New York State does not make their speeding and traffic tickets simple and easy to understand and digest, yet it is important to understand the content of your ticket since many of your rights and
obligations are contained therein. Inasmuch as a complete and detailed explanation of all forms and sections of the NYS Traffic Tickets(s) can be found by clicking on this link, this blog post is designed to only highlight the most important parts of the ticket you need to immediately digest so that you can converse about the matter with our attorneys for a free phone consultation.
Identification of motorist and Vehicle
You will find the section that identifies the motorist and the vehicle driven on the top of all hand written tickets and on the upper left side of all computer printed tickets. It identifies the motorist and vehicle by the same pedigree information that is on the license and registration you gave the police officer.
Identification of the Charges
On either the hand written ticket or computer generated ticket, this is directly below the motorist and vehicle pedigree. It contains the date and time of the stop, identifies the particular law book the charge is out of (either NY Vehicle and Traffic Law or NY Transportation Law), the particular statute charged (i.e., 1180D, speeding), whether it is an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony, and if speeding the speed limit and the speed charged.
Identification of the Court
This is probably the most important piece of information we need to consult you on your case. In New York, traffic tickets are not prosecuted in a county wide court, but in the local Town, Village, or City Courts, and in the case of NYC, Rochester, and Buffalo, then the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles Traffic Violations Bureau. There are over 1,400 local cities, towns, and villages in New York, so it is critical that you triangulate to this section of the ticket to determine where your case is being prosecuted.
On hand written tickets this information is on the bottom of the ticket just above the all capital letter warning regarding the possible consequences of entering a guilty plea. On a computer generated ticket, this is on the bottom left corner of the ticket. Notice also that there is language underneath the name and address of the court which states “Return by Mail Before or In Person or Must Appear in Person,” and there are 2 check circles for either appearing by mail or in person.
If you are charged with a crime (misdemeanor or felony) the check circle for “Must Appear In Person” will be checked. This means that this is an actual COURT DATE, and if you miss it your license will be suspended and a warrant can be issued for your arrest.
If however it is an infraction (i.e., speeding or other moving or non-moving non criminal matter), then the circle “Return by Mail Before or In Person on” will be checked. This is NOT A COURT DATE but a RETURN DATE. Even if you go to court your case will not be on the calendar. You will be told to come back on a different date. While there are consequences to failing to adhere to this date, no arrest warrant will be issued. Your license may be suspended, or the court may demand that you post a bond when you do appear. Many courts simply extend the date one time and send a warning letter.
We realize that this is all very confusing. The best thing to do as soon as you receive a NY speeding or traffic ticket is to immediately call our office for a no cost, no obligation phone consultation.