Many traffic offenses have "penalty assessments" established. This is the amount of money that you may mail in or pay directly to the court, in lieu of a court appearance.
If you signed your citation indicating that you would pay the penalty assessment, it is the same as pleading guilty, and you are responsible for paying the amount indicated on the citation within 30 days. You may pay with cash (in person-please do not mail cash), money order, check, or credit card. You may also pay online at www.citepayusa.com. You must have your citation number or case number to pay online.
The court will work with you to accept partial payments over time; contact the court to arrange a payment plan.
If you decide later that you would prefer to come to court, you must file a "Motion to Set Aside the Penalty Assessment." The court will set a date to hear this motion, subpoena the officer involved, and notify you via mail of the hearing date. At the hearing, the judge will allow both you and the officer to testify, and will decide whether to grant the motion. If the motion is approved, a trial will be conducted. If the motion is denied, you will be responsible for paying the original penalty assessment.
If you were charged with an offense that requires a court appearance, or you signed for a court appearance on your traffic citation, your first step is to contact the court at 662-8025 to set a date and time for your arraignment. The officer may have indicated that you are to appear "on or by" a specific date, but you must set a time to appear in court by contacting the court clerks by phone, or appearing in person during regular office hours. The court clerks will tell you what dates and times are available, and set an arraignment with the judge. Juveniles may have the option of going through Teen Court for a first offense. Contact the court for more information about this option. If you plan to plead Not Guilty, you may waive your right to an arraignment and enter your plea in writing. You will be notified via mail when a trial date has been set.
Documentation for Dismissal of Citations
Certain citations may be dismissed if you can provide the appropriate documents at our clerk's window. If you were cited for No Driver's License ("Operator/Chauffeur Must Be Licensed"), or No Insurance ("Mandatory Financial Responsibility"), you must provide proof that your license or insurance was valid at the time of your citation.
Failure to Pay, Or Failure to Appear
If you do not pay your Penalty Assessment within 30 days, do not comply with conditions of release or probation, fail to appear for court, or fail to pay as scheduled on an Agreement to Pay, the judge may issue an Order to Show Cause and assign a hearing date.
There may be additional charges for failing to appear in court or failing to pay, and additional fines and court fees may be imposed if the judge finds you guilty of those charges. If you fail to appear in response to an Order to Show Cause, the court may prepare a Bench Warrant for your arrest and notify MVD that your license should be suspended. In this case, contact our court as soon as possible to arrange for an appearance with the judge.
Court Staff can provide:
- The status of a specific case;
- Documentation on findings in a specific case;
- General information on court rules;
- Court-approved forms for some proceedings;
- Court schedules and policies.
Court staff cannot:
- Give advice about what plea should be entered;
- Speculate about what decision the judge might make or what sentence the judge will impose;
- Speculate about how your record at MVD will be affected or whether your insurance rates will increase.