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Ithaca City Court


How to Resolve a Traffic Ticket Infraction in Ithaca City Court

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.

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 can not use these instructions.

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

You can plead GUILTY

You can plead NOT GUILTY

You can contact the Assistant District Attorney to review special circumstances

You can plead GUILTY:
by following the instructions on the back of the ticket. 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 to or in person at the City Court Clerk's Office or at Traffic Court pursuant to the Court's schedule (click here for court schedule). If you have lost your ticket, you can use access the Plea Form here (available in ADOBE ACROBAT)

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 (click here for payment information) immediately. Effective January 29, 2002, New York State licensed drivers are no longer required to provide their conviction stub to the Court. However, you will be asked to affirm, under written oath and under penalty of perjury, if you have any traffic ticket infraction convictions in New York State within the past three (3) years (Note: If the Court suspects that you have not been truthful, the Court will access New York State's DMV records to determine your prior conviction history).

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

Note: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you MUST contact the Court directly, in writing, or appear in Court and plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license AND payment of additional fees to lift the license suspensions

 

You can plead NOT GUILTY:
by following the instructions on the back of the ticket, filling out the right side of the back of 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.

You can request a Supporting Deposition by checking the appropriate box on the back of ticket. (A Supporting Deposition will provide you with additional information regarding the basis for the ticket). A Supporting Deposition request must be made in a timely manner; that is before the end of thirty (30) days following the return date appearing on the ticket. 

If timely requested, the Court will order the Supporting Deposition from the police officer who issued the ticket. The police officer will have 30 days from the date of your request to mail you the Supporting Deposition. Your case will then be scheduled for a non-jury trial; you will receive written confirmation of the trial date from the Court.

At the trial, the 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. 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, (click here for payment information) will be assessed.

You have the right to appeal a traffic infraction conviction. Click here for instructions on how to appeal.

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

Note: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you MUST contact the Court directly, in writing, or appear in Court and plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license AND payment of additional fees to lift the license suspensions

 

You can contact the Assistant District Attorney
to review the circumstances of your ticket either in person at Traffic Court or by mail.

You may speak with an Assistant District Attorney on the court date and time written at the bottom of your ticket. The prosecutor may choose to offer you a plea to a lesser infraction. If an offer is made, you can choose to accept it and plead guilty; or reject it, plead not guilty, and be scheduled for a non-jury trial. Any offer made by the Prosecutor is only a recommended offer. The Court does not have to accept the recommendation of the Prosecutor. If you have misplaced your copy of the ticket, you should obtain a copy from the Court Clerk's office located on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse prior to meeting with the Prosecutor.

If you wish, you may request consideration from the prosecutor by mailing a letter explaining the circumstances of the ticket to the District Attorneys Office (for Ithaca City Court tickets only) at 320 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. You MUST enclose a copy of your ticket, your full name and current address, and a phone number where you may be reached.

Note: Before pleading guilty to a ticket issued as a result of an accident, you may wish to consult with an attorney and/or your insurance company about possible civil liability for personal injuries arising from the accident.

After you have received a written offer from the District Attorney's Office, you MUST contact the Court. If you are accepting the offer of the District Attorney, you must file your written acceptance of the offer with the Court. Once the offer is accepted by the Court, you will be assessed a fine and mandatory surcharge, if applicable (click here for payment information). If you do NOT accept the offer of the District Attorney and continue your plea of Not Guilty or if the Court does not accept the recommendation of the District Attorney, a non-jury trial will be scheduled.

Note: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you MUST contact the Court directly, in writing, or appear in Court and
plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license.

If you are assessed a fine and mandatory surcharge:
you must make payment to the court as directed by the Court. If you submit a written plea of guilty, you will be mailed a fine letter indicating the amount of the fine and the date that the fine must be paid. Be sure that your current mailing address is on file with the Court.

If you appear in Court, the court will verbally advise you of the amount of the fine and the date that payment is due. If you forget the date that payment is due, you may contact the City Court.

The Court does not accept partial payments; payment must be made in full on the date directed by the Court.

The Court does not accept personal or business checks. Payment MUST be made in cash (do NOT send cash through the mail), money order or bank certified check made payable to the CITY COURT or by VISA, DISCOVER or MASTER CARD.

PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD: You may pay by credit card at the City Court Clerk's office, by obtaining a credit card payment form from the Clerk of the Court or by providing the following written information to the Court:

  • All Applicable Ticket Number(s) or Court Docket Number(s)
  • Name of Defendant
  • Current Address of Defendant
  • Sixteen Digit VISA, DISCOVER or MASTERCARD number
  • Card Expiration Date
  • Type of Card (Discover, MasterCard or Visa)
  • Printed Name of Card Holder (see below for identification requirements for cardholder)
  • Signature of Card Holder
  • Address of Card Holder
  • Telephone Number (including area code) where card holder can be reached during the day
  • Email Address of the Cardholder (optional)
  • 3 digit code

The above information may be mailed or hand delivered to the City Court at 607-277-3702. The court must have the cardholder's original signature on file.

If the cardholder is NOT the defendant, the cardholder MUST submit photo identification (or 2 forms of non-photo identification) to the Court. If paying by mail, a copy of the identification MUST be included with the above information.

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: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you MUST contact the Court directly, in writing, or appear in Court and plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license AND payment of additional fees to lift the license suspensions