Form CRC-3206 is a commonly used form utilized by New York City Police Department (NYPD) to summon individuals charged with crimes (mostly misdemeanors) and violations. NYPD Officer would usually give part of CRC-3206 packet called “Appearance Ticket” directing individual to appear in court on certain time and date. Front side of the Appearance Ticket would list a title of the offense with a brief details about the place and statements (if any). Back side of the Appearance Ticket provides two step instructions generally, and mail pleading instructions for public consumption of alcohol and public urination charges. While most folks take form CRC-3206 for granted, review of the form against standards under Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), and Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) casts a shadow on current version of CRC-3206. (NYPD’s uses CRC-3206 dated 1/16, however the “appearance ticket” part is the same as 7/15 version).
Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) Art. 150 prescribes legal requirements applicable to appearance tickets. CPL § 150.10(2) requires appearance ticket to “contain the language, set forth in subdivision four of section 100.25, notifying the defendant of his right to receive a supporting deposition.” The appearance ticket does not contain the language required under CPL § 100.25(4), which states:
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, where a person is charged by a simplified information and is served with an appearance ticket as defined in section 150.10, such appearance ticket shall contain the following language: “NOTICE: YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A SUPPORTING DEPOSITION FURTHER EXPLAINING THE CHARGES PROVIDED YOU REQUEST SUCH SUPPORTING DEPOSITION WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FROM THE DATE YOU ARE DIRECTED TO APPEAR IN COURT AS SET FORTH ON THIS APPEARANCE TICKET. DO YOU REQUEST A SUPPORTING DEPOSITION? [ ]YES[ ] NO” (emphasis supplied)
Form CRC-3206 is reminiscent to “simplified information” or “simplified traffic information,” because the form reflects the document discussed in People v. Fernandez, 20 N.Y.3d 44 (2012). “Simplified information” is provided under CPL § 1.20(5) and includes “simplified traffic information.” “Simplified traffic information” is further defined under CPL § 100.10(2)(a). Whether accusatory instrument is “simplified information” or is “simplified traffic information,” CPL § 100.25(4) applies. However, “appearance ticket” under form CRC-3206 does not have mandatory language required by CPL § 100.25(4). Failure to conform to the CPL § 100.25(4) requirement, can make the simplified information facially insufficient under CPL § 100.40(2). See also People v. Fernandez, 20 N.Y.3d 44, 55 (2012), dissent (J. Pigott) (although the instrument included what purports to be an appearance ticket and summons, it does not include the statutorily required language concerning entitlement to receive a supporting deposition (see CPL 100.25 )). Facially insufficient instrument is defective pursuant to CPL § 170.35(1)(a). CPL § 170.30(1)(a) requires dismissal of the accusatory instrument if the instrument is defective “within the meaning of section 170.35.” Facially insufficient instrument further requires dismissal on jurisdictional defect grounds pursuant to People v. Alejandro, 70 N.Y.2d 133, 511 N.E.2d 71 (1987).
For charges that involve traffic offenses, capitalizing on J. Pigott dissent in People v. Fernandez one may also conclude that the “appearance ticket” under form CRC-3206 fails to conform to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles form (Commissioner). Commissioner’s requirements are prescribed under 15 NYCRR § 122.2(d), which states that appearance ticket “shall contain space for recording the same information as Part I.” (emphasis supplied) Part I requirements are listed under 15 NYCRR § 122.2(c), which include: address, sex, license identification, vehicle description, and registration information. Yet, “appearance ticket” does not contain space for recording “address, sex, license identification, vehicle description, registration information,” as required in Part I, and therefore violates 15 NYCRR § 122.2(d). Failure to provide space as required under 15 NYCRR § 122.2(d) goes against approval of the Commissioner. 15 NYCRR § 122.2(h) – stating that “no ticket shall be used unless * * * form and layout * * * approved by the commissioner” – may require dismissal of the instrument because it is not approved by the Commissioner.
Additionally, for traffic offenses, “appearance ticket” does not contain VTL § 1807 warning. 15 NYCRR § 122.2(d) states that appearance ticket “shall contain * * * warning contained in section 1807, Vehicle and Traffic Law.” (emphasis supplied) VTL § 1807 requires following statement printed in (1) a noticeably distinct manner and (2) in bold type in a size equal to at least twelve point type, upon a * * * ticket issued to a person charged with any such offense:
A plea of guilty to this charge is equivalent to a conviction after trial. If you are convicted, not only will you be liable to a penalty, but in addition your license to drive a motor vehicle or motor cycle, and your certificate of registration, if any, are subject to suspension and revocation as prescribed by law.
Further, 15 NYCRR § 122.2(d) appears to require information to appear on the front side, while specifically reserving reverse side for “instructions for answering the summons.” In sum, “appearance ticket” seems to be out of compliance with Commissioner’s mandate because:
- VTL § 1807 warning does not appear anywhere on the front of “appearance ticket“.
- While reverse side contains a statement “I understand that a plea of guilty to the charge is equivalent to a conviction after a court trial”, that statement is only made with reference to Public Urination and Consumption of Alcohol. No reference is made to other offenses, including traffic offenses.
- The statement is not in bold type, but listed as a fine print bullet point.
- The statement fails to conform to 12 point size rule.
- “Appearance ticket” does not provide any other statements, with or without reference, required under VTL § 1807.
Failure to provide VTL § 1807 warning, as required under 15 NYCRR § 122.2(d), goes against the approval of the Commissioner. 15 NYCRR § 122.2(h) – stating that “no ticket shall be used unless the type, * * * form and layout are approved by the commissioner” – may require dismissal of the instrument because it is not approved by the Commissioner. Dismissal may also be warranted on facial insufficiency and jurisdictional defect grounds because failure to conform to 15 NYCRR § 122.2 constitutes “simplified traffic information” defect for non-compliance with CPL §§ 100.10(2)(a); 100.40(2); 170.35(1)(a), (b).