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How does a typical traffic ticket case proceed?

by Seth Azria on 2/27/2010

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 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As a result, the court date printed on the ticket is no longer applicable. Thereafter, court dates are "control dates," meaning that those are dates by which we are to report to the court regarding the progress in the case. We keep track of the dates internally and ask the court for more time as needed. 

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 misdemeanorAggravated 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 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. Once contacted, a prosecutor may take 4-8 weeks, or more, to respond to the request. 

To help us formulate an argument on your behalf, we will ask you questions, via email, about the circumstances of your ticket and about you personally. Your answers are important. 

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, Qu├ębec, and Ontario offer this service online and we will include a link with our email requesting your record. 

3. Informing You and Gaining Your Consent to the Proposed Disposition

After we have a proposed reduction 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. In the normal course fo business, we do not make fine payments for clients. 

The entire process usually takes about 2-5 months and we send regular email updates.  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. 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.

If you have one speeding ticket or cell phone ticket you may hire us online. Otherwise, we look forward to hearing from you. 

Need help with your ticket?

One speeding conviction may cause premiums to increase over $2,000 in three years. The Zebra. 

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Justice for Traffic Violations

I was wrongly issued a ticket by a police officer who made a snap decision that was incorrect. I contacted Seth for help. He wanted to know the nature of the violation and my side of the story. He then told me to sit back as he would take on the matter for me. He updated me regularly as he communicated with the court, and eventually resolved the matter for me. His fee was reasonable and the results were excellent. I highly recommend him.

Traffic Client posted to Avvo
Professional and reliable, highly recommended

After receiving a ticket upstate NY, I contacted Seth's firm based on the great reviews on this board and was really happy that I made this choice.

Seth explained the possible outcome in my case when I first called him and managed to achieve exactly what he told me, which shows that he is experienced and knowledgeable in his area of practice. He successfully negotiated with a DA a reduction of charges from a 6 point speeding to a non-speeding violation without me having to appear in court in person.

Monica, Seth's paralegal, kept me informed of all necessary details throughout the whole two month process and I received a response to every email that I sent to the firm.

I would highly recommend Seth's firm for anyone looking for reliable and professional attorney services.

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beyond happy with turn out working with them, would recommend them to anyone

Statewide Traffic Defense Practice

Azria & Bruffett Law Firm has handled thousands of traffic ticket cases all over New York State. We have extensive experience that helps us inform, predict, and handle your case smoothly.

We offer complimentary traffic consultations. You will learn the best way to handle your ticket, even if that means you don't hire us. We will also cover the possible outcomes, costs, and timing of your case. 

  1. Email us now and an attorney will call you soon, 
  2. Schedule an appointment to speak with a lawyer; or, 
  3. Call the office now: 315-364-1155.

Our traffic defense lawyers handle nearly all tickets pending in most of the courts and counties below:

Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.