New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Elmira City Court


Traffic Court

How To Resolve a Traffic Ticket Infraction In Elmira City Court

Guilty Plea | Not Guilty Plea | Payment Information | Frequently Asked Questions


Review your ticket(s) to determine if you have been issued a ticket for a "misdemeanor" or "traffic infraction". You can locate this information by looking approximately 2/3 down on the ticket on the right side of the ticket.

Schedule

Appeals

If the "misdemeanor" box is checked, you must appear in the City Court to be arraigned before a City Court Judge on the return date written on the ticket. You cannot use these instructions.

If the "traffic infraction" box is checked, you have the following options:

You can plead GUILTY

You can plead NOT GUILTY


Guilty Plea

You can plead GUILTY by following the instructions on the back of the ticket for traffic infractions. You need to fill out the left side of the back of the ticket completely (including your current mailing address) and sign it. You can return your plea of guilty by mail; in person at the City Court Clerk's office; or, at Traffic Court pursuant to the Court's schedule.

If you have lost your ticket, you can obtain a waiver from the Court to enter your plea.

If you send your plea by mail, the Court will notify you, by mail, of the fines and mandatory surcharge, if any, assessed. If you return your plea of guilty in person to the City Court Clerk's office, the Court may be able to assess your fine immediately.

If you have any questions regarding this procedure, you may contact the City Court Clerk's office.

NOTE: You are given an appearance date at the time the ticket is issued and you are required to appear or enter a plea by that date. Upon a plea of guilty and fine/surcharge assessment by the Court, you are required to pay said fine/surcharge by the date given by the Court. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of your driver's license by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles.


Not Guilty

You can plead NOT GUILTY by following the instructions on the back of the ticket, filling out the right side of the back of the ticket, signing it, and mailing it to the Court within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving the ticket. Be sure to include your current mailing address. You can also plead not guilty by appearing in person in Court on the Court date specified on your ticket.

If you have lost your ticket, you can obtain a waiver from the Court to enter your plea.

You can request a Supporting Deposition by checking the appropriate box on the back of the ticket. A Supporting Deposition will provide you with additional information regarding the basis for the ticket. A Supporting Deposition request must be timely; within 30 days of the appearance dated listed on the ticket. The Court will then order the Supporting Deposition from the police officer who issued the ticket. The police officer must provide you with the Supporting Deposition within 30 days of the date you make the request. Your case will then be scheduled for a non-jury trial; you will receive written confirmation of the trial date from the Court.

You should advise the Court if you will be represented by an attorney during the proceedings and the attorney should file a "Notice of Appearance" with the Court.

At the trial, the police officer (prosecutor) must present evidence to the Court. You will have the right to cross-examine the prosecutor's witness(es) and, if you choose, to present evidence to the Court which can include testimony from yourself or from other individuals. If you require a subpoena for witnesses, you can apply for a subpoena at the time you are notified of the trial date (request form). At the conclusion of the trial, the Judge will either render a verdict (finding you guilty or not guilty) or reserve decision. If the Court reserves decision, a written decision will be issued by the Judge, a copy of which will be sent to you at the address on file with the Court.

If the Court finds you not guilty on all of the tickets, this will end the case.

If the Court finds you guilty of one or more of the tickets, a fine and mandatory surcharge, if applicable will be assessed.

You have the right to appeal a traffic infraction conviction. (instructions on how to appeal).

If you have any questions regarding this procedure, you may contact the City Court Clerk's office.

NOTE: You are given an appearance date at the time the ticket is issued and you are required to appear or enter a plea by that date. Upon a plea of guilty and fine/surcharge assessment by the Court, you are required to pay said fine/surcharge by the date given by the Court. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of your driver's license by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles.


Payment Information

If you are assessed a fine and mandatory surcharge you must make PAYMENT to the Court. Payments should be made in full by the date directed by the Court. The Court accepts partial payments only upon request and permission granted by the Judge. Payments should be made in cash (do not send cash in the mail), money order or bank certified check (payable to Elmira City Court), or by VISA or MASTER CARD. You may pay by credit card at the Clerk's office or by obtaining a credit card payment form from the Clerk of the Court.

If you are paying in person you should appear at the Clerk's office. If you are paying by mail, you should include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of your receipt.

NOTE: Failure to pay your fines WILL result in suspension of your driver's license.


Frequently Asked Questions

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

  1. Can I resolve a traffic ticket infraction by telephone?
  2. What happens if I fail to resolve a ticket or pay a fine as directed?
  3. Can my driver's license be suspended if I am licensed in another state?
  4. What is the penalty if I drive with a suspended license?
  5. Will the Court keep me informed as to the status of my ticket?
  6. What will happen if I fail to notify the Court of my change in address?
  7. Can someone other than the defendant enter a plea?

 

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

A] No, you must appear before the court in person. A misdemeanor is a crime and can not be resolved by mail.


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

A] No, you must either appear in person or by writing to the court.


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 by the appearance date given at the time the ticket is issued, fail to appear for any scheduled trial or fail to pay the fine imposed by the due date set by the court, the court will notify the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to suspend your driver's license and/or registration.


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

A] If you are a licensed driver of 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 state will then proceed to suspend your driver's license.


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 aggravated unlicensed operation which is a misdemeanor grade offense in New York state.


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

A] It is your responsibility to ensure that all tickets have been resolved. Generally, you will receive only one notification of your court date (either verbal if appearing in person or by mail if you respond by mail).

If you have retained the services of an attorney, you should stay in contact with your attorney and you should contact the court to determine the status of your ticket if you have not been advised of any future court dates.

Be advised that contacting the district attorney is not sufficient to resolve the ticket. You must have entered a plea (guilty or not guilty) with the court and appear or pay any fines as directed by the court.


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 Dept. Of Motor Vehicles to suspend your driver's license if you fail to appear or pay any fines as directed.


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

A] No. Only the defendant can enter a plea to a ticket.