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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. Minor traffic and municipal code violations may be handled by a clerk on or prior to your court date. 

If you are charged with a misdemeanor or are a  juvenile, you must appear before the Judge on the date listed on your citation or release paperwork from the jail. All criminal cases and hearings will be conducted by Zoom. Court staff will provide further information prior to your court date. 

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

Failure to Appear

If you fail to appear by the appearance date listed on your citation the following actions may occur: 
  • Suspension of your driving privileges; 
  • A default judgment entered by the Court as authorized by ORS 153.102;  
  • Conviction(s) forwarded to Oregon DMV; 
  • The full presumptive fine plus additional fees and charges up to $250.00 imposed;  
  • Referral to a collections agency with a 17.5% collection fee (max. $250.00) assessed; 
  • Warrant issued for your arrest on Criminal Cases. 

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 guilt 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): Court trials are conducted virtually by Zoom. If you request a 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 once a month on Tuesdays at 1:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

Jury Trials are to be announced.

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