How To Change Your Court Date For A Traffic Ticket In New York

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New York Traffic Trial Judge

When a driver decides to fight a traffic ticket, the first step is to plead not guilty and have the plea registered with the court so that they can set up a court date. If the case is being heard by the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of NYC, you can enter a plea online by visiting the New York DMV “Plead and Pay” website. If the case is not pending in the Traffic Violations Bureau, you would mail in the not guilty plea and save a copy for one’s records.

Anybody can request that a court date be rescheduled (otherwise known as an “adjournment” or a “continuance”), but whether or not that request will be granted is up to the court. Experienced attorneys like those at the Rosenblum Law Firm have a positive reputation with many of the judges in New York State’s numerous traffic courts and oftentimes a date change is given to attorneys as a matter of professional courtesy. In addition, in some cases, a court will not grant a new date unless the request is made in person. Hiring an attorney to represent you will allow you to avoid coming to court in most cases.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Make It to Court on the Day It Is Assigned?

It’s important to take every step to communicate the situation to the court. Ignoring the ticket or the court date will only make matters worse because it will result in a suspended license, arrest warrant, and/or conviction by default. Rescheduling a court date is quite common and most courts will be accommodating, but not always.

For a case being heard by the Traffic Violations Bureau, you can try to request a postponement using the link above or by visiting a TVB office. Note that once a case has been postponed once or twice, online rescheduling will no longer be possible. For a case pending elsewhere, contact the court and ask to speak with the court clerk about a continuance. Sometimes they will grant it by phone, other times they will require the request to be made in writing.

At the TVB, adjournments requested after the first or second date usually require that the defendant post a $40 bond. The purpose of the bond is the same as bail, it is a bit of insurance to motivate the person to not miss their next date. The bond is refunded at the end of the case unless the driver misses the court date, in which case the bond is forfeit along with the other consequences (see below).

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What If I Miss My Traffic Court Date?

Missing one’s traffic court date can result in a default judgment against the driver. In other words, the judge will find the driver guilty because he/she was not there to provide any evidence contrary to that offered by the officer/prosecutor. It can also mean a suspension of one’s driver’s license and even potentially an arrest warrant.

But all is not lost! A driver who misses a court date can hire an attorney to lift the suspension and reinstate the case. The sooner this is done the better (remember, driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense in New York). Default convictions are rarely overturned.

If I Reschedule Enough Times, Can I Get the Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

Contrary to popular belief, repeated attempts to adjourn the traffic court date do not increase one’s chances of dismissal. In fact, a judge can refuse to reschedule if he/she feels the reasoning is frivolous or that the driver is trying to pull something.

In addition, too many adjournments can hurt a person’s efforts to negotiate (“plea bargain”) with prosecutors (where applicable). Judges and prosecutors don’t like having their time wasted, so a person hoping to get his/her ticket reduced to a lesser charge should not reschedule more than once unless it is truly urgent. Better still, a person who cannot make their second court date can hire an attorney to appear in court and negotiate the plea deal on their behalf, thus alleviating the need to adjourn again.

What If the Clerk Says That I Need to Make an Appearance?

Generally, the court will grant a request for a continuance to drivers who mail a letter to the court verifying the reason for not attending the original date (i.e, surgery, business travel). If the court does not grant the request, consult with an attorney. In many cases, an attorney can make the appearance on the driver’s behalf and take care of settling the matter without him/her having to come to court.

An attorney should be able to speak both with the prosecutor about negotiating a settlement for the case or may be able to reschedule the date. Courts are sometimes more accommodating for attorneys because an attorney needs time to discuss the matter with their client and also schedule their own availability for court. Moreover, since attorneys handle many cases the court is more inclined to help the attorney adjust his/her schedule.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney for a Simple Traffic Ticket?

