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What to do if in possession of an OATH summons

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The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings is an independent administrative court in New York City. It conducts trials and hearings related to summonses issued by a wide variety of enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, Department of Buildings, Taxi and Limousine Commission and a host of others.

If you are in violation of a rule or law enforced by any of the associated agencies, you will receive a summons, which is essentially a ticket. Each comes with an associated penalty, and there are various ways you can resolve it.

Examples of OATH violations

There are many examples of OATH violations. Traffic-related ones may include illegal dumping, truck idling, construction container violations and roadway obstructions.

How to resolve an OATH violation

According to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, there are different types of violations, and they range from lesser violations to immediately hazardous. Each type will have different requirements and penalties. Some require a hearing, while others allow you to remedy the issue and avoid a hearing.

For some summonses, you can plead guilty before the scheduled hearing. If so, you do not need to attend the hearing, and there may be a reduction of the penalty. Some violations allow you to cure the violation before a certain date. If you do, there is zero penalty. You may be able to request additional time to correct the issue, which results in a reduced penalty. You may also be able to avoid a hearing by admitting to the violation and submitting the imposed penalty prior to the hearing.

Penalties for an OATH violation

Penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense and the number of violations. Penalties often include fines, community service or both. For some violations, you may be able to do extra community service instead of paying a fine. If you do not show up to a scheduled hearing, or you refuse to pay the imposed penalty, there is a default fine, which is usually a lot more than the original fine.

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