Miscellaneous traffic offenses constitute the majority of the cases in county court. Many traffic offenses can be resolved without the need for a court appearance, and instead can be resolved by sending in the amount of the fine and court costs. However, in order to take advantage of the pay by mail option, a person who receives a ticket must follow the directions on the ticket and pay the fine within 20 days of the ticket’s issuance. If a defendant is outside of the 20-day window, the defendant must typically will have to appear in court on the date on the ticket.
Other offenses require a court appearance. If a ticket does not contain a plea by mail option, then the person receiving the ticket must appear in court on the date and time given on the ticket. Failure to appear may result in the issuance of an arrest warrant. Depending on your traffic history and the facts of your case, a defendant may be offered a plea bargain that involves a reduction in the number of points the offense carries and/or a reduction in the fines or other consequences. If a defendant comes to an agreement with the District Attorney, then the case is resolved in that fashion. Otherwise, the case can be set for trial.
Most traffic offenses carry a number of points against the defendant’s driver’s license, and a monetary fine. Most traffic offenses, other than DUI, do not carry jail sentences. However a few offenses, such as Hit-And-Run, Driving Under Restraint, or Speeding 40 miles or more over the speed limit, Careless Driving, Reckless Driving, Not having insurance, and Driving Under Suspension can carry jail consequences, depending again on the facts of the case and the driver’s traffic history.