Frequently Asked Questions
How can I plead my citation?
Enter a Plea of No Contest
You may enter a plea of No Contest in person or by mail. If the court accepts your plea, it may not impose a fine that is more than the amount of the presumptive fine. However, the court may elect not to accept your written plea and may send a notice requiring you to appear for a hearing.
Enter a Plea of No Contest with Written Explanation
You must do all of the following before the day and time the citation requires you to appear in court:
- Sign and date Option 2 on the reverse side of citation and
- Send or take the signed citation to the court with the full amount of the presumptive fine and
- Attach a written statement explaining the circumstances of the violation(s) charged
If you respond by mail, the mail must arrive at the court before you are required to appear. IMPORTANT: By choosing this option, you waive your right to a trial. The court may consider your written statement when establishing the amount of the fine. The court cannot impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine amount. If the court finds you guilty, it may keep all or part of the money you submitted with your written plea. The court will not fine you more without giving you a notice to come to court for a hearing.
Enter a Plea of Not Guilty and Request a Trial
You must notify the court by personal appearance or written request on or before the day and time written on the front of your citation to enter your plea of Not Guilty and requesting a trial. If you submit a written request, it must be signed and dated, and received by the court on or before the hearing date shown on the citation.
IMPORTANT: You have a right to a trial. The court will give you notice of the time, date and place when you MUST appear in person, and may impose penalties if you fail to appear. The court may require you to post a bail amount to assure your appearance if you failed to appear on offense charges in the past. If your trial results in a finding of ‘guilty,’ the court cannot impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine amount. No fine is imposed with a finding of ‘not guilty.’
How do I talk to a Judge about my plea?
Request a Judge’s arraignment for your court appearance. You will be scheduled for a hearing at the next available date. The Judge is not available for one-on-one visits or phone calls.
If I plead Not Guilty, how does a trial work?
You have been cited for a violation in this court. Your rights are similar, but not identical, to those in a criminal case. You are not accused of a crime and do not have the right to a jury trial. Your case will be heard by a Municipal Court Judge. You may choose to be represented by an attorney, however, the City is not required to provide you with one. Many people choose to represent themselves. If you request a trial, more information will be provided for your assistance.
How can I keep this ticket off my record?
Some tickets may be eligible for a “fix-it” resolution, if noted by the citing officer or determined by the Judge’s ruling. Examples of these types of tickets might be expired registration, no front plate or illegal window tinting. Bring proof of compliance to the Court and you may have the fine and conviction dismissed. A court processing fee will be charged.
Seatbelt tickets may be eligible for dismissal with completion of a court-approved safety class. In some circumstances for other violations, the Judge may also offer a safety class in lieu of a fine and/or conviction, determined on a case-by-case review.
I was found guilty at my trial. How do I appeal?
The appeal process for violations is outlined in the Oregon Revised Statute 138.057. Court staff cannot provide you with legal advice regarding the appeal process.