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Suffolk County is making permanent the ability to resolve moving violations online.

The county’s new online plea-bargaining program allows drivers to plead guilty and pay their fine online, or plead not-guilty and have a prosecutor review their case without having to appear in person. 

Plea bargain offers for reviewed cases will be sent online. If a driver rejects the bargain, they will have to appear in person at the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency building in Hauppauge.

The program applies only to tickets returnable at the county’s traffic and parking violations agency. The agency does not handle tickets issued in Riverhead Town or the other East End towns and villages. Those tickets are returnable in the town and village justice courts.

The county program was piloted last fall after the coronavirus crisis caused many services to temporarily move online and already 10,500 cases have been resolved online. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that many critical services can be completed online, saving our residents’ time and money, while recognizing they need flexibility with their busy lives,” County Executive Steve Bellone said in a press release. “This new program provides yet another option for drivers to resolve their cases, without having to take time off from work, arrange for childcare, or miss school.”

Drivers in violation can visit the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency’s case review website to begin resolving their case.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.