How to Handle Your Citation or Ticket

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  1. By mail, following the instructions on the reverse side of the citation;
  2. Appear at the Municipal Court clerk’s desk where fines are assessed by the court clerk according to a scheduled based on the type of offense and your driving record.  This can be done prior to your arraignment date if you do not want to appear before the Judge with an explanation;
  3. By appearing in court at the time set for arraignment on the face of your citation; or
  4. Entering a plea of not guilty and requesting a trial.

Plea Options:

You may plead NOT GUILTY if you wish to contest the charge against you and have a trial.  The trial ordinarily scheduled within a few week.  The date and time will be mailed to the address given to us.

A plea of NO CONTEST, under Oregon Law, results in a finding of guilty by the Court.  The benefit to a no contest plea is that you do not have to admit guilt in open court.  A plea of no contest will result in a conviction being entered on your driving record.

Court Arraignments:

The purpose of an arraignment is to tell the judge how you wish to proceed with your case.  Arraignments are held on Tuesdays at either 8:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m.  Please review the citation for the date and time you are to appear.  The City provides a Spanish interpreter at our 10:00 a.m. session.  If you are in need of an interpreter for any language other than Spanish please contact the Court Clerk at 503-681-6157.

Failure to appear for an arraignment will result in a guilty by default judgment, fines will be imposed and possible suspension of your driver’s license, and are subject to further legal action and costs.


If you plea not guilty you will be scheduled for a trial.  Date and time of the trial will be mailed to you.  Please make sure the court has a correct address.  Trials are usually held on Thursday afternoons.  Your case will be tried by the court, not a jury.  Since this is not a crime you do not have the right to a jury trial.

At trial, you and the police officer will appear in court to present evidence about your citation. Evidence can include the testimony of you and the officer, the testimony of any witnesses, and photographs or diagrams. Non-attorney trials are informal and take approximately 15 minutes. The judge will hear the evidence and normally make a decision at the end of the trial.

If you choose to hire an attorney, make sure that he or she notifies the court as soon as possible, no later than 5 days prior to the trial. A new trial date will be set.

If you fail to appear for trial, the court may enter a judgment against you which can include a fine. The conviction will be entered on your driving record.


If you are found guilty, you can expect to pay a fine based on the circumstances of your case, the nature of the infraction and your driving record. Your right to drive in Oregon will be suspended by DMV if you fail to pay a fine ordered by a court. In minor traffic cases, defendants cannot be sentenced to jail or community service as an alternative to paying a fine.


If you are found guilty of one or more charges, you have the right to appeal your case to the Washington County Circuit Court within 30 days of your trial. Ask the court clerk for details if you are interested in appealing the court's decision.

If you have further questions, please feel free to call a court clerk at 503-681-6157.

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