In New York, the legal process can often be confusing and difficult to navigate. An attorney is a licensed professional that can help protect your rights and defend you throughout the legal process. An experienced attorney knows the process and procedure for a case to be handled properly and can successfully negotiate a settlement. The best part is for many cases in New York, you as a client will not be required to come to court if you have hired an attorney to represent you.

If you or a loved one has received a traffic ticket in New York and may have a hard time attending the court date, call an attorney for help. The lawyers of Rosenblum Law are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.

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This post was written by Adam H. Rosenblum Esq.


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36 Comments

  • Ellen Cantarow
    July 30, 2019

    I requested a waiver on a ticket I received last month. I was told I would get the results of the hearing. Where do I find the results of the hearing, which apparently did not require my presence in court?

    • Ronen Cohen
      August 6, 2019

      Hello Ellen, if you would like to know the results of your hearing, we recommend you call the court and request the results. If you hired representation to fight the ticket for you, you can also give them a call as they will notify you of the court’s ruling, as well.

  • Shakti Gupta
    February 21, 2019

    Hi,
    I got two violation ticket in Kings County NYC.1229-C(1)(A) and 4 -06(A)(1).I hold PA driver license.I have pleaded not guilty with 15 days and got the hearing date as April,2019. i want to know shall i choose attorney or not, if i go with myself and shall i reschedule it.In doing rescheduling what are the drawback and benefits.

    • Ronen Cohen
      February 25, 2019

      Hello Shakti and thank you for your question. As each case is unique, we can not provide specific guidance as to whether adjourning the trial date is beneficial or not. Contrary to popular belief, postponing cases in this court system is not always the best option.

  • Adam
    February 5, 2019

    I received a ticket in Brooklyn, NY.

    Postponed once over the phone, now have to go in person to postpone a second time.

    Can I go to a DMV in another borough or does it have to be Brooklyn?

    • Ronen Cohen
      February 18, 2019

      Hi Adam, thank you for your question. To answer, you may post a bond in any TVB court.

  • Finn
    January 23, 2019

    I got a speeding ticket in Queens for doing 84 in a 50 zone. That was in Oct 2016. I went online and pleaded not guilty, with an initial hearing date set for Nov 2017. I rescheduled the hearing once online, pushing out the date to Jun 2018.

    Shortly before the rescheduled hearing date, the DMV sent me a letter rescheduling the Jun 2018 hearing for ‘administrative reasons’.

    The new date was set to be in Feb’ 2019. Now they sent a new letter, postponing the date again, for administrative reasons. The new date is now December 2019 (!!!).

    Do you have an idea as to what is going on here?

    • Ronen Cohen
      February 1, 2019

      Hello Finn,
      Thank you for your question. To answer, courts in this jurisdiction routinely adjourn court dates due to scheduling restrictions, and officer availability.

  • Josh
    December 13, 2018

    My home state is AR (Arkansas) I received a ticket today for violating the
    NYS V and T Law (1180D) for 75 in a 40. I don’t believe I was going that fast. It was more like 60-65. I didn’t argue with the trooper. I always try to be professional with police officers. I received the ticket in Cattaraugus county near Carrollton. I don’t want to plead guilty and have to pay 600 or more dollars. I’d like to plead not guilty but I can’t travel a thousand miles for court. What can your firm do for me? I haven’t done anything yet. Feel free to email me in case I miss your reply.

    • Ronen Cohen
      December 17, 2018

      Josh – hiring an attorney will allow you to contest this 8 point speeding ticket without the need to appear in court. Please note – aside from the fines associated with this ticket, there is an additional driver responsibiilty assessment fee of $450 that will be due.

  • Jacky JOSEPH
    November 26, 2018

    I can not make my court date on December 18, 2018

    • Ronen Cohen
      December 4, 2018

      Jacky – we are unable to assist you without any additional information regarding your court appearance. Please provide details so we may provide accurate information.

