If you receive a Traffic Ticket in the Town of Horseheads and the Offense Type on the front of the ticket is a Misdemeanor, you must appear in Town Court on the date written on the ticket to be arraigned before a Town Justice.
If the Offense Type is a Traffic Infraction, you can plead guilty or not guilty.
To plead guilty, fill out Part A of the Uniform Traffic Ticket (PDF). Include your current mailing address and sign it. Return the ticket to the Horseheads Town Court by mail, in person at the Court Clerk's Office in Town Hall, or in person before the judge on the date of your scheduled appearance before the court. If you mail the ticket, send it by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. The court will notify you by mail of the fines and mandatory surcharge assessed. If your mailing address changes, You must notify the court.
Not Guilty Plea
- To plead not guilty, fill out Part B of the Uniform Traffic Ticket, sign it and mail it to Horseheads Town Court within 48 hours of receipt of the ticket. Send it by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.
- You can also plead not guilty by appearing before the Court on the date specified on your ticket.
You can request a Supporting Deposition by checking the appropriate box on the back of the ticket. A supporting Deposition will provide you with additional information regarding the basis for the ticket. A Supporting Deposition request must be timely: within 30 days of the appearance date listed on the ticket. The Court will then order the Supporting Deposition from the Police Officer who issued the ticket. The Police Officer must provide you with the Supporting Deposition.
After your not guilty plea is entered, your case will be scheduled for a Pre-Trial Conference with the Assistant District Attorney. The Court will advise you by First Class Mail of the appearance date. If your mailing address changes prior to this, you must notify the court. If you do not accept the recommendation by the Assistant District Attorney, the matter will be set down for a non-jury trial.
You should advise the Court if you will be represented by an attorney and the attorney should file a Notice of Appearance with the Court.
At your trial, the Police Officer (prosecutor) must present evidence to the Court. You will have the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses the prosecution presents. You can also present evidence to the Court, including testimony from yourself or any other individuals. If you need to subpoena a witness, you can apply for a subpoena at the time that you are notified of the trial date.
At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will render a verdict or reserve decision. If the Court reserves the decision, a written decision will be issued by the Judge and you will receive a copy at the address on file with the Court.
If the Court finds you not guilty on all infractions, the case is ended.
If the Court finds you guilty of one or more infractions, a fine and mandatory surcharge will be assessed.
You have the right to appeal a traffic infraction conviction. Contact the Court Clerk's office for directions. You are given an appearance date at the time the ticket is issued and you are required to enter a plea by that date. If you do not return the ticket and you fail to appear before the Court, your driver's license will be suspended.
The suspension goes into effect at 12:01 am on the "Effective Suspension date" on the notice mailed to you by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Driving Privileges Suspended for Failure to Appear
- If you have received a Notice of Suspension for failure to appear, you must appear with the Suspension Notice on Tuesday prior to the effective suspension date indicated on the Notice.
- Out-of-state drivers may still plea by mail by following the instructions on the Notice of Suspension. If you enter a guilty plea you will receive notice of the fine and mandatory surcharge due by mail. If you enter a not guilty plea the matter will be set down for trial and you will receive notification by mail of the trial date.
- If appearing after the effective suspension date on the notice (or out-of-state drivers entering plea by mail), you must pay the New York State mandatory reinstatement fee per charge. Any questions about the fee, contact the court clerk at 607-739-2113.