How to Handle Your Traffic Citation (Infraction):
Citations can be handled in the following ways:
- By appearing in Court in front of the Judge at the time written on the front of your citation.
- By US mail only*, following the instructions on the reverse side of the citation and by your Court date printed on the front of the citation. (NOTE: Hood River Municipal Court options are 1-3 ONLY)
- At the Court Clerk’s desk in Municipal Court before your Court date.
- By calling (541) 386-3942 before your scheduled Court date/time and enter a plea with the Court Clerk over the phone. The Court Clerk CANNOT take testimony from you or give legal advice.
Traffic School may be an option only if you haven't attended traffic school in the past 10 years. The following are not eligible for traffic school: you are involved in a car accident, are cited for no insurance, no operator's license, driving while suspended or charged with a misdemeanor. This option only keeps the violation from appearing on your driving record but DOES NOT forgive the fine; you must pay the fine in addition to the traffic school fees.
*Email correspondence is not accepted or processed by this Court and is not responsible for correspondence submitted via email as the Court staff cannot take testimony from any party.
The Judge will read the charges filed against you, maximum fines, penalties and your rights under the law. He will ask how you wish to plead or if you are requesting a continuance to consult an attorney. A court appointed attorney may be available if you qualify on Misdemeanor Charges only.
You may plead Not Guilty. If you wish to dispute the charge against you and have a trial for traffic offenses and/or misdemeanor charges; a Trial will be set at a future date. NOTE: Trials cannot be rescheduled.
You may plead Guilty. If you choose this option, you can offer an explanation of the circumstances. Your fine or other penalty will be assessed by the Judge.
You may plead No Contest. 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 for the full fine amount of your citation and 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 FAIL TO APPEAR (ORS 153.992) FOR A SCHEDULED COURT APPEARANCE will be filed against you. If bail has been posted; it would be automatically forfeited.