Appearance & Plea

You are required to respond to your citation by making an “appearance” in Court. You must appear on or before the Court Date shown on your citation.

How to Appear

In Person: You may appear in person at the front counter during office hours. Traffic violations may be handled by a clerk. The Judge is available for plea Tuesday mornings at 9 am. Please contact the clerk to schedule an appearance. All misdemeanor and code violations must appear before the Judge on the date listed on your citation.

Writing: You may enter your plea in writing for traffic violations. Your written appearance must be received by the Court on or before your Court Date.

Failure to Appear

If you fail to make your appearance by the Court Date shown on your citation, the Court will enter a conviction against you on the charges(s) on your citation, impose the presumptive fine(s) shown on your citation, additional fees for failure to appear, and, if appropriate, forward notice of the conviction(s) to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, if your fines are not paid within the time allowed, the Court will impose additional fees and refer your fines to a collection agency and/or take action against your driving privileges.

Entry of Plea

When you make your appearance in Court, you must enter a plea to each of the charges against you. You may enter a plea of "Guilty", “No Contest” or “Not Guilty”. If you fail to enter a plea, the Court will enter a plea of “Guilty” on your behalf.

Plea of "Guilty":  Admits what you are accused of doing and authorizes the Judge to sentence you. You may explain any circumstances you want to the Judge to consider in passing sentence.

Plea of "No Contest": You do not contest the accusation and authorize the court to sentence you the same as on a guilty plea. You may explain any circumstances you want to the Judge to consider in passing sentence, but if you deny guilty, the Judge will enter a "Not Guilty" plea for you and your case will be set for trial at a later date.

Plea of “Not Guilty”:  Denies that you did what you are accused of doing and requests that your case be set for trial at a later date.

NOTICE: By pleading "Not Guilty", you waive your eligibility to participate in traffic school or any other court programs.

Types of Trial

Court Trial (Traffic & Code Violations): If you request an in-person trial, the Court will mail notice of your trial date to you. If you will be represented by an attorney at the trial, your attorney must notify the Court in writing at least 10 days prior to your trial date.

Trial by Affidavit (Traffic & Code Violations): The Court Clerk will give you an Affidavit form to complete and return to the Court.  The Court will also request an Affidavit from the Officer(s) involved in your citation. Your affidavit or written statement must be returned to the Court by the due date listed on the Affidavit form, or your Trial will proceed without your statement. After the due date has passed, the Judge will review both Affidavits. The Court will notify you of the Judge's decision by mail.

Jury Trial (Misdemeanor Cases Only): if you request a Jury Trial, the Court will notify your attorney of the trial date. Your case will be heard by a jury of 6 and the presiding Judge.

Trial Schedules

Traffic & AMC Code Violation Trials are generally held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:30 pm, unless otherwise noted.

Jury Trials are to be announced.

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