  • Andra
    November 14, 2018

    I got a speeding ticket over 2 months ago and mailed it back with a not guilty plead. I haven’t received anything back yet and when trying to look up the ticket, nothing shows up. It says I’m not in the system. Does it normally take this long? Who can I contact to get an update of my ticket and ensure it was received by the proper party?

    • Ronen Cohen
      November 14, 2018

      Andra – I would suggest contacting the local court that has jurisdiction over your case.

  • Ruth Chue
    October 25, 2018

    I have a. Courtdate. traffic about cell phone do not remember the court date Iam also disable with oxygen so hope you can help with date of court. Thanks

    • Ronen Cohen
      October 29, 2018

      Ruth – I suggest contacting the court in order to determine when you are scheduled to appear.

  • Meredith
    September 23, 2018

    Hi, the Bronx Traffic Court has changed my court date for a speeding ticket at least 3/4 times, and I changed it once. Is this still a valid ticket? I got it, believe, at least two years ago. Thank you for your help.

    • Ronen Cohen
      September 27, 2018

      Meredith – Adjourning court dates is common in this jurisdiction – and is not grounds for the dismissal of the ticket against you.

  • Maria pitogo
    July 11, 2018

    I got a uniform trafffic ticket in May and I’m suppose to mail it back 6/6/18 but I forgot about it I just found it right now what’s the next step that I will do?

    • Ronen Cohen
      July 13, 2018

      Maria – I would contact the court immediately and advise them of your error. You should determine whether you have been suspended for a failure to answer. Next, you will want to inquire the procedures for lifting a suspension (if necessary), or answering the ticket.

  • Wendell McLeod
    December 8, 2017

    I entered in my plea today online and it gave me a court date for yesterday. How do I reschedule to a future date. There must be something wrong with the system.

  • Martin
    October 10, 2017

    When is the last opportunity to change my court date online? 1 week before? 2 weeks? Is there a system to the rescheduling time frame?

    • RLF Attorneys
      October 20, 2017

      Martin – It depends which court you are referring to.

  • Jesse
    July 5, 2017

    I’ve pleaded not guilty on my TVB ticket. Couple of days later it came back with some mail that gave information about the location of the scheduled hearing. Is there any way that I can change the location?

    • RLF Attorneys
      July 14, 2017

      Generally speaking, you can not change venue in this court system.

  • Matt M
    May 10, 2017

    I received my ticket in April and my court date is in March 2018, is the ticket processed against insurance or communicated to my state? Or is it presumed innocent until this far off court date?

    • RLF Attorneys
      May 12, 2017

      Matt – these violations should not impact your insurance or add points to your license until your case is resolved.

  • Jeffrey Alvarado
    December 4, 2016

    How many times can i change my court date hearings ?

    • RLF Attorneys
      December 7, 2016

      Scheduling of court dates is at the discretion of the judge, and varies by jurisdiction.

  • Alex
    July 27, 2016

    I have read the postponement introduction from the dmv.ny.gov. If I want to postpone my court date, where should I send the request to?

    On the website it is said I should mailed it to TVB. My hearing is at Wayland, NY, and I saw the TVB location given under the website is at Albany and Garden City, is that the right place I should send my request to?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      July 28, 2016

      If your violation is in the traffic violations bureau, you may generally postpone your case online. If your case is before a town court, I suggest you contact the court directly. These two courts are separate and distinct, and have differing procedures.

  • Andrew
    July 18, 2016

    Got a court date but I am only here until August and it is in October. I live normally about 6 hours away. Will I be able to reschedule to get a sooner date?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      July 20, 2016

      Andrew – you may contact the court to attempt to get an earlier date – although it is often not possible to accomplish this. In many cases such as yours, attorneys are able to fight traffic tickets without the need for the physical appearance of their client.

  • Ronda Kaplan
    May 23, 2016

    I want to change the court date of my traffic ticket I’m going to be away

    • Adam Rosenblum
      May 26, 2016

      If the ticket was issued within the 5 boroughs in New York you can make changes to your court date at dmv.ny.gov.