Out with the New York State/DMV Traffic Violations Bureau and in with the Suffolk County Parking and Traffic Violations Agency.
If you’re not familiar with traffic tickets in New York and Suffolk in particular, these two agencies probably seem like exactly the same thing with a different name. They’re not.
Tickets currently answerable in the local village and town justice courts won’t be affected. Tickets that are currently answerable at the State TVB office (depending on who issues the summons and where it was issued) are the ones which will be handled differently come April 2013.
The Suffolk County TVB:
This office is currently located at the State Office Building (2nd Fl), 250 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge. The main thing to note about any TVB office is the lack of negotiation (plea bargain) option. The TVB is not a true court and in some cases can be more difficult to deal with and navigate than the local courts.
The new Suffolk County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency (SCTPVA):
The exact location of the new court is unknown but is expected to remain in Hauppauge. The big change will be the ability to negotiate a plea bargain on tickets answerable to the new court. This will be similar to the NCTPVA currently located at 16 Cooper St in Hempstead which handles similar traffic matters in Nassau County.
We’re not sure yet how the transition from the current TVB office to the new SCTPVA will be handled. I imagine either tickets issued after a certain date will be returnable to the new court or hearings scheduled as of a certain date will be handled by the new court. The latter option would mean that existing TVB cases (without plea bargaining available) would be converted to negotiable cases.
We’ll wait and see how it plays out but it definitely all adds up to a pretty significant change with respect to moving violations in Suffolk County.
By Scott Feifer