Arraignment is generally your first appearance in court on a criminal citation or charge. You will be
advised of your constitutional rights; the charge(s) against you; and the maximum penalty. If you
qualify, a Public Defender may be appointed to represent you. Your matter will be set for Pre-Trial and
Jury Trial. No testimony is taken or evidence presented at arraignment.
Previously, many traffic and criminal charges were crimes. The Legislature has decriminalized many
traffic, parks, wildlife and fisheries offenses.These offenses are now called infractions and are civil cases.
If you receive an infraction, start by reading the bottom portion or the reverse side of your notice of
infraction (ticket). You should note that you must respond in person or in writing within *fifteen (15) days* of
the date the ticket was issued. An infraction is not a crime, but failure to respond can result in the
suspension of your driver's license. You can respond by mailing in your copy of the ticket or delivering it in
person to the clerk's office. Select one of the boxes on the ticket, verify your mailing addresss, phone
number and sign your ticket.
If you have lost your infraction, you may request a hearing in writing on a separate sheet of paper making
sure to list your full name, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, signature, and ticket number
Pay in Full (Box 1)
I have enclosed a check or money order, in U.S. funds, for the amount listed. I understand this will go on
my driving record if "traffic" is checked. DO NOT SEND CASH. NSF checks will be treated as failure to
Mitigation Hearing (Box 2)
I agree I have committed the infraction(s), but I want a hearing to explain the circumstances. Please
send me a court date, and I promise to appear on that date. I know I can ask witnesses to appear but
they are not required to appear. I understand this will go on my driving record if "traffic" is checked. The
court may allow time payments or reduce the penalty where allowed by law.
Contested Hearing (Box 3)
I want to contest (challenge) this infraction. I did not commit the infraction. Please send me a court date,
and I promise to appear on that date. The state must prove by preponderance of the evidence that I
committed the infraction. I know I can require (subpoena) wintesses, including the officer who wrote the
ticket to attend the hearing. The Court will tell me how to request a witness's appearance. I understand
this will go on my driving record if I lose and "traffic" is checked.
*If you select the top box you are electing to pay the amount of the penalty as shown on the face of
the ticket. If you select a hearing option you will be mailed the corresponding hearing packet.
If you request a hearing within 15 days of the date of the infraction, you will receive the corresponding
hearing packet. In that packet you will be able to write your written statement and send it back to the court
before your set court date. Once the court has received your waiver of rights to personally appear and you
choose to submit your written statement in lieu of personally appearing, your court date will be cancelled,
and your statement will be reviewed by the Judge for a decision. After a decision has been made you will
be provided with a written judgment and if a fine is imposed, given 30 days to pay.
See deferred findings section of website.