Traffic Courts in New York fall into one of two categories:
The NYS Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) and everything else.
The TVB is an administrative agency and is part of the DMV. The TVB handles moving violations issued anywhere in NYC as well as some traffic tickets issued in Suffolk County, Rochester and Buffalo, NY.
Everything outside the TVB jurisdiction will be handled by the various local county, city, town and village courts throughout New York.
If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket, you’ll always have the same three options available to you regardless of the court handling your case. You can plead guilty, plead not guilty and represent yourself or plead not guilty and retain an attorney. Beyond these options, however, there are a number of notable differences between the two categories of NY traffic courts. Here’s a brief look at just some of the differences:
- The TVB enables drivers to manage parts of their case online. (NYSDMV.com/pleadandpay), by mail or in person. There is no online option for tickets outside the TVB.
- At the TVB, there will never be any plea bargaining. If you have entered a not guilty plea, there will be a hearing which you will either win or lose. There will be no negotiation or middle ground and no point reductions. Local courts will negotiate, albeit some more willingly than others.
- TVB Judges, as an arm of the DMV, can waive or issue discretionary points based suspensions. Local Judges aren’t connected to the DMV, don’t see a driver’s record and don’t issue and points based suspensions–DMV automatically issues suspensions at 11 points,
- The TVB generally offers 2 weeks to pay a fine due. Local courts each have their own time frame.
- The issuing Police Officer serves as prosecutor in the TVB. In local courts, there is an actual Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes.
There are plenty of differences to discuss. Feel free to give us a call if you are dealing with a NY traffic ticket and would like a little more information on the procedure and potential penalties in your court.