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Oneonta City Court


How To Resolve a Traffic Ticket in the Oneonta City Court

Guilty Plea (In Writing) | Not Guilty Plea (In Writing) | Appearance in Court (To Plead Guilty or Not Guilty) | Non-Jury Trial on a Traffic Ticket

Read these instructions in full.


NOT GUILTY PLEA -VEHICLE & TRAFFIC INFRACTION ONLY

Should you wish to plead not guilty to a vehicle and traffic infraction, you have three (3) options in connection with that charge:

1. You are entitled to have an attorney represent you at your own expense. If you desire to have an attorney represent you, please have the attorney contact the court prior to the appearance date and file a Notice of Appearance.

2. In the event that you do not desire to have an attorney represent you, you may wish to apply for a reduction of the above charge. If you choose this option, you must:

a. Send a letter to the City Prosecutor, Michael F. Getman, at PO Box 613, Oneonta, NY 13820 and request an Application of Reduction of Charges. You must send a self-addressed , stamped envelope with your letter for the return of the application or the application will not be processed.

Or, in the alternative, you may obtain the Application for Reduction of Charges on the Oneonta City website: http://www.oneonta.ny.us/links/city.asp

b. You must obtain an Abstract of Driving Record from any office of the Motor Vehicle Department of the State where you are licensed. Do not submit your driver's license.

c. If any accident occurred, you must obtain a copy of the accident report, together with a letter from your insurance company stating its intentions regarding any claim or potential claims, to be submitted with the Application for Reduction of Charges.

d. Upon completion of Section 1 of the Application for Reduction of Charges, you must send the application, the Abstract of Driving Record and a copy of the ticket(s) to the City Prosecutor, Michael F. Getman, at PO Box 613, Oneonta, NY 13820. You must include a self-addressed , stamped envelope in order for the form to be returned to you. If you do not include the self-addressed , stamped envelope, the application will not be processed. ALSO, IF YOUR PACKET DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS, IT WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU FOR THE INCLUSION OF THE MISSING ITEMS.

e. After the City Prosecutor receives your request, the application will be returned to you with the decision indicated thereon in the provided self-addressed, stamped envelope.

f. Upon your receipt of your application from the City Prosecutor, if you agree with the City Prosecutor's decision, you should complete Section 3 on the application and either mail the same or deliver to the Oneonta City Court, 81 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820.

g. When the Court receives your application, the Court will notify you by mail of its decision. The Court will either accept or reject the proposed disposition. If the Court accepts the proposed disposition, your appearance will not be necessary on the appearance date. If the Court rejects your proposed disposition, you will be required to appear on the above appearance date. If you do not receive the Court's decision before the appearance date, you must personally appear on the scheduled appearance date as noted above.

ANY AGREEMENT MADE WITH THE CITY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE IS SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE COURT. A CASE IS NOT DISPOSED OF UNTIL YOU RECEIVE A DISPOSITION FROM THE COURT. ANY REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL TIME MUST BE MADE THROUGH THE COURT.

3. In the event, you do not choose either of the above options, you must personally appear on the above appearance date. The appearance date is not a trial date. The non-jury trial date will be scheduled at a later date, if necessary, upon your appearance in court.

Should the court not receive a Notice of Appearance from your attorney, or the completed Application for Reduction of Charges, or you do not appear on the appearance date, your driving privileges may be suspended. You may be required to pay a suspension lift fee, if your license is suspended.

2. Confirm that the ticket is returnable in the Oneonta City Court.

If the ticket has a return place in the Town of Oneonta, the ticket must be resolved in the Town of Oneonta - Do not use these instructions.

If the ticket has a return place in the City of Oneonta, you can proceed with these instructions.

3. NO INSPECTION TICKET: In the Oneonta City Court, if you have been charged with a violation of "No Inspection" (section 306-b of the Vehicle and Traffic Law) and you have the vehicle inspected after the issuance of the ticket, the ticket will not automatically be dismissed. You must complete one of the options listed in no. 5 below.

A "No Inspection" ticket may only be dismissed if you can prove that the inspection was completed prior to the date of the issuance of the ticket.

