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A Civil Traffic citation from a police officer must be dealt with in one manner or another whether you agree with the officer or not. A failure to deal with it properly (by appearing) will only cause it to be dealt with in the alternative. That means, if you “Fail To Appear” (FTA) by your date, the law says;
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If your violation is marked “CRIMINAL” skip down to “Criminal Charge” below.
If your violation is marked “CIVIL” continue here.
All traffic citations have a date written on them, by which you must “appear.” Appear means that you let us know what you want to do about the citation.
Look down by the officer’s signature for “appear on __-__-20_.” You may appear on or before that date and the clerks can help you do that when you tell them how you wish to proceed.
The initial court date and time is written at the bottom of your citation you must appear on or before that date.
You must appear in court and file a Not Responsible plea to request a hearing or you may file a motion by mail or by fax. Be aware that once you file the request for a hearing, you lose / waive your right to attend Defensive Driving School.
At the hearing, you must appear in person (possibly with an attorney) to cross-examine the officer and / or put on your own defense. Bring to the hearing any and all evidence / testimony that you want the judge to hear in your case.
If you need a subpoena to get your witness into court, apply to the court to have the subpoena issued and served. Remember, your case is your responsibility; take action to present a good defense. You may either appear and defend, or you may have an attorney appear for you. No other party can represent you.
At the hearing, the officer’s burden is to show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that you committed the offense. Sometimes, that is described as 51% rule, that you committed the offense. For anything less than these levels, the court will enter a dismissal of the charges. If the officer does not appear, your case will also get dismissed. But if it is you that doesn’t appear, the finding usually goes to the state and against you. Be sure to attend the hearing.
The only way that a court can dismiss your case is at the request of the plaintiff (the state prosecutor), upon the officer not appearing at the hearing, or when after a hearing the court finds for the defendant.
Because all fines are different, contact the court or go to the Civil Traffic website.
If you do not pay your financial obligation to the court:
If you cannot pay your fine in full, bring that to the attention of the Judge or a clerk and payment arrangements can be made by making monthly payments to the court.
If your payment is meant for Pima Justice Court Prec 2 in Pima Arizona:Mail your payment to:P.O. Box 1159Pima, AZ, 85543We do not accept payments for other courts, we will return the payment to you. If you do not know where you need to send your payment, you can search your case at Arizona Judicial Branch Case Search website.
If you either admit, or are found responsible, you can assume there will be a fine associated with your case. (see “Fines” in this web site) You are expected to pay that fine at that time.
Cash can be delivered to the clerks; Money Orders/Cashier Checks may be mailed (don’t mail cash); Credit/debit cards may be taken over the internet. see EZ-Track on this web site.)
Installment payments If however, you cannot make payment in full, you can arrange with the court to pay in installments over time, but an additional $20 fee will be added. If you are approved to make installment payments, and then default on one of your payments, your driver’s license can be suspended without further notice. That is an MVD action not a court action. Therefore, if an emergency which will prevent you from making your installment payment has occurred, you must contact the court and ask for a temporary waiver of your payment.
Yes, you can use either or both. Throughout this internet site there are forms you can print and return in person or by mail, to indicate your “appearance” option (Responsible / Not-responsible / Traffic School). If your written response is either Not Responsible or Traffic School, the paper will serve as your appearance and you do not then have to come into court on that date. The court staff will take your paper response and work out a schedule with you.
If your response is “Responsible” you will need to make the payment in some manner. See options below.
However, you can always walk into court at any time if you prefer, and/or hire an attorney to appear for you.
On this web-site, there is a link entitled, “Arizona Revised Statues.” From that link, you can select the title and section of any law of interest to you, and read the black-letter law.
In addition, you may want to look at the Court Rules which the courts must follow in conducting your hearing.
Alternatively, you can come into court and use the books here or at your library.
If your case is ultimately dismissed, nothing happens to your driving record. However, if you are found responsible (either by pleading responsible, or being found responsible after a hearing, or by failing to appear) the court will generally enter a customary fine for the offense.
Any and all “points” assessed against your license are strictly and only the result of MVD action; The court does not ever order any points against your license. Nor can the court order MVD to not assess points. MVD operates under their own policies. In addition, it is possible that MVD will assess additional penalties, including Defensive Driving School, Traffic Survival School, Suspend the license, etc. Contact MVD for information concerning your driving record and any possible consequences.
Generally, the judge is not allowed to talk about evidence in the case with only one party at a time. Therefore, the judge tries to avoid talking about the details of the case with you, or the other side, separately. The best way to discuss the facts is to see an attorney who can advise you of what you should do or not do. The judge cannot advise you and cannot keep your conversations private from the other party.
If you need a subpoena to get your witness into court, apply to the court to have the subpoena issued and served. Remember, your case is your responsible; take action to present a good defense. You may both appear and defend, or you may have an attorney appear for you. No other party can represent you.
At the hearing, the officer’s burden is to show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that you committed the offense. Sometimes, that is described as a 51% rule, that you committed the offense. For anything less than this levels, the court will enter a dismissal of the charges. If the officer does not appear, your case will also get dismissed. But if it is you that doesn’t appear, the finding usually goes to the state and against you. Be sure to attend the hearing.
Yes, if you qualify. You can attend once every 12 months, and get a single charge dismissed. There is a registration fee to attend. A full explanation, instructions, and form to apply for DDS can be found at;