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Got A Summons for Littering in NYC

VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
The charges on the ticket are 16-118 sub 1. Two questions:

I can't seem to find the fines I might be looking at for this. Can anyone link it?

Since I have to appear in court over this, should I get a lawyer, or just show up, plead guilty, and be done with it?

Vanguard on
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Posts

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    Can you plead No Contest in NYC? That's what I always do; it's basically a semantic "I'm not guilty but I'm going to pay anyway"

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  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Did you litter? Show up, pay the fine, call it a day.

    Lawyering up over a littering ticket seems pretty extreme.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I didn't plan on fighting it, but rather, is it bad form to show up with no legal representation or can I just show up, plead guilty, pay the fine and move on?

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I didn't plan on fighting it, but rather, is it bad form to show up with no legal representation or can I just show up, plead guilty, pay the fine and move on?

    It's a littering ticket.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    What Esh is saying is a lawyer would love to bill you for his time and laugh with his buddies about the guy who called him about a littering ticket. So, no. Don't lawyer up.

    But are you sure you're reading the ticket right? Where does it say you must attend a court date? Go over it carefully. The court might be one of the options. You should be able to mail a cheque and be done with it.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    It's a summons, lists the courthouse address, and the date I have to appear. It doesn't specify how much the fine is. I would much rather pay the fine than waste a day in court.

    Vanguard on
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Vanguard wrote:
    The charges on the ticket are 16-118 sub 1. Two questions:

    I can't seem to find the fines I might be looking at for this. Can anyone link it?

    Since I have to appear in court over this, should I get a lawyer, or just show up, plead guilty, and be done with it?

    You don't need a lawyer.
    Show up.
    Dress nice. (Suit isn't required)
    Say "sorry your honor, it'll never happen again".
    Pray that the judge is in an awesome mood.

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/ADC/16/1/16-118

    You may need an internet lawyer to parse this. :) It looks like it's a $50-$250 fine, but that's based on looking at it for a grand total of three minutes.

    Sorry dude. :(

    Deebaser on
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Bloat much? Registered User regular
  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    To be fair, I don't litter as a habit.

    He still wrote the summons.

    Vanguard on
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Vanguard wrote: »
    To be fair, I don't litter as a habit. I was walking with a friend and sharing a beer. Cops drove by, I saw them backing up their car so I dropped the bottle on the sidewalk. They asked what happened to the bottle, told them I finished it.

    He still wrote the summons.

    So you avoided an open container and/or public drunkenness charge with littering. You got off easy.

    Edit: Unless this is my geographic bias showing. Is it not illegal to drink alcohol on the street in the US?

    Figgy on
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  • y2jake215y2jake215 The style is radiation leak at mile island Also known as Chernobyl talk, listen for the sirensRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Figgy wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    To be fair, I don't litter as a habit. I was walking with a friend and sharing a beer. Cops drove by, I saw them backing up their car so I dropped the bottle on the sidewalk. They asked what happened to the bottle, told them I finished it.

    He still wrote the summons.

    So you avoided an open container and/or public drunkenness charge with littering. You got off easy.

    Edit: Unless this is my geographic bias showing. Is it not illegal to drink alcohol on the street in the US?

    To be fair he's never said he didn't get off easy, or attempted to shirk responsibility for this. He was just explaining why, in this instance, he littered, as he doesn't make littering a habit

    edit: and yes, it is illegal, at least in NYC, to have an open container of alcohol on the street. Some places in the US it isn't (New Orleans, for example, you can have open containers if plastic)

    y2jake215 on
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  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    I would not tell the judge this story. Just sayin.



  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    To be fair, I don't litter as a habit. I was walking with a friend and sharing a beer. Cops drove by, I saw them backing up their car so I dropped the bottle on the sidewalk. They asked what happened to the bottle, told them I finished it.

    He still wrote the summons.

    So you avoided an open container and/or public drunkenness charge with littering. You got off easy.

    Edit: Unless this is my geographic bias showing. Is it not illegal to drink alcohol on the street in the US?

    To be fair he's never said he didn't get off easy, or attempted to shirk responsibility for this. He was just explaining why, in this instance, he littered, as he doesn't make littering a habit

    edit: and yes, it is illegal, at least in NYC, to have an open container of alcohol on the street. Some places in the US it isn't (New Orleans, for example, you can have open containers if plastic)

    I wasn't saying it to patronize. Just expressing that it could have been much worse.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I would not tell the judge this story. Just sayin.

