Madison County Traffic Diversion Program

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 PARTICPATING IN THE TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM DIVERTS YOUR TICKET FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND INTO AN ADMISTRATIVE 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 any application for participation in the Traffic Diversion Program as well as to make such exceptions to program eligibility as they in their sole discretion determine. 

If you are not eligible to participate in diversion or do not wish to do so, you may, as an alternative, request a reduction to your traffic ticket. 


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Before applying to participate in traffic diversion, 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 APPLYING TO PARTICPATE 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 will be required to complete a Defensive Driving Course. This requirement will increase awareness of safe driving habits and reduce 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 that was driven 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;
  • You may receive a 10% reduction in your automobile insurance costs;
  • You will remove up to four points from your driving record;
  • 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 any applicant. Being “eligible” for the program does NOT automatically ensure your participation in the program.

While exceptions to the eligibility requirements may be made on a case-by-case basis (see below), you are 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 were driving at the time of the offense;
  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. 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 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. You pay a non-refundable administrative fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) online or obtain a money order (or other certified funds) in United States funds only made payable to the “Madison County Treasurer’s Office”;
  9. You complete and submit online or by mail the Application for Traffic Diversion and submit with the application the following:
    • A copy of your ticket or tickets;
    • Proof of completion of a NYS DMV approved Defensive Driving Course;
    • If there was a property damage accident, the letter from your insurance company described above;
    • Payment of the non-refundable $200.00 application fee that is either paid through the Madison County District Attorney’s website (if your application was submitted online) or is enclosed when mailed in with these other items. (The payment must be made in United States funds only. If mailed in, the certified check/money order must be 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 30 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 (3rd, 2nd, or 1st Degree);
  • VTL §1174 Passing a Stopped School Bus;
  • Accidents that resulted in property damage to another car or property other than the driver’s car;
  • 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.

APPLYING FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE MADISON COUNTY TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM

APPLYING FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM DOES NOT CHANGE THE NEED TO PERSONALLY APPEAR AT YOUR NEXT SCHEDULED COURT DATE. IT IS ONLY THE APPROVAL OF YOUR APPLICATION, THE COMPLETION OF ALL REQUIREMENTS, AND THE SUBMISSION OF PROOF OF COMPLETION OF ALL REQUIREMENTS BY AT LEAST SEVEN (7) DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR NEXT SCHEDULED COURT DATE THAT WILL RELIEVE YOU OF THE NEED TO PERSONALLY APPEAR.

  1. The Madison County District Attorney’s Office reserves the right to use our discretion to approve or deny any applicant;
  2. Being “eligible” for the program does NOT automatically ensure your participation in the program;
  3. Review the “Eligibility” section above to confirm you are eligible to participate;
  4. Review the “Eligible Offenses” section above to confirm your charges are eligible to be diverted;
  5. If you are eligible and you were ticketed for an eligible offense, complete the steps outlined (5) through (9) of the Eligibility section above;
  6. If you do not complete the requirements of the preceding paragraph at least seven (7) days before your next scheduled court appearance, you must personally appear and no adjournments will be granted without your personal appearance. Please note that the failure to appear in court as directed may result in the suspension of your privilege to drive in New York State.
  7. The application for participation in traffic diversion is available in court when a representative of the District Attorney’s Office is present. The application is also available at the District Attorney’s website at the following link: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/259/District-Attorney. Once at the website, click on “Ticket Reduction/Diversion”;
  8. You must completely fill out all information requested in the Traffic Diversion Program Application. (Typed is preferred; handwritten is allowed but must be legibly printed);
  9. There are two ways to submit your application for traffic diversion:
    • Online at the Madison County District Attorney’s Office website at the following address: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/259/District-Attorney. Once at the website, click on “Ticket Reduction/Diversion” to access and complete the application;
    • By mail use the application provided in Court or downloaded from the DA’s website and mail in your signed application and the necessary enclosures (see above) to: Madison County District Attorney’s Office, ATTN: Traffic Diversion Program, Veterans Memorial Building, Wampsville, New York 13163;
  10. After the receipt and review of all required materials, the District Attorney’s Office will notify the Court that your ticket has been successfully diverted and the charge will be dismissed;
    • You will receive by email the notice to the Court that your ticket should be dismissed;
    • The Court will send you a notification of the dismissal.

