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You Have Received a Citation - What Do You Do Now?

If you have received a citation for a traffic or ordinance violation, one of the first things to do is check the court date at the bottom on the front of the citation.   You can appear in court on that date, plead no contest and have a fine assessed or plead not guilty and have a trial set at a later time.

Citation Process:
Option 1 provides that you enter a plea of no contest and pay the amount of the presumptive fine stated on your citation. As such, you would no longer need to personally appear on the date given on the citation.  If you wish to plead not guilty, you can enter a plea at the court office prior to the court date or you can plead not guilty by mail (Option 3).  Your trial will be set at a later time on a Wednesday morning.  You will receive a trial notice about 30 days before the trial date.  Trial by affidavit (Option 4) is not an option.

If you plead no contest, you can also call the court {Contacting the Court} to receive a fine amount and handle the matter by mail or come to the court office before the court date.  You can also send a letter of explanation with the presumptive fine amount and the signed and dated citation to the court for the Judge to read and enter a finding without appearing in person. (Option 2).

The fine amounts the violation's bureau (court clerks) can impose are the same as the Judge is allowed by law to impose {Fines}.  The state sets maximum and minimum amounts which the court must use.  Fines are based on the type of violation and your driving record.  Seat belt tickets can be handled by attending a class if it is your first seat belt offense and you have not attended the class.  High school students may appear in court to ask the Judge to attend a driving class if they have no prior offenses.  Driving uninsured citations can be dismissed prior to the court date if you can provide valid proof of insurance on the date of the offense to the court.  The court date can be rescheduled one time for up to two weeks by contacting the court office.

Payment can be made with a VISA or Mastercard online or by phone (503-635-0217), by mail or in person.  The secure site for online payments and further instructions is located at:

Please wait at least 10 days before contacting the Court about your fine amount.   If you have made payment arrangements to pay your fines within 60 days or will make monthly payments, the online feature will also work for you.   Payment on criminal fines cannot be made online.

If you were cited for Careless Driving under ORS 811.135(3), see Option 5.  Possession of Less than One Ounce of Marijuana or MIP require an appearance.  If your citation otherwise indicates you must appear, follow Option 1.

Criminal charges require an appearance in person.