    Why not? :lol:

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I would not tell the judge this story. Just sayin.

    Why not? :lol:

    Because littering judges aren't known for being chill bros. :)

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
  • tapeslingertapeslinger utter Yog-Sothothery Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    To be fair, I don't litter as a habit. I was walking with a friend and sharing a beer. Cops drove by, I saw them backing up their car so I dropped the bottle on the sidewalk. They asked what happened to the bottle, told them I finished it.

    He still wrote the summons.

    If there is any part of the ticket which was supposed to be filled out but was left blank or contains invalid information they _may_ let you off if you take the time to go to court. I received a ticket for "occupying more than one seat on the subway" (in an empty car at 2AM... Quota cop much?)
    anyway, so the cop half assed my ticket and I ended up paying nothing but time wasted

    Your mileage may vary, not a lawyer, all anecdotal, etc

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Hmmm. He never had me sign the bottom of it acknowledging receipt. He listed his precinct as 000, I'm not sure if that means anything or nothing though.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    You can call the court, and see if they'll just let you pay without appearing.

    And to clarify, the reason you don't need a lawyer is that this is an infraction, not a misdemeanor. It's not like it's going to count as a criminal conviction or anything.

  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    Wear a suit. For the love of god. Or at least a coat and tie. You do not want to know what courthouse folks think of people that don't wear the uniform. No reason to start in a hole.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • MaguanoMaguano Registered User regular
    many (15?) years ago i got a summons for an open container in NYC. (i was over 21 at the time) anyways, go to court, there will probably be a public defender type dude there (mind look like Dan from Night Court,- shiny suit and all) he'll look at the ticker and when its your turn hell do most of the chatting. i got off cause the cop never wrote what was in the container...fairly painless process overall. Just bring your check book...

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Try calling the prosecutors office. He'd rather have one less case to deal with if you just want to pay it.

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    Wear a suit. For the love of god. Or at least a coat and tie. You do not want to know what courthouse folks think of people that don't wear the uniform. No reason to start in a hole.

    Disagree in part. Only wear a suit if you have a suit in good repair that fits well. Don't play dress up. If you have pressed slacks, an ironed shirt/tie, but no jacket, don't sweat it.
    You just need to convince the judge that you're an actual person. If a suit is out of your comfort zone, don't bother.

  • AthenorAthenor Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    Hmmm. He never had me sign the bottom of it acknowledging receipt. He listed his precinct as 000, I'm not sure if that means anything or nothing though.

    Looking at it, there are 124 precincts in New York, and none of them are "000."

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/home/precincts.shtml

    IANAL, all that.

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  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    Wear a suit. For the love of god. Or at least a coat and tie. You do not want to know what courthouse folks think of people that don't wear the uniform. No reason to start in a hole.

    Disagree in part. Only wear a suit if you have a suit in good repair that fits well. Don't play dress up. If you have pressed slacks, an ironed shirt/tie, but no jacket, don't sweat it.
    You just need to convince the judge that you're an actual person. If a suit is out of your comfort zone, don't bother.

    Remember the scene in My Cousin Vinny where he wore a crazy ass red suit instead of wearing a nice leather jacket? If I had to choose, I'd wear a bad suit or sportcoat over not wearing one at all, but for this I think that Deebaser is right. If having to choose between slacks and a shirt/tie or a hole-in-the-ass leisure suit, go with the Dockers.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    Suit? business casual would be fine for this, no judge is going to throw the book at you because you didn't dress to the nines for a littering charge. Just don't wear your "FUCK THA POLICE" tshirt. Did the citation list the actual fine amount? i'd try and pay it without going to court, as it will be a huge waste of time waiting for your case on the docket.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Yeah, no fine was listed. It's a summons. I'm going to call the courthouse/prosecutor and see if I can convince them to just accept a guilty plea and fine me, write them a check and be done with it.

  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Here's what I tell clients about dress: Dressing down carries no reward. Dressing up carries no risk. That being the case, why wouldn't you put on a suit? Wearing a suit isn't dressing to the nines, it's dressing like an adult. Male American humans who know other humans should own a suit, because eventually someone will die, get married, or need a character witness.

    Make sure you get the evidence that the hearing is canceled, or at least an email from someone that clearly states that your attendence is not required. Don't assume you're good because the check cleared. You want to make sure the court's not expecting you.