APPLYING FOR AN EXCEPTION TO PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Exceptions to program eligibility requirements may be made on a case-by-case basis. If you wish to be considered for an exception:

  • You must submit your request by email only sent to traffic@madisoncounty.ny.gov. The subject line of your email should state “Request for Exception”; 
  • Either as an attachment to your email or in the body of the email you should provide an explanation as to why an exception should be granted – set out all your equities; 
  • In addition to your explanation, you should attach to the email a copy of your tickets as well as any other documentation that you deem relevant for consideration of granting an exception; 

You will then receive a reply email stating whether an exception is granted and on what terms:

  • The Madison County District Attorney’s Office reserves the right to condition an approval on the imposition of additional requirements above and beyond those set out above; 
  • If an exception is granted, you are still responsible for timely completing the steps outlined in the Applying for Participation section above; 
  • KEEP IN MIND THAT SEEKING AN EXCEPTION DOES NOT BY ITSELF CHANGE THE NEED TO APPEAR AT YOUR NEXT SCHEDULED COURT DATE. ONLY THE GRANTING OF AN EXCEPTION AND THE COMPLETION OF ALL REQUIREMENTS IN A TIMELY FASHION WILL RELIEVE YOU OF THE NEED TO APPEAR AT YOUR ADJOURNED COURT DATE.

In considering whether to seek an exception, please note an “exception” is sought when either the ticket was issued for a non-eligible offense and/or you do not meet one of the other program eligibility requirements. Please also note the following:

  1. Granting an exception is solely within the discretion of the Madison County District Attorney’s Office;
  2. If approved, the amount of the administrative fee will increase from two hundred dollars ($200.00) to three hundred fifty ($350.00).

DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE (DDC)

As set out above, participants in the Traffic Diversion Program will be required to complete a Defensive Driving Course approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

The District Attorney’s Office accepts any course approved by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. The cost of the course is in addition to the cost of participating in the program. Once the applicant completes the Defensive Driving Course, the Traffic Diversion Application should be submitted with all required materials including proof of completion of the DDC to the District Attorney’s Office.

A list of approved providers can be found at the following link: https://dmv.ny.gov/pirp/online

The cost can vary, but when the links were last checked at least one provider was offering the online course for $29.95.

More information about the New York State DMV Point and Insurance Reduction Program can be found at the following link: https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/point-insurance-reduction-program

REMEMBER, do not submit the Defensive Driving Course certificate to the court. A copy of the completion certificate that is sent to the District Attorney’s Office is sufficient proof. It should be submitted as outlined above in one submission along with the other required materials.

Upon completion of the requirements of the Traffic Diversion Program, the District Attorney’s Office will move to withdraw prosecution of the pending traffic ticket(s). The Court will notify you of the dismissal of your traffic ticket.


IF YOU ARE NOT APPROVED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE TRAFFIC DIVERSION PROGRAM

  1. You must appear at your next scheduled court date;
  2. You will still have all the rights set out above;
  3. You can still ask for a reduction to your ticket;
    • This can be done at your next scheduled court date by conferencing the matter with a prosecutor or an alternative offer might be included in your notice that you were not approved. Please read your notice carefully.

QUESTIONS

Please direct any questions to the Madison County District Attorney’s Office at 315-366-2236 or email at traffic@madisoncounty.ny.gov. For additional information about the program or to access this application online, please go to the Madison County website at www.madisoncounty.ny.gov then click on “Departments” and then “District Attorney”. Once at the DA’s website, click on “Ticket Reductions”.