The Beekmantown Town Court handles all traffic tickets which are issued for violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law which are alleged to have taken place within the Town. It is the obligation of the motorist to respond to the ticket in a timely fashion.
To handle a traffic ticket in our court, you need to review your ticket to determine if it is a "Misdemeanor" or "Traffic Infraction."
If the "Misdemeanor" box is checked, you must appear in Court on the day and time listed on the ticket to be arraigned by the Judge. For example, Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation are both "Misdemeanors." At the first Court appearance, which is called the arraignment, the Judge advises the defendant of the charges pending in the Court and what his/her rights are. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, he/she can apply to be represented by assigned counsel.
If the "Traffic Infraction" box is checked, you can handle the ticket either by appearing in person in Court on the date and time listed on the ticket or by mail.
1. Appearing in Person —
At the first court appearance, which is called the Arraignment, the Judge advises the defendant of the charges pending in the Court and what his/her rights are. The officer will not be present at the arraignment and no trial will be held on the first return date. A defendant will plead either Guilty or Not Guilty. If a Guilty plea is entered, the defendant will have a right to make a statement and the Judge will then impose a fine and/or mandatory surcharge. If a defendant pleads Not Guilty, the case will be adjourned for a trial at a later date.
2. Mail Pleas —
If you choose to handle a traffic ticket by mail, you can plead either Guilty or Not Guilty by signing the appropriate section on the ticket and mailing it to the Court within 24 hours of when the ticket was issued. Please make sure you give the court a current mailing address if the address on the ticket is no longer valid.
If you plead Not Guilty, you will receive a notice of a trial date.
If you plead Guilty, you will receive a letter telling you how much your fine and/or surcharge are.
If you do not hear back from the Court within six weeks from the scheduled return date, please call the Court to make sure that your plea was received.
STATEMENT OF CORRECTION FOR EQUIPMENT DEFECT
If a summons is issued for an equipment violation of VTL sections 375, 376, or 381, (except where both headlamps are defective and except a violation relating to service brakes or audio amplification systems), the charge will be dismissed if proof is presented to the court that the defect was corrected prior to 1/2 hour after sunset on the first full business day after issuance of the summons (VTL section 376-a.)
Reduction Form and instructions can be found below.