Madison County Traffic Diversion Program

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MADISON COUNTY TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM

 Administered by the Madison County District Attorney’s Office

The Madison County Traffic Diversion Program has been established in recognition of the fact that the vast majority of people who receive a traffic ticket are law-abiding citizens who are now facing their first interaction with the criminal justice system. This program is designed to assist eligible citizens who are seeking a disposition of their current Vehicle and Traffic Tickets in a way that will both educate them as to traffic safety and allow them to avoid the potentially negative consequences of a traffic conviction.    The program is administered by the Madison County District Attorney’s Office.

PLEASE NOTE AND UNDERSTAND THAT PARTICIPATING IN THE TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM DIVERTS YOUR TICKET FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND INTO AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS THAT WILL ULTIMATELY RESULT IN THE DISMISSAL OF YOUR TICKET(S) SO LONG AS YOU COMPLY WITH ALL REQUIREMENTS.

Please also note that the Madison County District Attorney’s Office reserves the right in their sole discretion to approve or deny participation in the Traffic Diversion Program as well as to make such exceptions to program eligibility as they in their sole discretion determine.  

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Before considering Madison County’s Traffic Diversion Program, know your rights:

  • You have a right to a trial;
  • You have the right to retain an attorney to represent you.   (However, you do not have the right to have an attorney appointed to you free of charge on a traffic ticket unless it is for a misdemeanor offense.);
  • You are presumed innocent and the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is always on the prosecution;
  • You have a right to cross-exam the witnesses against you and to call witnesses to testify on your behalf;
  • You have a right to discovery under Article 245 of the New York State Criminal Procedure Law;
  • You have a right to a speedy trial under the Federal Constitution, the State Constitution, and the New York State Criminal Procedure Law;
  • BY PARTICIPATING IN THE TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM YOU WILL GIVING UP THESE RIGHTS AND AGREEING TO DIVERT YOUR TICKET(S) OUT OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

DIVERSION PROGRAM GOALS

  • Promote Safe Driving:  Participants in the Traffic Diversion Program are normally required to complete a Defensive Driving Course.  Although this requirement can be waived in an appropriate case, the completion of a Defensive Driving Course increases awareness of safe driving habits and reduces the rate of repeat traffic offenders.
  • Promote Driver Financial Responsibility: Participants in the Traffic Diversion Program are required to have a valid driver’s license and an automobile insurance policy in effect for the car they own (not necessarily the car that was driven if it belongs to someone else) in order to be eligible to participate. 
  • Efficiently Resolve Cases: The Traffic Diversion Program is designed to provide a means to educate the public and to allow eligible citizens the opportunity to earn the right to resolve their case without points being added to their license or increased automobile insurance costs.

PARTICIPANT BENEFITS

  • You  will derive the educational benefits from the Defensive Driving Course if required;
  • You may receive a 10% reduction in your automobile insurance costs if the Defensive Driving Course is required and completed;
  • You will remove up to four points from your driving record if the Defensive Driving Course is required and completed;
  • You will have your ticket dismissed and it will not appear on your driving record.

ELIGIBILITY

PLEASE NOTE that the Madison County District Attorney’s Office reserves the right to use our discretion to approve or deny participation in the Traffic Diversion Program.  

While exceptions to the eligibility requirements may be made on a case-by-case basis (see below), you are presumptively eligible to participate in the Traffic Diversion Program if you meet the following requirements:

  1. Your ticket(s) was issued for an eligible offense (see below); 
  2. You have not been convicted of any moving violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law within the last 12 months (regardless of the original charge or the location of the original charge); 
  3. You have not have participated in the Madison County Traffic Diversion Program within the last 12 months; 
  4. You have a valid license and automobile insurance on the vehicle you own;
  5. You enter (by mail or in person) your plea of “not guilty” with the Court and obtain at least a sixty (60) day adjournment; 
  6. If required, by (7) seven days before your adjourned court date, complete in person or online a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DVM) approved Defensive Driving Course (DDC) which is taken subsequent to the issuance of your ticket. (A link to approved providers appears below and the most recently searched list can be found at the District Attorney’s website in the Traffic Reduction link);
  7. If there was an accident resulting in damage to another car or property, you must obtain a letter from your insurance company stating that you have coverage and the accident is being addressed.  (You are not eligible if there was an injury to a person other than yourself.);
  8. After acceptance, you pay the administrative fee set by the District Attorney’s Office which typically starts at $200.  At this time, payment can only be sent in by mail and you must obtain a money order (or other certified funds) payable in United States funds only made payable to the “Madison County Treasurer’s Office”.

