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 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 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.  

Even if you believe that you are not eligible to participate in diversion, you still must submit for review the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion to allow the District Attorney’s Office to decide if an exception to the eligibility requirements should be granted or to propose a reduction offer to dispose of your ticket.  

 KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Before submitting the Madison County Application for 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 PARTICIPATE 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 any applicant.  Being “eligible” for the program does NOT automatically ensure your participation in the program. Being “ineligible” based on the eligibility requirements below does not mean that an exception will not be granted subject to appropriate conditions.

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:

  • Your ticket(s) was issued for an eligible offense (see below);
  • 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);
  • You have not have participated in the Madison County Traffic Diversion Program within the last 12 months;
  • You have a valid license and automobile insurance on the vehicle you own;
  • You enter (by mail or in person) your plea of “not guilty” with the Court and obtain at least a sixty (60) day adjournment;
  • 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);
  • 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.);
  • After acceptance, you pay the administrative fee set by the District Attorney’s Office in their email to you. (Typically, this administrative fee is $200, but the amount set out in the email to you is the fee that you must pay.)  At this time, payment can only be sent in by mail and you must obtain a money order (or other certified funds) in United States funds only made payable to the “Madison County Treasurer’s Office”;
  • You must start the process by completing and submitting by mail or email (with email being the preferred method) the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion.   

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 25 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

 IMPORTANT – PLEASE NOTE BEFORE PROCEEDING:

* You cannot presently pay online and any required administrative fees must be mailed in as per the directions provided after your acceptance into the Madison County Traffic Diversion program. Personal checks are not accepted. Please be sure to submit only the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion along with a copy of your ticket (including, if it is a “fix it” ticket, proof that the equipment violation has been corrected or the vehicle inspected).

**   It is your responsibility to enter a not guilty plea with the court and to obtain an adjournment of your case. If you do not do so, you must personally appear on the date appearing on your ticket or scheduled by the court. Filling out and sending in an application does not change your next scheduled court date. 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 call for an adjournment: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/417/Justice-Courts 

***     Do not delay completing and submitting the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion.  Diversion acceptance or a reduction offer normally are subject to certain conditions that you will have to complete before your ticket is diverted or a reduction offer is made. Any conditions must be completed before your next court date or you must obtain from the court a further adjournment. (See link above for Madison Court contact information.) If you do not obtain a further adjournment, you must personally appear at your next court date.

**** “Fix it” or inspection tickets require that you send in 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 ticket will be dismissed after submitting the application and the required proof that the equipment was fixed or the vehicle inspected. 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 (without any attachments) to traffictickets@madisoncounty.ny.gov.   The email should include in the subject line the name of the client, the court in which the ticket is pending, the type of ticket issued, and the ticket number.  The body of the email should be a request for diversion and any equities the attorney feels are appropriate.  The District Attorney’s Office will respond by email directly to the attorney with further instructions.

If you are not represented by an attorney:

  • You must complete and submit – either by mail or by email (with email the preferred method) – the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion. This is the only form which should be submitted whether you are seeking diversion or a reduction and even if you think you are not eligible.
    • If your application is accepted, you will be notified by email of your acceptance into diversion, any conditions you must complete, the amount of the administrative fee, and the address to which you should send proof of the completion of any conditions (which includes the administrative fee).  
      • Once you have submitted proof of the completion of any conditions (including the administrative fee), an email will be sent to you and the Court that will serve as notice that your ticket has been diverted and the case should be dismissed.  Traffic Diversion results in the dismissal of your ticket with no additional fines or surcharges imposed by the Court or points assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
        • If you reject the traffic diversion proposal, the Court will schedule your case for a trial at which time you must personally appear or the trial can proceed without you.
        • If you wish to accept the traffic diversion proposal but need more time to complete the conditions (which includes the administrative fee), it is your responsibility to contact the court for an adjournment.
    • If your application is not accepted, an alternative reduction proposal will be emailed to you and the Court that you can accept or reject.
      • If you accept the reduction offer, you can enter a plea by hitting “reply all” to the email sent to you to notify the Court and the District Attorney’s Office that you are accepting the proposal.
        • By accepting this proposal, you are agreeing that the “reply all” email is the equivalent of an original signed document accepting the reduction offer. The Court will then notify you of the fine and surcharge. This fine and surcharge must be paid before the Court will officially enter the reduction into its records and close your case.
      • If you reject the alternative reduction proposal, the Court will schedule your case for a trial at which time you must personally appear or the trial can proceed without you.
  • While exceptions are sometimes made in the sole discretion of the District Attorney’s Office, one of the usual requirements for participation in diversion or accepting a reduction offer is the completion online or in person of a New York State DMV approved Defensive Driving Course (DDC) (unless you live out of state or country – see below). 
    • To see a list of approved DDC providers and to learn about how completion of the DDC will remove points from your license and reduce your insurance rate, please review the following documents:
    • If you live out of state or out of country (such as Canada), and a Defensive Driving Course is required, you must complete a course online or in person that is offered in your state or country of residence. If you wish, you can try to complete one approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, however, you might run into an issue because you do not have a New York State driver identification number.
  • Before completing the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion – PLEASE NOTE:
    • You should accurately and legibly complete the application.
      • It is strongly preferred that you submit the application by email since this will considerably speed up the process.
    • It is very important that you include an accurate email address.
      • If you do not have access to email, you must clearly indicate this on your application.
    • You should not complete a Defensive Driving Course prior to submitting your application.
      • If a Defensive Driving Course is required, that will be one of the conditions of diversion or reduction that will be included in the email sent to you.
    • You should not submit a DMV or equivalent Abstract of your driving history.
      • On the application, you will certify as to your driving history.  If an abstract is required, that will be one of the conditions of diversion or reduction that will be included in the email sent to you by the District Attorney’s Office.
    • You may, but are not required to, submit any explanations or equities that you feel are relevant to the District Attorney’s Office consideration of you application.

Completing and submitting the Madison County Application for Traffic Diversion:

  • Apply by Mail – Click here to download application that you can fill out, print, and mail to:
Traffic Diversion Program
Madison County District Attorney’s Office
Veterans Memorial Building
Wampsville, New York 13163

QUESTIONS

Please direct any questions to the Madison County District Attorney’s Office at 315-366-2236 or email at traffictickets@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”.