The Clifton Park 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
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 the Public Defender
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.
defendant will plead
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
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 by the date indicated on the ticket. Please make sure you give the court a current mailing address if the address on the ticket is no longer valid.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
If you do not hear back from the Court within six weeks from the scheduled
please call the Court to make sure that your plea was received.
Is there a schedule of standard fines for traffic violations?
No. Fines are set by the Judge within certain maximum/minimum guidelines
prescribed by law and are based on the severity of the offense. Repeat
violations are usually assessed higher fines.
If I plead guilty or am found guilty after trial, how long will I have to pay
All fines should be paid on the date of trial or guilty plea. If you are
unable to pay your fine at the time, you may ask for an extension. Fines may
also be paid in person by Visa and Master Card.
What happens if I ignore the ticket, miss a Court date or fail to pay the
fine and/or surcharge in a timely fashion?
The Court will notify the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles which
will suspend your license. Driving while your license is suspended can be
charged as a misdemeanor, or even, in some cases, as a felony. If you miss a
Court date, call the Court Office and ask for a new court date. You may be
required to post bail. The Court may also increase the fine.
How long after I move to New York State can I continue to use my out-of-state
30 days. Use of your out-of-state license after that period is an infraction.
It's also an infraction to hold licenses from more than one state.
I have been charged with DWI. Will I continue to be able to drive after my
first Court appearance?
Quite possibly not. Better bring a backup driver to Court. And a lawyer.
I have been charged with AUO (Aggravated Unlicensed Operation). What does
It means that you have been charged with driving after your license has been
suspended, usually for failure to answer a summons or to pay a fine (or for
other reasons, like suspended insurance). This is a Misdemeanor and can result
in serious penalties. It is advisable for you to try to clear up the suspension(s) before you come to Court and bring proof that you have done so.
Keep in mind that you cannot legally drive while you are suspended, even to
Am I entitled to a Court-appointed lawyer in the trial of a traffic
No, although you may bring a lawyer at your own expense.
Am I entitled to a Jury in a trial of a traffic infraction?
How many points do various traffic infractions carry?
The point system is controlled by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Court
does not assess the points, nor can the Court prevent points from being assessed
for moving violations. For more information on the point system, go to
In addition to the fine and/or surcharge, are there any other fees that a
defendant will have to pay for certain violations?
Yes. The State has also implemented a driver responsibility assessment
program. The assessment is an amount that you must pay to the NYSDMV each year
for three years. The assessment can be as much as $250 per year. For more
information, go to http://www.nysdmv.com/drp.htm
Will the insurance company increase a driver's premiums for a traffic
Again, the Court has no control over the insurance companies. For information
about possible premium increases, you should contact your insurance broker or
the insurance company.
Is there anything I can do to remove points from my driving record and/or
save money on my insurance?
The NYSDMV has approved a classroom course lasting at least six hours which
may remove up to 4 points from your license and will save you up to 10% of your
automobile liability and collision insurance premiums for three years.
For a list of course providers, you can go to
check the yellow pages under “Driving Instruction.”
For more information on the course itself, go to
Are there any sure-fire excuses for getting a ticket dismissed?