New York State Law

Vehicle and Traffic Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's VTL code

Article 2A - NY Vehicle and Traffic Law


S 226. Summons; answer.  1.  Summons.  The  commissioner  shall  be
  authorized to prescribe by regulation  the  form  for  the  summons  and
  complaint to be used for all traffic violations specified in subdivision
  one of section two hundred twenty-five of this chapter, and to establish
  procedures  for  proper  administrative  controls  over  the disposition
  thereof. Such summons may be the same as the  uniform  summons  provided
  for  in  section  two hundred seven of this chapter. The chief executive
  officer of each local police force which is required to use the  summons
  and  complaint provided for herein shall prepare or cause to be prepared
  such records and reports as may be prescribed by the commissioner.
    2. Answer. (a) General. Any  person  who  receives  a  summons  for  a
  violation   described   in   subdivision  one  of  section  two  hundred
  twenty-five of this chapter shall  answer  such  summons  by  personally
  appearing  on  the  return date at the time and place specified therein.
  Provided, however, that an answer may be made as provided in  paragraphs
  (b) and (c) of this subdivision and the regulations of the commissioner.
    (b)  Answer  by  mail  -  admitting charge. If a person charged with a
  violation admits to the violation as charged  in  the  summons,  he  may
  complete  an appropriate form prescribed by the commissioner and forward
  such form and  summons,  together  with  the  appropriate  part  of  his
  license, if required by the commissioner's regulations, to the office of
  the department specified on such summons. If a schedule of penalties for
  violations has been established, and such schedule appears on the answer
  form,  a  check  or  money  order  in  the amount of the penalty for the
  violation charged if included in such schedule, must also  be  submitted
  with   such   answer.   Unless  permitted  by  the  regulations  of  the
  commissioner, such plea may not be made by  mail  for  any  offense  for
  which suspension or revocation of a driver's license is required by law,
  or  for  any  other  offense if the conviction thereof would result in a
  hearing pursuant to a  highway  safety  program  established  under  the
  provisions  of  subdivision  three  of  section five hundred ten of this
    (c) Answer by mail - denial of charges. If the person charged with the
  violation denies part or all of the violation as charged in the summons,
  he may complete an appropriate form prescribed by the  commissioner  for
  that  purpose  and  forward  such  form and summons to the office of the
  department specified on such summons. Upon receipt, such answer shall be
  entered and a hearing date established by the department. The department
  shall notify such person by return mail of the date of such hearing.
    3. Failure to answer or appear; entry of order.   (a)  If  the  person
  charged  with the violation shall fail to answer the summons as provided
  herein, the commissioner may suspend such person's  license  or  driving
  privilege  or,  if  the  charge  involves  a  violation of section three
  hundred eighty-five, section four hundred one or  section  five  hundred
  eleven-a of this chapter by a registrant who was not the operator of the
  vehicle,  the registration of such vehicle or the privilege of operation
  of any motor vehicle owned by such registrant may  be  suspended,  until
  such person shall answer as provided in subdivision two of this section.
  If a person shall fail to appear at a hearing, when such is provided for
  pursuant  to  this  section,  such  person's license, or registration or
  privilege of operating or of operation, as appropriate, may be suspended
  pending appearance at a subsequent hearing, or the  disposition  of  the
  charges  involved.  Any  suspension  permitted  by  this subdivision, if
  already in effect, may be terminated or if not yet  in  effect,  may  be
  withdrawn  or withheld, prior to the disposition of the charges involved
  if such person shall appear and post security in  the  amount  of  forty
  dollars  to guarantee his or her appearance at any required hearing. The
  security posted pursuant to this  subdivision  shall  be  returned  upon
  appearance  at  the  scheduled  hearing  or  an  adjourned hearing which
  results in a final disposition of the charge,  and  otherwise  shall  be
  forfeited. If a suspension has been imposed pursuant to this subdivision
  and  the case is subsequently transferred pursuant to subdivision two of
  section two hundred twenty-five of this article, such  suspension  shall
  remain  in  effect  until the person answers the charges in the court to
  which the case was transferred. Any suspension issued pursuant  to  this
  paragraph  shall  be  subject  to  the  provisions of paragraph (j-1) of
  subdivision two of section five hundred three of this chapter.
    (b) Failure to answer or appear in accordance with the requirements of
  this section and any regulations promulgated hereunder shall  be  deemed
  an  admission  to the violation as charged, and an appropriate order may
  be entered in the department's records, and a fine consistent  with the
  provisions  of  this  chapter and regulations of the commissioner may be
  imposed by the commissioner or person designated  by  the  commissioner.
  Prior  to  entry  of an order and imposition of a fine, the commissioner
  shall notify such person by mail at the address of such person  on  file
  with  the  department in accordance with section two hundred fourteen of
  this chapter: (i) of the violation charged; (ii) of the impending  entry
  of such order and fine; (iii) that such order and fine may be filed as a
  judgment  with  the  county clerk of the county in which the operator or
  registrant is located; and (iv) that entry of such order and  imposition
  of  such  fine may be avoided by entering a plea or making an appearance
  within thirty days of the sending of such notice. In no case shall  such
  an  order  and fine be entered and imposed more than two years after the
  date of the alleged violation. Upon application in such manner and  form
  as  the  commissioner shall prescribe an order and fine shall be vacated
  upon the ground of excusable default.

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Vehicle and Traffic Law - Table of Contents
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