Reading Your New York State Traffic Ticket
This is information regarding you and your vehicle. Name, Address, Date of Birth, Drivers License Number, Licensing State, Type Year Make and Vehicle Color and Registration Information. A minor mistake in this section is not going to get your ticket dismissed because of a clerical error.
This is the charge against you. The top line contains the time and date of the alleged offense. The next line is the Vehicle and Traffic Law section that you are alleged to have violated, and if a speeding violation the speed that you are accused of. Below that is the name of the charge. Then there is the where (roadway, city/town/village, and county) and the name of the Officer issuing the ticket.
This is the name and address of the Court where the ticket is returnable (where you have to send it and eventually appear). The date listed is the date by which the Court must receive your plea (guilty or not guilty) either in mail or in person. By mailing it in prior to that date you will not have to appear until the Court sends a notice for a pre-trial conference.
This is only if you want to plead guilty to the ticket. Pleading guilty with an explanation will not have any effect on the charge – because you just plead guilty to it if you filled in this section – the explanation is essentially going to be your plea to the Court why the fine should be lower. You will still receive whatever points are originally associated with your ticket if you fill in this section. (Even if you did plead guilty and would like to take it back I can help you by filing a motion to allow you to withdraw your guilty plea).
People often think “I am guilty so I’ll plead guilty” without thought to the consequences. You still have the right to plead not guilty. The prosecutor still has the burden of proof. The only way to get a reduction is to fill out the not guilty section and preserve your right to a trial.
Even if you did plead guilty, I can help by making a motion to allow you to withdraw your plea. See my Appeals/Coram Nobis page.
This is the section I recommend you fill out. It preserves your right to a trial and will allow you plea bargain for a lesser charge later on or take the matter to trial if necessary. The only decision to make here is if you are going to request a supporting deposition or not. In many instances these days (and almost all speeding tickets) a supporting deposition is printed out with your ticket.
The Supporting Deposition
The supporting deposition contains all of the information on your traffic ticket. However it provides a few additional key pieces of information in sections 8 and 9.
This will tell you how the officer came to charge you, which is usually on direct observation but at times is based on information and belief. If it is based on information and belief you may have a defense to your ticket.
Section 9 relates only to speeding violations and is either radar or laser as to how the officer verified your alleged speed.
At the bottom is what’s called a 710.30 notice. This is a section of the Criminal Procedure Law wherein the People have to inform you that they intend to use statements against you and the sum and substance of those statements.