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Ithaca City Court


Traffic Ticket Frequently Asked Questions

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

YOU MUST APPEAR BEFORE THE COURT IN PERSON. A MISDEMEANOR IS A CRIME AND CAN NOT GENERALLY BE RESOLVED BY MAIL.

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

NO, YOU MUST EITHER APPEAR IN PERSON OR BY WRITING TO THE COURT.

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

IF YOU FAIL TO RESPOND TO THE TRAFFIC TICKET WITHIN 60 DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE, 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.

IF YOUR LICENSE IS SUSPENDED AND THE SUSPENSION DATE WAS ON OR AFTER JULY 6, 2009, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY A $70 FEE TO THE COURT FOR EACH TICKET ON WHICH YOUR LICENSE IS SUSPENDED.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 PROSECUTOR 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.

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

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.

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

NO. ONLY THE DEFENDANT CAN ENTER A PLEA TO A TICKET.