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Don't delay! Follow the instructions on the ticket for the plea you wish to make, and act promptly. If you don't answer the ticket in the time allowed, your driver license will be suspended. Later, you could be found guilty of the charge because of your failure to respond (a default conviction). Your license would be suspended for not paying the fine and a judgment would be entered against you.
Driving with a suspended license is a crime. A felony conviction may result in fines of up to $5,000, jail, probation, or confiscation of your vehicle. As the number of suspensions you have increases, the penalties also increase. A driver is suspended for each ticket not answered and each fine not paid.
To Plead Not Guilty - Read the "not guilty" instructions and check the "not guilty" box on the back of the ticket. Fill in the requested information, sign it and within forty-eight hours of the recorded violation date, mail the ticket to Suffolk County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency ("SCTPVA"). SCTPVA will send you a letter telling you when and where to go for a conference with a prosecutor. If you are hearing impaired and require an interpreter, include a request for one when you mail your not guilty plea. An interpreter will be assigned to your hearing at no charge to you.
To Plead Guilty - Read the instructions and check the "guilty" box on the back of the ticket. Fill in the requested information, sign it and, within 15 days, either mail it to Suffolk County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency ("SCTPVA") or bring it to the SCTPVA office. A JHO will impose a fine and you will be notified by mail of the fine amount and date to pay said fine. You may pay the fine and surcharge by Discover, Visa or Mastercard, or by money order payable to the SCTPVA. PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED. Include the total fines and surcharges listed on the ticket for your violation(s). Failure to pay said fine by the date specified may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
You may not plead guilty by mail if the charge against you will result in license or registration suspension or revocation upon conviction (such as driving without insurance or a third speeding violation within 18 months). If you plead guilty to such a charge by mail, you will be notified that you must go to the SCTPVA to answer the charge in person.
Your Address - If your mailing address is different from the address written on the front of the ticket, please write the correct mailing address in the space provided on the back of the ticket.
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You may request your traffic ticket conference to be postponed and rescheduled to a different date. This may be done one time without an appearance. TPVA must receive your request in writing at least 10 days before the date of the conference. You may also make your postponement request in person at that office, also at least 10 days prior to the conference date. Any further adjournments will be considered and granted at the sole discretion of the Agency. Your request for a second or subsequent postponement also must include a "good cause," which is the reason you want the conference rescheduled. Your "good cause" is subject to approval by TPVA. suscipit faucibus urna.
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You may request your traffic ticket trial to be postponed and rescheduled to a different date. This may be done one time. To request said adjournment you must appear at least 10 days prior to the date of your trial and request that said trial be postponed for good cause. Your "good cause" is subject to approval by the TPVA Judicial Hearing Officer. TPVA must receive notice of your request at least 10 days before the date of the trail. No second requests for adjournments shall be considered by TPVA.
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You are considered innocent of the charge against you unless you are proven guilty. You cannot be found guilty unless there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the violation. If you do not speak and/or understand English, you may request am interpreter. Your request must be received 10 days prior to the date of trial, in writing or in person at the TPVA. The JHO will listen to sworn testimony from the police officer who will explain why you were given the ticket. Then, you or your attorney may ask the officer questions. You also may bring witnesses to testify for you and/or present other evidence. The judge may ask witnesses questions to better understand their testimony.
You do not have to testify but you may if you wish. You cannot be found guilty just because you do not testify. When all of the evidence and testimony have been given, the JHO will decide whether or not you are guilty. That decision will be based only on the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing and what the law states. If the JHO decides the charge against you was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you will be found not guilty. If the charge is proven and you are found guilty, the judge will set a fine. Your license or registration also may be suspended or revoked, depending on the violation and your overall driving record.
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If wish to appeal the decision of a Judicial Hearing Officer, your attorney or another person (YOU MAY NOT SERVE THE NOTICE OF APPEAL) must serve one copy of the NOTICE OF APPEAL on the prosecution (this may be done by certified mail return receipt requested and should be addressed to “Prosecutor – TPVA” at PO Box 9000, Smithtown, NY 11787) or in person at the Agency (public safety will direct you to the prosecution). You or your attorney must also file two copies of the “NOTICE OF APPEAL” ALONG WITH AN AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE with the clerk at the Agency at Suffolk County TPVA Office, in person at the H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, 11788, within 30 days from the date of sentence. The affidavit of service must be sworn to by the person who served the prosecution and notarized.
