You received a citation...Now What?
When you receive a citation, you have fifteen (15) business days to respond. The law requires you to make an appearance in your case, but there are different ways to do that, and different rules for adults and juveniles. There are various ways to answer and dispose of any violations against you. For more information, see your options below.
Unless you are entitled to a compliance dismissal, you must enter one of the following three pleas:
Plea of Not Guilty
- A plea of “not guilty” means that you deny guilt and require the State to prove the charge.
- A plea of “not guilty” does not waive any of your rights to trial.
- A plea of “not guilty” does not prevent a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” at a later time.
Plea of Guilty
- A plea of “guilty” means you admit that you committed the criminal offense charged.
Plea of Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
- A plea of “no contest” means that you do not contest the State’s charge against you.
The difference between a plea of “guilty” and ‘”no contest” is that the “no contest” plea may not be used later against you in a civil suit for damages. For example, in a civil suit arising from a traffic accident, a guilty plea can be used as evidence of your responsibility or fault.
If you plead “guilty” or “no contest,” you will be found guilty and should be prepared to pay the fine. A plea of “guilty” or “no contest” waives all of your rights to trial. If you are unable to pay the entire fine and costs, you should be prepared to document and explain your financial situation.
Deferred disposition is a simple form of probation. If eligible, you may submit your request and pay the appropriate fees. The deferral period can last between 90 to 180 days, depending on the offense.
Driving Safety Course
Driving Safety Course is available for traffic offenses that are classified as a moving violation. After paying the driving safety course fee and court costs, you would be allowed 90 days to complete the terms of the driving safety course agreement.
Paying the Violation
The simplest method of resolving your violation is to pay the fine and court costs by paying online, in person, or by mail. You may pay by cashier's checks, money order, or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover). If you decide to pay your fine, a plea of guilty or no contest must be entered with the understanding it will result as a conviction on your record. Once the violation is paid in full, no further action is required. If you are unable to pay your fine in full, please proceed to alternative payment methods.
Request a Court Continuance
To request a court hearing, you may submit your request online for a Court Continuance.
Plea Not Guilty and request a Trial
If you feel you are not guilty of the violation, you may enter a not guilty plea and request a trial before the Judge or before a jury. In order to prepare you for trial, you will initially be set for a Pre-Trial hearing with the prosecutor.
If you are unable to pay your fines and costs in full, you may request one of the following options:
Extension to Pay
You may request an extension to pay online if you are able to pay half of your fine and court cost. If you are eligible, the option will be available on our online payment system. If you are needing to request an additional extension to pay and you have already received a show cause hearing for your case you will need to submit your request to the Judge.
If you are unable to pay your fines, you may submit a request for community service in lieu of the fine. If approved by the Judge, you will receive further instructions on handling your case.
In certain situations, in which a person cannot perform community service and that person is financially unable (Indigent) to pay their fine and court cost the Court will hear sworn testimony and look at evidence concerning your financial situation to help you resolve this matter. In certain severe situations, the Judge can reduce the fine and court costs or eliminate them completely, depending on the severity of your financial situation. You may submit an application for indigency, and will be reviewed by the Judge for determination.
The following dismissals have many terms and are not always a defendant's right. These dismissals are valid if the defendant appears on or before the require appearance date, pays an administrative fee of $10.00 and meet the following terms:
Expired Driver's License
- Renew your driver's license before the appearance date on your citation.
- Provide your temporary license to the court.
Expired Vehicle Registration
- Renew your registration before the appearance date on your citation.
- Provide a legible receipt of registration that clearly identifies the vehicle in violation.
- Late penalty fee paid to the County's Tax Assessor and is listed on the registration receipt.
Failure to Report Change of Address or Name Within Thirty Days
- Change the address or name with the Department of Public Safety before the appearance date on your citation.
- Provide your temporary license to the court.
Non-Commercial Defective Equipment Violation
- The defective equipment has been corrected before the appearance date on your citation.
- Provide photographic proof of compliance or have the vehicle inspected by Court Bailiff or Marshal.
Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a License Plate or With One Plate
- The vehicle registration for the vehicle must be current during the date of the offense.
- The license plate is attached to the car before the defendant's first court appearance.
- Provide photographic proof of compliance or have vehicle inspected by Court Bailiff or Marshal.
Violate Driver's License Restriction or Endorsement
- Driver's license endorsement was imposed because of a physical condition that was surgically or medically corrected before the date of the offense.
- The Department of Public Safety removes the restriction or endorsement before the defendant's first court appearance