Computer Print-Out New York Traffic Ticket
If you received a full-size white sheet of paper like the one below, this guide will help you better understand each section. → What If My Ticket Does Not Look Like This? → I Just Want To Hire A Lawyer.
What It Looks Like
The image below is a copy of a real computer print-out type traffic ticket from Albany County (ticket number and personal information altered or erased). Click on the image to view a full-size version in a new window, or if you would like to print a copy, and read the paragraphs below for an explanation of each section.
1. Ticket Number
A combination of letters and numbers makes up your ticket number or "UTT" number, which stands for "Uniform Traffic Ticket". A unique UTT number is printed on every ticket and courts and attorneys may use this as a reference for your case. If you can no longer read your UTT number, try contacting the court with your name and date of birth.
2. Personal, Vehicle & License Information
This section contains information regarding you, your vehicle, and your license. It includes: your first and last name; middle initial (M.I.); date of birth; sex; address (as it appears on your driver's license); whether or not a photo appears on your Driver's License; whether you are the owner/operator; license class; Client I.D. number (or driver's license number) and when it expires; license state; vehicle type, year, make, and color; vehicle plate number; where your automobile is registered (state) and when that registration expires. There is also a section on the first line for which police agency issued the citation as well as Local Police Code.
* A very common issue that we see with this section is in regards to your address. Typically, a court will use the address in this section to communicate with you regarding Not Guilty and Guity pleas, unanswered summons, and fines. This is usually the address DMV also has on file and they will use it to notify you of any pending suspensions or if you have to pay a Driver Assessment Fee. Consequently, if you no longer receive mail at this address you may be missing important communication that can lead to serious legal trouble. To avoid any problems, make sure DMV has your correct address on file and get a copy of your Driving History or Abstract of Operator's Record to verify that you have no pending suspensions, unpaid fines, unanswered tickets, or other unresolved license issues.
3. "THE PERSON DESCRIBED ABOVE IS CHARGED AS FOLLOWS"
This sections contains detailed information about which law you are accused of disobeying. The time and date of the alleged offense is listed first, followed by a full description of the violation, misdemeanor or felony charge. Look for "Section Sub Section" to identify the particular VTL law and then visit our Traffic Ticket list to learn about points, fines, and other penalties you may be facing. → See our traffic ticket list
You will also find a Description of the Violation, Arrest Type, place of occurrence - including city and county, and name and affirmation of the accusing local officer or State Trooper.
This section details the name and address of the court that will be handling your case. This is where you must send an answer to your ticket. In our example, this would be the Albany City Court - Traffic Part located at 24 Eagle St., Basement, Albany, NY 12207. If you have questions about your case or need a new copy of your ticket, try contacting the court clerk. Always be kind and courteous with the staff and they can be a big help.
5. Deadline For Responding To Your Charges
In New York state, a traffic citation is an accusation of disobeying some particular section of the law. No fine or penalty is imposed until and unless you are convicted. When you receive a ticket, you are required by law to answer the charges or, in other words, you must mail your ticket to the appropriate court with a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty. Some courts, like those in the Village of Ravena and Town of Coeymans require you, or your attorney, to personally appear in court to answer your charges. This rule also applies in most courts, including the city of Albany, for more serious misdemeanor charges and exceptionally high speeds.
This section indicates the deadline for entering your plea. Failure to do so by this date can result in the suspension of your driving privileges, applicable Lift Suspension fees, and additional criminal charges like A.U.O. (Aggravated Unlicensed Operator). In fact, the majority of our clients charged with this misdemeanor have old, open tickets that they have failed to properly answer.
6. How To Answer Your Ticket
You can answer your ticket with a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty by completing Section A or Section B, respectively. Before doing so, though, you may want to consult with a traffic lawyer. Penalties for traffic tickets in New York state can be unexpectedly harsh and appealing a Guilty plea can be very difficult. Most firms, including ours, will offer free consultations where an attorney can tell you what fines, points, etc. apply to your particular case. You can also read our traffic ticket list for detailed information. → Traffic Ticket list
Once you decide whether to plead Guilty or Not Guilty, simply fill out the appropriate section on your ticket with your name, address, date, and signature and mail it to the court. You can also include a short statement regarding the circumstances of your stop but, again, you may want to first consult with a traffic lawyer because any comments you make may be used against you or be considered an admission of guilt.
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