Click here for the Civil Appeals Packet
Click here for the Criminal Appeals Packet
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The most common reasons your license may be suspended or revoked are due to motor vehicle violations. Remember, your license also will be suspended if you do not answer a ticket or pay a fine. A JHO has the authority to suspend or revoke your license for violations other than those listed.
Speeding/Misdemeanors — If you commit three speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic violations within 18 months, your license will be revoked for at least six months.
New Driver Probation — You are on license probation for six months after you pass a road test. If you are found guilty of committing any two moving violations during your probation period, your license will be suspended for 60 days. It will also be suspended for 60 days if you are found guilty of committing a single, more serious violation during the probation period, including speeding, tailgating, unauthorized racing, or reckless driving.
Points — Most traffic violations carry violation points. The points will be added to your record using the date the violation occurred, not the date you are found guilty. If your violation points in any 18-month period add up to 11 or more, your license may be revoked or suspended following a hearing.
The JHO usually holds the "points" hearing immediately after you are found guilty of a violation that brings your total to 11 or more points in 18 months. The following is a list of common violations and the number of points for each. (Taking a DMV-approved accident prevention course can reduce your point total by up to four points and reduce your auto liability and collision insurance premiums by 10% for three years. Ask for more information at any motor vehicle office.)
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|Speeding (MPH over posted limit)
|1 to 10
|11 to 20
|21 to 30
|31 to 40
- Reckless driving - 5 POINTS
- Failed to stop for school bus - 5 POINTS
- Followed too closely (tailgating) - 4 POINTS
- Inadequate brakes (private car) - 4 POINTS
- Inadequate Brakes (employer's vehicle) - 2 POINTS
- Failed to yield right-of-way - 3 POINTS
- Disobeying traffic control signal, STOP sign or YIELD sign - 3 POINTS
- Railroad crossing violation - 3 POINTS
- Improper passing, changing lane unsafely - 3 POINTS
- Driving left of center, in wrong direction - 3 POINTS
- Leaving scene of property damage incidents - 3 POINTS
- Child safety restraint violation - 3 POINTS
- Any other moving violation - 2 POINTS
This agency does not issue points for moving violations. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles issues points on moving violations pursuant to a schedule issued by the State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and authorized by law. You can visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (http://www.dmv.ny.gov/broch/c32a.htm). Contact information for the New York state DMV can be found at http://www.dmv.ny.gov/callorvisit.htm.
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A summons may be dismissed for compliance after the violation has occurred, in which case no fine and no surcharge will be imposed. Under the following circumstances, certain summonses may be dismissed without fine or surcharge:
- Equipment: Most equipment violations may be dismissed if repaired by 1/2 hour after sundown the first business day following the day the violation was issued. To prove such a repair within the required time frame, an affidavit must be filled out and signed by a police officer or an officially designated state inspection station mechanic. The affidavit must be completely filled out and submitted with the plea. You MUST KEEP a COPY of the affidavit in case it is lost in the mail or otherwise. If you are unable to produce an affidavit or copy of the affidavit, the summons will not be dismissed.
- Insurance: You may offer that your vehicle was insured on the date the violation for no insurance was issued by providing a letter, from the Insurance Company (not an insurance agent or broker) on company letterhead and signed by the underwriter. The letter must provide specific information and most insurance companies know what to include in the letter. Insurance cards, policies, etc. are NOT acceptable as proof of insurance. Only a specific letter, as indicated prior, is acceptable. If the letter is sufficient to prove the vehicle was insured on the date in question no fine or surcharge will be imposed. The fines for uninsured vehicles max out at $1500 and carry up to an $88 State surcharge, as well as, the County administrative fee of $55 totaling $1643.00. A plea of guilty or conviction for uninsured vehicle will also carry a civil penalty of $750 from the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as, the revocation of your driver’s license for 1 year.
- Inspection: Summonses for uninspected vehicles may not be cured by getting the vehicle inspected. If the vehicle was not inspected at the time the summons was issued, there is no way to correct said violation.
- Registration: Summonses for unregistered vehicles may not be cured by getting the vehicle registered. If the vehicle was not registered at the time the summons was issued, there is no way to correct said violation.
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