New York Traffic Ticket: Annotated NYS Ticket
This is a traffic ticket issued by the NYS Police:
Upper Left Portion
As you can see, this section details your “pedigree” information, such as your name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and information about the vehicle you were driving when you were stopped. Although blocked out, the large black-out at the top of the ticket is your ticket number, sometimes referred to as the “UTT” number.
The Charges Portion of your NYS Ticket
Just below the pedigree information, in the middle third of the left-hand column is the charge.
In this section, you will find the section of the Vehicle and Traffic Law you are alleged to have violated. Here, you will find basic details of the offense including:
- Date and time
- Location of the offense
- V & T section
- Name of the officer that ticketed you
- If a speeding ticket: the speed you are alleged to have been travelling.
Court Where You Will Appear
The next section is the final third of the left-hand column and informs you of the local court where you will appear and the date for your initial appearance or arraignment.
Can I Appear For My New York Traffic Ticket By Mail?
In a vast number of situations, you will be allowed to appear by mail. This means that you would fill out the right hand portion of the ticket and simply mail it into the court listed in this section. For some charges, a personal appearance is required and thus, you are not allowed to simply mail the ticket in.
The right hand side of the ticket provides instructions for pleading by mail.
Pleading By Mail Portion of the NYS Traffic Ticket
Here, you are given the option of pleading guilty or not-guilty.
After signing the appropriate portion of the ticket (either the guilty or not guilty) portion of the ticket, you mail it to the court listed at the bottom-left portion of the ticket. From time to time, I am asked about the “48 hour” command under the not guilty plea by mail section. While certainly good practice to get the plea in by that time, I have not yet seen an individual suffer a consequence for failing to mail in the not guilty plea within 48 hours of the offense. That does not mean that consequences do not follow, I just have not seen any. With that said, it is of critical importance that you enter a plea before the date listed on the lower left-hand side of the ticket. There are three ways to do so: mail in the ticket (be sure to make a photocopy first), appear in person or, retain an attorney to appear on your behalf.