating such motor vehicle in this state or privilege of obtaining a  license to  operate  such  motor  vehicle  issued  by  the commissioner  is  suspended,  revoked  or  otherwise  withdrawn  by  the commissioner.” The police asset that the driver’s license was suspended because he failed to pay child support. Failing to submit to a blood alcohol test in a DWI case, failure to pay child support, failure to pay State taxes, and failure to answer traffic tickets can result in suspension of a driver’s license. Often, the driver may mitigate this charge by coming to an agreement with: the Family Court that ordered the child support; an agreement with the State Department of Taxation and Finance covering the taxes due; or by arranging to pay the fines imposed or plea to the charges that were not answered in the Court that had jurisdiction over the traffic tickets.

If a person is convicted of violating VTL 511(a)(1), the sentence of the court must be: (i) a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor  more  than  five  hundred  dollars; or (ii)  a term of imprisonment of not more than thirty days; or (iii) both such fine and imprisonment.  No points are assessed since the driver’s license is already suspended.

VTL 1172(a) (Stop Sign)

VTL 1172(a) says, “every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or in the  event  there  is  no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway . . . ”

If a person is convicted of violating VTL 1172, for a first offense shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen days or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles will impose three points on the driver’s license.

VTL 1212 (Reckless Driving).

Reckless driving shall mean driving in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.

Every person violating VTL 1212 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a period of imprisonment of not more than 30 days, a fine of not more than three hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. There is also a mandatory surcharge of $200.

Penal Law 195.05 (Obstructing Governmental Administration).

A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other  governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from  performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any independently unlawful act.

Obstructing governmental administration is a class A misdemeanor carrying a sentence of up to 364 days, a fine of up to $1,000, plus a mandatory surcharge of $200, and a period of Probation of two or three years.  The defendant will also have to have his or her DNA taken and pay a $50 DNA databank fee.

The defendant is due in Court on Tuesday, March 7th.

Note: MyRye.com will run the follow-up from Holding Court: Domestic Violence Cases on domestic violence TOPs (temporary order of protection) next week.


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