By Michael Spevack

Hello everybody… This month, I want to talk about traffic tickets issued by NYPD in New York City versus traffic tickets written by other police officers in other parts of New York State. The first difference is that a summons received from NYPD is different than a uniform traffic ticket with a supporting deposition written by police departments other than NYPD.

NYPD tickets are yellow or white and often contain numbers starting with B23. Tickets from outside NYC are uniform traffic tickets (UTTs) – white paper, often with supporting depositions attached that elaborate on the reasons for the stop.

NYC tickets are returnable in the traffic violations bureau (TVB), part of the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They are “civil,” meaning you won’t go to jail if found guilty. Tickets from outside NYC are returnable to the applicable local town, village or similar court. They are “criminal” in nature – so, while it’s unlikely, jail is indeed a possibility in some instances.

It is important to note that PLEA BARGAINING a traffic ticket is NOT ALLOWED in NYC, while it is generally allowed in other parts of NYS. This is VERY IMPORTANT to FHV and taxi drivers because POINTS CAN NOT BE AVOIDED IN NYC TRAFFIC COURT unless you are found NOT GUILTY. Points can be avoided outside the city by talking with a prosecutor or DA or paying a higher fine.

IF YOU VALUE YOUR JOB AS AN FHV OR TAXI DRIVER, YOU MUST KEEP YOUR DMV POINTS TO A MINIMUM! If you can pay an increased fine and avoid points, it is almost always advisable to do so.

Another important difference between NYC and NY state traffic courts is that the procedural law is different in TVB in NYC as opposed to local town courts. In TVB, only DMV rules and regulations apply. In other parts of the state, the criminal procedure law applies. An important end result of this distinction is that TVB cases must go to trial (they often take less than 5 minutes), while in other parts of the state, motion practice is possible, and trials and appeals can be more involved if a case does not end with a plea bargain.

TVB trials in NYC, while short, require a specific type off attorney. They must be handled differently than if the summons was written in another part of the state.  Even though TVB trails are often very quick, there are techniques that can help drivers avoid points and fines. It is important to speak to a qualified attorney, well acquainted with TVB tickets, whether it’s from NYPD or state police. There are no “easy” tickets to beat; it’s tough to prevail at TVB and it is important to keep your license clear of points to whatever extent possible.

Thank you for reading my article. Until next month, be well…

Article by Black Car News

Black Car News provides breaking news, editorial, and information to drivers, owners, and other key players in the New York City for-hire vehicle industry.

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