What Should I Do About a pink summons in new york city?


New York City issues thousands of pink summonses — also known as "pink tickets" — every year. If you receive one, an experienced attorney can help get the best outcome for you. 

Pink Summonses for Individuals

A police officer can issue a pink summons to an individual for a variety of offenses, many of which are misdemeanors.  These need to be taken seriously. They are often issued for Reckless Driving, Drug Offenses, or other misdemeanors. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant like any other criminal matter.  If you have been issued a pink summons, you should call an experienced criminal attorney and make sure that you have the best strategy. As a former prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney, I have handled countless summonses.

Corporate Summonses for Trucking Companies in New York City

In addition to the Vehicle and Traffic Law, a commercial vehicle is required to obey the New York Transportation Law. Police Officers can issue pink summonses requiring that an individual or a corporation appear in court if there has been a violation of the Transportation Law.  There are some sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or VTL that only apply to commercial vehicles such as VTL Section 385(9), which is issued for operating an overweight vehicle.


For a Manhattan or Brooklyn offense, you will need to appear at 1 Center Street, New York, New York.  Note that this is a different location than Manhattan criminal court. For cases in the Bronx you will need to appear at the Bronx Criminal Court at 215 East 161 St. The summons part is typically on the second floor. For Queens cases, the summons part is in a different building than the main building. Pink Summonses should not be taken lightly.  Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant like any other criminal case.

If your company was issued a pink summons you will need to hire a lawyer.  

Only a lawyer can represent a corporate entity.  If you have a moving company, a scaffolding company. or any other type of company that uses commercial vehicles, and those vehicles were issued a pink summons, do not waste your time going to court without a lawyer.  You will be told that you cannot resolve your case without a lawyer. You should hire an experienced criminal attorney.

One of the most common pink summonses issued to commercial trucking vehicles is for violation of Section 140.02 of the Transportation Law or “Operating a Motor Vehicle in Violation of Safety Rules”.  This is a lengthy statute that can be difficult to understand. Officers will often issue numerous summonses under Section 140.02 for a variety of equipment-related offenses. These might include improper USDOT number, inoperable marker lights, turn signal lights, plate lights, and mirrors. A lawyer can significantly reduce the fines associated with these summonses if you show proof that the necessary repairs have been made.

Frequently, a summons will be left on the windshield of a vehicle or given to a driver who then fails to notify his employer that he or she received a summons.  As a result, the company owner or manager is unaware of the summons and misses the court date. This can lead to a default judgment where the judge will find you guilty by default.

Sometimes the first time you hear about the case will be through a letter that looks like this,  which states that a Judge found you guilty and that you have until a certain date to pay the fee.  A skilled criminal lawyer may be able to put the case back on the calendar and give you chance to reduce your fees.

If you missed the date you may have received a letter from a collections attorney.  Once you have missed the date to pay, a Judge may then execute a judgment.  Once that happens your case will likely be referred to a collections law firm, which will begin enforcing the judgment. There are a few law firms in New York that represent the city in collecting judgments.  A collections firm may begin by restraining your bank accounts without you knowing it. If you have received a letter from a collections attorney, you should call us immediately. There are several large-scale collections law firms in New York.  Here are three of the more prominent ones. If you receive a letter from them or any other collections firm, you should speak with a qualified criminal lawyer as soon as possible  

Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Wilsner Elsner  


Pink Summons For Restaurants in NYC

If you own a restaurant, you may have been issued a pink summons for a fire code violation.  I have helped many clients who have altered their kitchens and were issued tickets for violating the administrative code Section 15-223.1(a). If you are not present, the summons will be left with one of your employees and may get lost in the shuffle.

If that happens you may get a letter that looks like this or the case may be referred to a collections firm.  


If you have missed your payment date or received a letter from a collections attorney, don’t panic.  You can call me or email me at gerschel@gerschellaw.com with a scan of the summonses or the letter you received.  Be sure to leave your phone number. We will explain our fee structure and strategy so you know what to expect. We will make sure that our fee saves you money in comparison to pleading guilty and paying high fines.  We will negotiate with the prosecutor, provide them with proof of repairs, get the case dismissed whenever possible, and reduce fines. We will handle all court appearances so that you do not have to show up at all. Even in cases that have been referred to collections firms, We have been successful in vacating judgments and getting them dismissed in cases where companies were not aware that they missed a court date.