The size of the fine imposed by the court will depend on the severity of the offense, whether state law requires a minimum fine for the offense, whether there are any mitigating circumstances, and whether the person has been convicted of prior offenses. Please note that the base fine indicated on a violation ticket is the amount the court may forfeit if the person who received the ticket does not respond by the time specified to appear in court.
If a person who receives a ticket believes there are mitigating circumstances the court should consider before imposing a fine, he or she may:
- Plead guilty or no contest with an explanation to the judge at the court appearance, or
- Sign the back of the ticket pleading Guilty or No Contest at Option #2, send a check or money order for the full amount of the base fine, along with a letter explaining the circumstances, to the court. The judge will review the letter and may return some or all of the bail if appropriate.