VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC TICKET REQUEST FOR REDUCTION / PLEA BARGAIN
Is it possible for me to benefit from a Vehicle and Traffic plea bargain?
If you and the DA agree to such a plea bargain and the Court approves that plea bargain, there may be a reduction of fines and points on your driver’s license.
You may be able to resolve the ticket by internet and mail, in which case you may not need to appear personally in court, although that is within the Court’s discretion.
You may also be able to resolve your ticket more quickly.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A REDUCTION / PLEA BARGAIN?
Do not contact the Office of the District Attorney other than by the application you make by means of the website: www.columbiacountyny.com/trafficticket. Should you attempt to contact the office of the DA by means other than through www.columbiacountyny.com/trafficticket you may forfeit/lose your ability to plea-bargain your traffic offense. No one in the District Attorney’s Office is permitted to give you any advice, legal or otherwise; nor is anyone permitted to communicate with you other than through this website.Please note: You have the right to retain an attorney. The New York State Bar Association has a list of Attorneys: https://www.findalawyernys.org/.
The following charges will not be reduced: VTL 1144 (a) (a): Failure to Yield the Right of Way to Emergency Vehicle (Absent extraordinary circumstances) VTL 1144 (a): Failure to Yield the Right of Way to Emergency Vehicle (Absent extraordinary circumstances) VTL 1229 c 1b: Back Seat Passenger Age 4-6: No Safety Belt VTL 1229 c 1c: Back Seat Passenger Age 7-15: No Safety Restraint VTL 1174: Failure to Stop for Stopped School Bus.
In order for you to be eligible to apply for a plea bargain of your traffic ticket, your Vehicle and Traffic Ticket must be for a non-misdemeanor offense, i.e. an infraction. Alcohol-related, drug-related and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation offenses are NOT eligible for plea-bargains by this means. (For those more serious offenses, it is even more important for you to retain an attorney.)
You must submit the online form with all the necessary information as soon as possible and well in advance of your next scheduled court date. (Please Note: The District Attorney’s Office does not have copies of your traffic ticket(s).)
You must also contact the Court to request an adjournment of your Court date. Merely requesting a reduction/ plea bargain does not automatically excuse you from your scheduled Court appearances, or from any other Court Order. It is entirely within the Court’s discretion to grant any adjournments you may request.
Once your reduction / plea bargain request is fully submitted to the DA’s Office via www.columbiacountyny.com/trafficticket, the DA may make a plea bargain offer. Allow up to four (4) weeks-to-(6) six weeks for your request to be processed. (Please Note: You have no right to a reduction / plea bargain.)
If you wish to accept the plea bargain the DA may offer, then you must promptly sign it and submit it to the court. A delay in doing so may result in additional consequences for you, including suspension of your license.
If you reject the plea bargain offer, you must notify the court and the court will inform you of your trial date.
The Judge is the final arbiter of your case. The Judge will decide whether to accept your plea bargain and will determine the amount of the fine you must pay. If the Judge does not approve the plea bargain, the Judge will schedule your case for trial on a date the Judge will determine.
You will only receive, at most, one (1) plea bargain offer. If either you or the Court rejects that offer, the DA will not make another offer.
THE COURT MAY NOT APPROVE OUR AGREEMENT. IF SO, YOUR CASE WILL BE SCHEDULED FOR TRIAL.
SHOULD YOU BE CONVICTED BY GUILTY PLEA OR AFTER TRIAL, THE COURT ALONE WILL DETERMINE THE SENTENCE.
DO NOT CONTACT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE BY ANY MEANS OR FOR ANY REASON INVOLVING YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET, EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED IN THE WEBSITE INSTRUCTIONS. SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO DO SO, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT NO ONE RECEIVING YOUR TELEPHONE CALL OR EMAIL IS AUTHORIZED TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU. PLEASE ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT WE CANNOT PROVIDE YOU WITH ANY ADVICE, LEGAL OR OTHERWISE.