Oneonta City Court

Frequently Asked Questions about Traffic Tickets

Q: If one of my traffic tickets is a misdemeanor, can I resolve the ticket by mail?

A: You must appear at the court in person. A misdemeanor is a crime and cannot generally be resolved by mail.

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Q: Can I resolve a traffic ticket infraction by telephone?

A: No. You must either appear in person or in writing to enter a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty.

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Q: What happens if I fail to resolve a ticket or pay a fine as directed?

A: If you fail to respond to the traffic ticket within 60 days of the return date, fail to appear for any scheduled trial or court dates, or fail to pay a fine and/or mandatory surcharge by the due date set by the Court, the Clerk of the Court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend your driver's license and/or registration.

If your license is suspended and the effective date of the suspension occurred on or after October 19, 2004, you will be required to pay a $35 fee to the Court for each ticket on which your license was suspended. This fee must be paid prior to any other fine or surcharge.

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Q: Can my driver's license be suspended if I am licensed in another state?

A: If you are a licensed driver from another state, be advised that the State of New York has reciprocity with most other states and can notify the state where you are licensed that you have an unresolved ticket in New York State. Your home state will then proceed to suspend your driver's license.

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Q: What is the penalty if I drive with a suspended license?

A: If you are driving with a suspended license, a police officer can and will ticket you for the crime of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree, a Misdemeanor in the State of New York.

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Q: Will the Court keep me informed as to the status of my ticket?

A: It is your responsibility to resolve all tickets with the Court. Generally, you will receive only one notification of court dates (either verbally if appearing in person or by mail if you write to the Court). You should contact the court to determine the status of your ticket if you have not received any notification of future court dates.

If you have retained the services of an attorney, you should remain in contact with your attorney.

Be advised that contacting the prosecutor is not sufficient to resolve the ticket. You must enter a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty with the Court (in writing or in court) or pay any fines as directed by the Court.

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Q: What will happen if I fail to notify the Court of my change in address?

A: If you fail to advise the Court, in writing, of any change in your address, the Court will be unable to notify you of any court dates. This will not relieve you of the responsibility of resolving the ticket. The Court can and will proceed to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend your driver's license if to fail to appear for whatever reason or pay any fines as directed.

It is also a violation of the law if you fail to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of an address change. Failing to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles may result in another ticket.

You must notify both the Court and the Department of Motor Vehicles if you change your address.

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Q: Can someone other than the defendant enter a plea?

A: With the exception of Corporate Substitutions, only the defendant can enter a plea to a ticket.

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Q: What is a Corporate Substitution?

A: A Corporate Substitution is when a company takes responsibility for an equipment violation of a company owned vehicle and the driver has been ticketed with an equipment violation. Under this scenario, a company can plead guilty to a ticket for an equipment violation and pay the fines associated with the ticket. Once a plea of guilty has been entered by the company, the driver is absolved of the equipment violation ticket.

If a driver of a company owned vehicle is ticketed with a non-equipment violation, the company can not enter a plea of guilty on behalf of the driver.

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