    LaPuzza on
    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • WaffenWaffen Ours is the Fury Registered User regular
    Pick up that can citizen

    But yeah, its pretty much been hit. You won't go to jail or anything. Just pay the fine and don't litter.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    I plan on wearing a suit. I was also mistaken. I also picked up an open container violation. Part of the summons is horribly blurred due to it being on carbon paper. Does this change anything?

    Both are violations. I know open containers are a $25 fine and are not criminal charges. Likewise, 16-118 are violations. However, since these are two summons, does this compound the issue?

    Vanguard on
  • TriiipledotTriiipledot Registered User regular
    I live in NYC, you dont need to wear a suit and all that if its just a summons. If you have to appear, wear a button up shirt and pay the fines thats it. If its just a ticket, pay it online. DO NOT LET THE DATE GO BY, the fines will probably double and you will have to appear and explain why you didnt pay them on time, not worth the hassle.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    I guess one thing that hasn't been addressed in this topic is how worried I should be about getting more than just a fine. Neither of these charges are criminal, but it's not as simple as just showing up to pay a fine. I actually have to enter a plea. If I plead guilty, which I wholly intend to do, is there more risk than just fines here?

    It's my understanding that Open Container is just a $25 fine after conviction. The Littering fines vary ($50-350, I think), but I also think it's possible to get mandatory community service as well.

    What about background checks. I know these are just violations, but I've read that non-criminal charges get sealed and expunged from your record after five days of being resolved. Can anyone confirm or disconfirm this?

    Vanguard on
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    You'll probably just pay it.

    And then you'll get your "court fee" on top of the ticket fee. I know in my county in NY my actual ticket for letting my inspection lapse was $50.

    The court fee was $200.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    I can't confirm anything about charges disappearing after five days, but I've never seen a background check (on myself or others) that shows anything other than actual arrests for crimes, and I've looked at a dozen or so background checks on people that have been ticketed for things and arrested. I wouldn't worry about it showing up on some permanent record or anything.

    I guess if you get a shitty judge there's always the chance you'll have to throw in some community service, and honestly with two charges and a guilty plea that might be a possibility, but I couldn't see it being more than 20 hours for that, which you can knock out over two weekends walking dogs at an animal shelter or mowing the grass at an old folk's home.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'm in Kings County. The courthouse I've been summoned to is in Manhattan because this is my first offense, I guess.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    Dumb question, but have you actually called the court to see if you have to appear, instead of just paying your fines online? Even if you get a summons you can usually just pay the fines with a guilty plea online or through the mail and avoid the court cost, that's the case in my state with vehicle related fines.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I haven't called them yet, but from the research that I've done, it is unlikely. Open Container summons are one of the most common written and sometimes the cops will give you a special form to fill out so you can just pay it. I have read that this only applies to situations where this is the only summons written though, but I haven't confirmed it.

    The Littering fine isn't so cut and dry as there is a range of fees they can charge me. I'll update once I've made that call. I've just been researching at this point.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    it's a misdemeanor i would think, just a citation, so i don't think anything will show up in a routine background check for a job or something. It's akin to a traffic violation.

    5 day expungement seems unlikely, 5 years maybe.

    It's your first offense, look presentable, be respectful, you'll be fine.

    Dr. Frenchenstein on
  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2012
    Sorry to thread necro, but I have a new question which may go beyond the scope of anyone here. My case was finally entered into the court systems so that I can see the details online. I was looking at the charges online and noticed that one of them changed. On the littering ticket, the online record shows me being charged with the violation usually handed out for non-misdemeanor littering.

    Two things:

    1) This is not what happened at all. I was with someone who could testify otherwise if it came to that.

    2) My summons clearly shows the statute code, and it is not the one for littering liquids.

    Could I push for a dismissal on the grounds that I can't be convicted of a crime I was never charged with? Failure to indicate a statute or the correct statute seems to suggest I can get the summons dismissed due to a "facial deficiency."

    I realize this question may be better suited for a lawyer.

    Vanguard on
  • TcheldorTcheldor Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    What you have in your hand is what you're charged with. It can say whatever it wants in the system really. Go to court with your ticket so at least you have evidence of what was actually charged. If the charge is a violation, it's not a crime, period. No background check issues, no "I was convicted of a crime" issues with employers etc.

    to echo the other lawyers, show up, bring the ticket, and you'll be able to talk with a cop or city prosecutor the day of your summons and you'll end up paying some fine.

    Also, the court you end up in is the jurisdiction where the crime happened, not where you live.

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