4. EQUIPMENT VIOLATION: In the Oneonta City Court, if you have been charged with an equipment violation (Sections 375, 376 or 381 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law), the ticket may be dismissed if you provide proof to the court that the equipment defect has been corrected prior to the date you are ordered to appear in court as written on the ticket. You can obtain a Notice of Correction from any police department, a state inspection station, or an automobile repair shop. It is your responsibility to submit the proof of correction to the court.

5. If the box for misdemeanor or felony is checked, you must appear on the return date for arraignment. You can not use these instructions; you can not plead in writing or by mail.

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

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Guilty Plea (In Writing)

  • Fill out and sign the left-side on the reverse side of the ticket. Be sure to include your complete mailing street address, city, state and zip code. If you have lost your copy of the ticket, you can access the Guilty Plea Form (in Adobe Acrobat or Omniform - Complete and Print)
  • If you provide an affirmative defense, that is, you indicate a valid basis or reason for the improper issuance of the ticket (for example, the sign was missing). the Court will be unable to accept the plea of guilty and a non-jury trial will be scheduled. You must submit an unequivocal plea of guilty for a guilty plea to be accepted by the Court. In New York State, there is no provision in the law for a "No Contest" plea.
  • Upon receipt of the plea of guilty, the Court will notify you, by mail, of the Fine and Mandatory Surcharge that has been assessed. Unless otherwise directed by the Court, payment is due within 10 days of the mailing of the Fine letter. (Payment Options)

Note: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you must contact the court, either in person or in writing and plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license and imposition of a $35 fee per ticket to lift the suspension.


Note: If a fine and/or surcharge is assessed upon a plea of guilty and if you fail to pay the fine by the due date imposed by the court, your driver's license will be suspended and an additional $35 per ticket to lift the suspension will be imposed.

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Not Guilty Plea (In Writing)

  • Complete the right-side of the reverse of the ticket. Be sure to include your complete mailing address, city, state and zip code. If you have lost your copy of the ticket, you can access the Not Guilty Plea Form (in Adobe Acrobat or Omniform - Complete and Print).
  • Check the appropriate box if you are requesting a Supporting Deposition. A Supporting Deposition is the police officer's written version of the offense. Your request for the Supporting Deposition must be made no later than 30 days following the return date on the ticket and you must either have been arraigned by the Judge or filed a Not Guilty plea within 48 hours after issuance of the ticket. If you fail to comply with these requirements, the request will be denied.

    If the request is granted and the officer fails to provide the Supporting Deposition within 30 days of the receipt by the Court of your request, you may make a motion to the Court, in writing, requesting a dismissal of the charge.
  • Upon receipt of your plea of not guilty (and receipt of the Supporting Deposition, if applicable), the Court will schedule a Non-Jury Trial. Notice will be provide by mail. Non-Jury Trials commence at 8:00 a.m.

Note: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you must contact the court, either in person or in writing and plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license and imposition of a $35 fee per ticket to lift the suspension.

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Appearance in Court (To Plead Guilty or Not Guilty)

  • If you wish to appear before the Court, you should arrange to appear on the return date listed on the front of the ticket. If another date is needed, you may contact the Court to request a new date. A new notice will not be sent to you; it is your responsibility to track your court dates.
  • If a plea of Not Guilty is entered in open court and on the record, a Non-Jury Trial will be scheduled.

Note: Within 60 days of the issuance of the ticket, you must contact the court, either in person or in writing and plead either guilty or not guilty to avoid suspension of your driver's license and imposition of a $35 fee per ticket to lift the suspension.


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Non-Jury Trial on a Traffic Ticket

  • On the date of the Non-Jury Trial, you must be prepared to proceed and present evidence and/or witnesses on your behalf.
  • If you are found Not Guilty, an acquittal will be entered on the record. At that time, bail posted, if any, will be returned to the posting individual.
  • If you are found to be Guilty by the Court, a Fine and Mandatory Surcharge will be assessed (Payment Options)

You Have the Right to Appeal a Traffic Infraction Conviction (Appeal Instructions)

Note: If a fine and/or surcharge is assessed upon a finding of guilty by the court and if you fail to pay the fine by the due date imposed by the court, you driver's license will be suspended and an additional $35 per ticket to lift the suspension will be imposed.

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