ELIGIBLE OFFENSES

“Eligible Offense” means any New York State Vehicle and Traffic violation, but specifically excludes the following (unless granted an exception by the Madison County District Attorney’s Office): 

  • VTL §1180 Speeding 20 mph or more over the speed limit; 
  • VTL §1180 Speeding in a school or construction zone; 
  • VTL §1192 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (Intoxicated or Impaired); 
  • VTL §1212 Reckless Driving; 
  • VTL §511 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 1st Degree and/or where the suspension revocation is the result of a DWI/DWAI conviction or a suspension pending prosecution.  (Otherwise, AUO 2nd and 3rd Degree tickets and Registration offenses can be considered for diversion.); 
  • VTL §1174 Passing a Stopped School Bus; 
  • Accidents that resulted in physical, serious physical injury or death to someone other than the driver; 
  • VTL §600-1a Leaving the scene of an accident; or any offense committed in a school or construction zone.
  • EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY (SEE BELOW) ARE MADE ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS BY THE MADISON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.  ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS AND TERMS MAY BE IMPOSED IF AN EXCEPTION IS GRANTED.  THE GRANTING OF AN EXCEPTION IS IN THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE MADISON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

REQUESTING PARTICIPATION IN THE MADISON COUNTY TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM

IMPORTANT – PLEASE NOTE BEFORE PROCEEDING:  

COVID-19 PANDEMIC – AUGUST 10, 2020 UPDATE:  

         The Madison County District Attorney’s Office is slowly reopening along with the New York State Court System.  The re-opening of the courts, and the need to address a backlog of criminal cases postponed during the pandemic, have put added strain on the resources of the District Attorney’s Office.  As a result, we can only continue to process Traffic Diversion Requests made by attorneys that strictly follow the instructions set out herein.  Due to staffing issues, we will only respond to properly submitted diversion requests.  

As of August 21, 2020, we will only accept emails and letters requesting diversion from attorneys.  For anyone not represented by an attorney, they must personally appear in Court on the next scheduled District Attorney day.   We regret the inconvenience.

Thank you and stay safe!

IMPORTANT DIVERSION PROGRAM NOTES:

*          You cannot presently pay online and any required administrative fees must be mailed in as per the directions below.  Personal checks are not accepted.  

**        It is your responsibility to enter a not guilty plea with the court and to obtain an adjournment of your case.  If you are not represented by an attorney, you must personally appear to conference the matter with an Assistant District Attorney.  If instead of personally appearing you wish to retain an attorney, it is your responsibility to obtain any needed adjournment of your case.   Only the court can give you an adjournment date.  If you need an adjournment, please click on this link to see a listing of the courts in Madison County and the telephone number that you should contact for an adjournment: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/417/Justice-Courts 

***      “FIX IT” OR INSPECTION TICKETS are handled differently.  If your only tickets are “fixit” or inspection, then simply mail into the Court a copy of the ticket and proof the equipment violation has been fixed or the vehicle inspected.  If that is the only ticket you received, the Court will notify the District Attorney’s Office upon receipt of these materials and we will move to dismiss.  If you have turned in the plates and disposed of the vehicle rather than having it fixed or inspected, you must submit proof of the surrender of your license plates or the sale/destruction of the vehicle before the ticket will be dismissed.

If you are represented by an attorney or considering retaining an attorney:

An attorney represents your interests.  The attorney will contact the District Attorney’s Office directly to resolve your ticket. Depending on your circumstances, the attorney can present all equities on your behalf and request an appropriate disposition of your ticket that can include the Traffic Diversion Program (even if you think you are ineligible).  An attorney can also request waivers of certain program requirements such as the need to complete a defensive driving course.  Usually, the attorney can do all this without the need for you to personally appear in court. Keep in mind that an attorney understands the system and how to navigate it successfully.  

If you have an attorney, please have your attorney start the process by sending an email to:  traffictickets@madisoncounty.ny.gov. (This email address is exclusively for attorneys and all other people using this email will not receive a reply.)  

The email should include in the subject line:

  1. The name of the client;
  2. The client’s date of birth;
  3. The court in which the ticket is pending;
  4. The type of ticket issued, and the ticket number.  (IF THE TICKET IS FOR SPEEDING, THE ALLEGED SPEED AND THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE SUBJECT LINE.)   

The body of the email should include:

  1. A request for diversion;
  2. Any equities the attorney feels are appropriate.  

The attachments – in PDF form – should include:

  1. A copy of the ticket;
  2. Any other relevant information.  

The District Attorney’s Office will respond by email directly to the attorney with further instructions, conditions, and will set the appropriate administrative fee.

PLEASE NOTE THAT traffictickets@madisoncounty.ny.gov IS AVAILABLE FOR USE BY AN ATTORNEY ONLY.  ALL OTHER EMAILS FROM NON-ATTORNEYS WILL NOT BE ANSWERED. 

If you are not represented by an attorney and elect to apply for traffic diversion, as of August 21, 2020, this must be done by personally appearing in the local court on the next scheduled District Attorney day for a conference.

Revised & Updated 8/10/2020