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Frequently Asked Questions
Clerks are often asked by defendants, victims, attorneys, the news media, and other court users for advice as to how the court works. The Clerk has an important role in explaining procedures, but must be careful not to give legal advice. Giving legal advice is prohibited as the unauthorized practice of law and may subject the Clerk to criminal charges or liability. The Clerk is only allowed to explain court procedures and advise patrons of their options.
I have received a traffic citation. What do I do now?
There will be a court date written on your ticket. If you would like to pay the ticket and not appear in court, it must be done by that court date. You may contact the Court to find out how much your fine will be. If you would like to request a payment plan or a civil penalty, you must appear in court on the court date written on your ticket. If you would like to plead “not guilty,” you may do so over the phone. You will be given a trial date when you must appear in court.
What is a civil penalty and am I eligible for one?
A civil penalty is a fine that you must pay for a traffic citation. However, that ticket will not be sent in to Driver Control Services and therefore, will not be reflected on your driving record. To receive a civil penalty, you must appear before Judge Hill and request it. If you were traveling less than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit and if this is your first citation, you may be eligible. However, it is up to Judge Hill’s discretion as far as granting you a civil penalty.
Do I have to appear in court?
If you have not paid your fine by the court date on your ticket, you will need to appear in court on that date. Failing to pay your ticket by that date and failing to appear in court will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. In addition to the warrant, your driver’s license will be suspended. It will be an additional $350 added to your fine for failing to appear in court. Failing to appear for a trial will result in an additional $350 added to your original fines.
What methods of payment are available for paying my fine?
If you would like to pay your ticket in person, you must bring either cash or money order to either the police department or sheriff’s office. It will depend on which agency your ticket originates from. If you would like to mail in your payment, you may do so by mailing it by your court date. If you would like a receipt, you must send a self addressed stamped envelope along with your payment. You may also pay your fine on-line using your credit or debit card. You will need to click on the “payment” page on this website.
I have received notice there is an outstanding warrant for my arrest and my driver’s license is suspended. What do I do now?
Once you fail to appear in court or fail to comply with a court order, a warrant is issued and your driver’s license is suspended. You must be served with the warrant by coming to the agency that the warrant is out of (either the police department or the sheriff’s office). Once you are served, you will be notified of a court date to appear in court, you must also address how to go about getting your driver’s license released.
My driver’s license was released from the Court. Why does it still show as “suspended” in the system?
When your driver’s license is released from our court, there is a reinstatement fee of $100 ($25 for minors) that must be paid at the revenue office in order for your license to be valid again. The reinstatement fee is not included in your fines and warrent fees. It is a totally separate fee that the state collects to make your license valid.
I have plead “not guilty” and have been given a trial date. Am I eligible for a public defender?
If you are unemployed and have been charged with an offense that the State could be seeking jail time, you are eligible for a public defender. Judge Hill has to appoint one for you which means you will need to personally appear before him in court in order to request it.
Can I change my court date?
If you cannot make the court date listed on your ticket, you may contact the court prior to that date and make arrangements for another date that works better for you. If you cannot make the trial date assigned to you, you must contact the court at least a week prior to that trial date to request a continuance. It is extremely important to remember that failing to report for your court date will result in a warrant being issued.
I have witnesses I’d like to have testify at my trial. How do I get a subpoena issued?
If you would like to subpoena any witnesses, please bring a list of any names, addresses and phone numbers to the court clerk at least two weeks prior to your trial.
What will happen at my trial?
When you come to your trial, the officer who issued you the ticket will be present. The prosecuting attorney will ask the officer and any other witnesses present questions concerning your charge. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. You will then be able to call any witnesses you may have and ask them any questions. You will then be given a chance to testify. Once all parties involved have testified and questions have been answered, Judge Hill will render his decision and you will be sentenced if he finds you guilty.
I have already been found guilty. I am having trouble paying my fine and need to lower my monthly payment amount. How do I arrange to speak to Judge Hill again?
If you would like to speak to Judge Hill, please call the court clerk and schedule a time to come back to court. It is necessary to call ahead so that your paperwork can be in the courtroom when you arrive.
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