A default conviction is filed against a defendant-motorist when he/she fails to appear for a scheduled trial or hearing. When a defendant-motorist fails to appear as scheduled, maximum fines and surcharges allowed by law could be assessed and a default conviction is recorded and transmitted to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency is not permitted to give legal advice. An individual who needs legal assistance may contact the Bar Association of Erie County’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (716) 852-3100 for referral to a private attorney.
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If you were issued a non-criminal Uniform Traffic Ticket for a traffic infraction in the City of Buffalo, it will be handled by the Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency.
Read the instructions and sign Section “A” of the ticket. Fill in the requested information and return to agency. If your mailing address is different from the address written on the front of the ticket, please write the correct mailing address in the space provided on the ticket. Please write your phone number on your ticket. A fine will be imposed and you will be notified by mail of the fine amount and due date to pay the said fine. EMAILbtva@buffalony.govMAIL:Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency65 Niagara Square115 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202
Read the instructions and sign Section “B” of the ticket. Fill in the requested information and return to the agency. If your mailing address is different from the address written on the front of the ticket, please write the correct mailing address in the space provided on the ticket. Please write your phone number on your ticket. EMAILbtva@buffalony.govMAIL:Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency65 Niagara Square115 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202
You will be contacted by mail. Upon review of your driving history, you may be offered a reduced plea. If a plea cannot be offered, or if you do not wish to accept the plea, you will be scheduled for a hearing before a Judicial Hearing Officer. The original plea offer will not be available at your hearing.If your mailing address is different from the address written on the front of the ticket, please write the correct mailing address in the space provided on the ticket.
If you don’t answer the ticket in the time allowed, your driver’s license will be suspended. Driving with a suspended license is a crime. A felony conviction may result in fines of up to $5,000, DMV sanctions, and/or confiscation of your vehicle. Later, you could be found guilty by default because of your failure to respond. Failure to pay would result in a judgment entered against you.
Fines must be paid on or before the date payment is due. If you are unable to pay your fine on the date it is due, you must contact the agency to request additional time to pay or enroll in a payment plan arrangement.
Please mail a check or money order, payable to City of Buffalo TVA, to 65 Niagara Square, Room 115, Buffalo, NY 14202. Postmark date is payment date.
DO NOT SEND CASH. Please convert cash payment to a money order.
Payments can also be made online at www.paycourtonline.com, or by telephone by dialing 888-912-1541 (service fees apply).
Fines can be paid by remitting payment to:Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency65 Niagara Square115 City HallBuffalo, NY 14202
Online payments can be made using a credit or debit card by visiting paycourtonline.com. Please have your ticket number or case number available (service charges apply).
Payments can be made using a credit or debit card by calling 888-912-1541. Please have your ticket number or case number available (service charges apply).
Failure to your fines, fees, or surcharges will result in a judgment entered against you. Motorists and registrants charged with a violation of Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 385 are subject to license suspension for failure to pay. Driving with a suspended license is a crime. A felony conviction may result in fines of up to $5,000, jail, probation, or confiscation of your vehicle.
Pursuant to Chapter 382 of the Laws of 2020 and Chapter 76 of the Laws of 2021, payment plans are available for fines, fees and mandatory surcharges incurred as a result of a violation of the vehicle and traffic law. For more information CLICK HERE. *Credit cards CANNOT be used to make partial payments.
If you are scheduled for Traffic Court, your case will be heard by a Judicial Hearing Officer, an experienced judge with special training in the Traffic Laws. A Judicial Hearing Officer has the authority to decide whether or not you are guilty and to set a fine if you are found guilty.
A Judicial Hearing Officer also has the authority to revoke or suspend your driver’s license when required by law or when the Judicial Hearing Officer believes it is in the interest of traffic safety. Just as in traffic courts in other areas of the state, you may present witnesses and evidence at your trial and you have a right to be represented by an attorney.
If you fail to appear for trial, your driver’s license will be suspended and you could be found guilty by default because of your failure to appear. Failure to pay would result in collections actions and a judgment would be entered against you.
Traffic Court is held several days per week. Court sessions are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Judicial Hearings are held at:Buffalo City Hall65 Niagara SquareRoom 1802Buffalo, NY 14202
If you have an upcoming trial, you may choose to participate remotely over video/audio conferencing software.
A Certificate of Disposition is an official court document affixed with the Court Seal that says what happened in a criminal case. It says the violation you were charged with, what you were convicted of, the date you were convicted and the sentence (fine) imposed. Pursuant to NYS Civil Practice Law and Rules §8021[c]; Judiciary Law §255, the fee for a “certificate of disposition” is $5.00.
If your case was disposed of prior to July 1, 2015 your case file remains in the custody of the DMV and the records cannot be accessed by this agency. You must contact the DMV in Albany at 718-488-5710.
