Traffic Ticket Information
Check the Back of the Ticket
Do I need to appear in court? The ticket will say either "Pay or Appear" or "Must Appear"
- Pay or Appear: This means you may either pay the fine before the court date OR appear in court to plead not guilty. Failure to do either may subject you to additional legal consequences.
- Must Appear: That means you need to appear in court at the time and date shown on the ticket. Failure to appear could result in your arrest and detainment. Occasionally, the district attorney will decide not to pursue charges, but unless you have been contacted by the district attorney, plan to appear as directed.
Appearing in Court
Many people will be in court at the same time. The judge will explain all your options. They include pleading guilty and paying a fine or pleading not guilty. Details vary according to the type of charge. When your name is called, you must answer the judge's questions. At the end of this appearance, you usually will have chosen one of the following:
- To Plead Not Guilty: If you plead not guilty, the court will assign you another court date. In addition, you may be directed to contact the District Attorney's Office if you hope to seek a diversion. If you have been charged with an offense that could lead to jail time and if you meet certain financial criteria, the judge will appoint an attorney for you and tell you how to contact the attorney.
- To Plead Guilty: You will be directed to pay any fine and court costs in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court or, if you need to arrange a payment plan, go to the Office of the Court Trustee to do so.
To view a list of forms and documents related to traffic diversion, please visit the District Attorney's Traffic Diversion page.