How to Handle Your Traffic Citation (Infraction):
Citations can be handled in the following ways:
- By appearing in Court at the time written on the front of your citation.
- By mail, following the instructions on the reverse side of the citation, by your Court date printed on the front.
- At the Court Clerk’s desk in Municipal Court before your Court date.
- By calling (541)386-3942 before your scheduled Court time and enter a plea with the Court Clerk over the phone. However, the court clerk cannot take a testimony from you.
Traffic School may be an option if you’ve never attended previously. Traffic School can only be granted by the Judge, so a request must be made in person at the time of arraignment or a written request. This option keeps the violation from appearing on your driving record but does not forgive the fine. If Traffic School is granted it must be taken in Hood River.
At arraignment, the Judge will tell you the charges, maximum fines, penalties, and your rights under the law. He will then ask how you wish to plea or if you are requesting a continuance to consult an attorney. A court appointed attorney may be available if you qualify. This only applies to Misdemeanor Charges.
You may plead NOT GUILTY if you wish to contest the charge against you and have a hearing for traffic offenses or a trial for misdemeanor crimes.
You can plead GUILTY. If you choose this option, you can offer an explanation of circumstances. Your fine or other penalty will be assessed by the Judge.
A plea of NO CONTEST under Oregon Law results in a finding of guilty by the Court. The benefit to a no contest plea is that you do not have to admit guilt in open court.
If you Fail to Appear on a Traffic Citation:
You will be found Guilty by Default with the full fine amount on your citation is due immediately.
If you are charged with a CRIME, then you or your attorney MUST appear at the time and place indicated on the summons. There are NO other options.
If You Fail to Appear (CRIME):
Failure to appear in Court at the scheduled time WILL result in a WARRANT for your arrest and a new charge of FAILING TO APPEAR FOR A SCHEDULED COURT APPEARANCE will be filed against you. If bail has been posted; it would be automatically forfeited.