To request a Certificate of Disposition, mail the following items:
Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency 65 Niagara Square, Room 115 Buffalo NY 14202
If the case in within the jurisdiction of the Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency, and has been disposed, then upon receipt of said payment, the Certificate of Disposition shall be furnished to you.
BUFFALO TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS CERTIFICATE OF DISPOSITION REQUEST FORM
Buffalo Traffic Prosecutors serve the agency by prosecuting traffic violations. The prosecutors appear at all judicial hearings. Defense attorneys are encouraged to contact the prosecutor by mail or fax (716) 851-9695, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your license is suspended due to Failure To Appear "Scofflaw," the suspension will be lifted when you Answer.
To "Answer" means appearing in person at the agency or contacting the agency via email or mail.
If you disagree with the decision of the Court, the appropriate action is to file an Appeal. You have a right to appeal a conviction and sentence within timelines set by law. The Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency is a court of record and the appeal process is governed by the Criminal Procedure Law. Appeals must be made through a superior court and are not made directly through the agency. Forms and more information may be obtained at the Eighth Judicial Department Help Center by visiting https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/8jd/helpctr.shtml.
If you would like to file an Appeal, it is strongly encouraged that you consult an attorney. However, you have the right to file an Appeal pro se, which means ‘without an attorney.’ More information can be found at NY Court Help.
A Scofflaw/Default Judgment is filed against a defendant-motorist when he/she fails to timely answer a ticket. Maximum fines and surcharges allowed by law are assessed. The Scofflaw/Default Judgment is recorded and transmitted to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
All tickets that have been adjudicated, closed, or suspended prior to July 1, 2015, must be answered to the DMV in Albany, NY. You may pay these tickets:
For more information, please visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you are scheduled for a pre-trial conference, you may request your conference to be rescheduled to a different date. The Prosecutor’s Office must receive your request at least 24 hours before the date of the conference. Any further adjournments will be considered and granted at the sole discretion of the Prosecutor’s Office. Your request for a second or subsequent postponement should include a "good cause," which is the reason you want the conference rescheduled.
You may request your trial to be adjourned and rescheduled to a different date. This may be done one time and one time only. The agency must receive your request at least 10 days before the date of the trial. Your request must include "good cause" for your trial to be postponed. Your “good cause” is subject to approval by the Judicial Hearing Officer. The agency must receive notice of your request at least 10 days before the date of the trial. No second requests for adjournments will be considered by the Court.
EQUIPMENT:Many equipment violations may be dismissed if timely repaired. To prove such a repair, an affidavit must be filled out and signed by a police officer or a DMV approved inspection station mechanic. The affidavit must be completely filled out and submitted with your plea. You MUST KEEP a COPY of the affidavit in case it is lost in the mail or otherwise. If you are unable to produce an affidavit or copy of the affidavit, the summons will be subject to review by the Prosecutor’s Office.
For equipment violations under the Vehicle & Traffic Law, use the VTL Correction Form.
For equipment violation under the Transportation Law (for Commercial Motor Vehicles), use the CMV Correction Form.
INSURANCE:If you are charged with an insurance violation, you may provide proof that the vehicle was insured on the date the violation was issued. Proof of insurance may only be considered by providing a letter from the Insurance Company (not an insurance broker). The letter must provide specific information and most insurance companies know what to put in the letter. Insurance cards, policies, etc. are NOT acceptable as proof of insurance, only a specific letter as indicated is acceptable. If the letter is sufficient to prove the vehicle was insured on the date in question, no fine or surcharge will be imposed. The maximum fines for uninsured vehicles can be up to $1500 and carries an $88 surcharge. A plea of guilty or conviction for uninsured vehicle will also carry a civil penalty of $750 from the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as the revocation of your driver’s license for one year.
INSPECTION:Summonses for uninspected vehicles may NOT be cured by getting the vehicle inspected. If the vehicle was not inspected at the time the summons was issued, there is no way to correct said violation.
REGISTRATION:Summonses for unregistered vehicles may NOT be cured by getting the vehicle registered. If the vehicle was not registered at the time the summons was issued, there is no way to correct said violation.
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Internship OpportunitiesThe Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency (Buffalo Traffic Court) offers law students the opportunity to serve an unpaid internship during their Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. If accepted into the program, students will be mentored by the City Traffic Prosecutor having overall supervision of the program. During their internship, students will perform a full range of law clerk responsibilities, including research and writing and will have the opportunity to observe live courtroom activity. Students participating in the program will also attend court proceedings, meetings with defendants and defense attorneys, depositions and other special events. Assignments will be focused in areas of traffic laws and criminal procedure.
Applying for a PositionApplications for all candidates should include a cover letter, resume, law school transcript and a short writing sample. Materials should be sent to:
Buffalo Traffic Violations AgencyInternship Application65 Niagara Square, Room 115Buffalo, NY 14202
The City of Buffalo does not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, or veteran status. Recruitment of a diverse staff is a priority in all hiring.