Absent a trial, the process described below applies to the vast majority of traffic violations including tickets issued for speeding, cell phone use, failure to use seat belts, running a stop sign or red light, etc.
1. Sending the Letter of Representation to the Traffic Court
First we send a letter to inform the court that we represent you and to enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf. We will also adjourn your case to later date to give us the opportunity to negotiate a reduction of your ticket. As a result, the court date printed on the ticket is no longer applicable.
For most traffic violations, you will not have to appear in court or send in a not guilty plea yourself. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation for example, you will have to appear in court and we will advise you of the date, time, and what to expect at that appearance.
2. Negotiating a Reduction with the District Attorney's Office
The next step is for us to negotiate a reduction or dismissal with the prosecutor, we may do so in person or by letter depending on the circumstances. These negotiations result in a proposed disposition for your ticket. To help us formulate an argument on your behalf, we will ask you questions, either on the phone or via email, about the circumstances of your ticket and about you personally.
We will also need a copy of your driving record. For clients licensed to drive in New York State, we will pull the driving record for you. For clients licensed to drive in another state or in a province of Canada, will ask you to contact that department of motor vehicles for a copy. Most states, Québec, and Ontario offer this service online.
3. Informing You and Gaining Your Consent to the Proposed Disposition
After we have a proposed resolution for your case, we will explain to you the reduction and the consequences of pleading guilty to the reduced charge. Often we use email for this purpose and allow you to consent via email. We also have clients stop into the office or use regular mail depending on the circumstances.
4. Sending the Proposed Disposition to the Court
Once you have consented to the proposed disposition, we will send it to the court. These dispositions are "proposed" because the court must accept it in order for you to gain the benefit of the reduction. Most often, courts will go along with the deal we have worked out with prosecutor and then send a fine or dismissal notice to our office.
Occasionally, a court will reject the proposed disposition. If this happens, we will negotiate a new disposition or otherwise reach an acceptable outcome without any further charge to you.
5. Sending You the Fine or Dismissal Notice
Typically, we will both email and mail the fine notice to ensure that you receive it. It will be your responsibility to pay the fine according to the court's instructions. Courts typically allow 2-4 weeks for payment of the fines. We do not make fine payments for clients.
The entire process usually takes about 4-8 weeks and we will let know as soon as anything happens in your case that requires your attention. In the typical case, the first time we contact you will be after we have a proposed disposition requiring your consent. And, of course, we are always here to answer any questions or concerns you may have in the meantime. We are dedicated to prompt client communication and chances are great that you will speak to an attorney immediately.
We accept credit cards online, Paypal, cash, and checks. Tickets may be faxed to (315) 254-2024 or scanned and emailed to office [at] azrialawoffice.com. Please be advised that legal fees for traffic matters are due up front and we will not enter an appearance with a court until the legal fee is paid. Court fines are not included in the legal fee.