19 Jun SUPPORTING DEPOSITIONS
Supporting Deposition: You Should Request One!
If you did not receive a supporting deposition with the traffic ticket, you should almost always, with few exceptions, check the box requesting a supporting deposition. Of course, this only applies if you plead not guilty. And you should always plead not guilty and seek a plea bargain, rather than simply plead guilty and pay the fine and surcharge, resulting in full points on your license and the potential for an insurance rate increase.
Once the court receives the not guilty plea and request for a supporting deposition, the court clerk will send you a letter advising you of a new date to appear for a Pre-Trial Conference. On that date you, or your attorney, must appear in court.
The court clerk will also notify the complainant police officer that you have requested a supporting deposition. The police officer must, within 30 days of receipt of your request by the court, provide you with a supporting deposition. The police officer must also, within a reasonable time, file a copy of the supporting deposition with the court, as well as proof of service of the supporting deposition upon you.
If your current ticket will result in 6 points in the eighteen-month window, you will also be charged a driver responsibility assessment fee of $300 payable over three years with an additional $25 for each point over 6 points. So, for example, if the ticket puts you at 10 points in that 18-month window, you will be charged an additional $400 payable over three years. And if the current ticket will bring you up to 11 points in the 18-month window, you are going to receive a persistent violator letter and you are looking at a suspension of your license. And if this is your third speeding ticket conviction in the 18-month window, it will result in revocation of your license. So, think about the potential costs and other consequences you may face before you simply plead guilty. In most cases, it will probably be cheaper to hire a lawyer to take care of this for you. Then, you will have less anxiety about the matter and you will probably save money.
Whenever a motor vehicle operator receives a traffic ticket, he or she is entitled to a supporting deposition, which is supposed to supplement the factual information contained in the traffic ticket. You must plead not guilty and check the box in Section B of the Uniform Traffic Ticket to request a supporting deposition.
The Uniform Traffic Ticket will contain two boxes in the lower left side, typically, one box typically states that you must “Return” the ticket “By Mail or in Person” before that stated date. Another box indicates “You Must Appear in Person on” that stated date. Typically, the box indicating “Return by Mail or in Person” is the box that is checked by the police officer. Always make a copy of the ticket before returning it.
Requesting a supporting deposition is also a procedural tool that can give you some advantage in the litigation process, if the court or the police officer do not follow the procedural rules, precisely, as required by the Criminal Procedure Law. (If you don’t request a supporting deposition, you are not entitled to one.) As long as you make a timely request for a supporting deposition, you create a protocol, established by the Criminal Procedure Law, for the court and police officer to follow in providing you with a timely and adequate supporting deposition. If you do not request a supporting deposition, you simply do not create this protocol.