Staff in room 104 process most Violations and Minor In Possession of Alcohol diversions.
If you received a citation for a violation you should first check the citation carefully to be sure where your appearance court appearance has been set. Citations for the Benton County Circuit Court will be cited for Monday or Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at the Benton County Courthouse located at 120 NW 4th in Corvallis, Oregon. Occasionally a citation will be issued for a 1:00 p.m. appearance on a Monday or Thursday when a more serious charge is being considered in addition to the violation.
If you do not appear or post bail by the date required on the citation the court will enter a default judgment against you and impose fees. Collection action will be taken and your driving privileges may be suspended resulting in an additional fee imposed.
Your initial appearance on most violation matters will be before a violations bureau
clerk in Room 104. Based on your plea of guilty or no contest and your driving record, fines and fees are imposed. Fines are based upon your prior driving record and a predetermined schedule set out by a Judge. Staff does not have discretion to make other "findings.
You may appear before the violations bureau clerk during regular business hours at any time after the court has received and entered your citation and on or before your appearance date. For violations that the clerk is not authorized to process, a future date will be set for you to appear before a judge.
Make yourself aware of all of the options explained on your citation and be prepared to advise the violations bureau clerk of your decision. One of those options is to enter a plea of guilty or no contest and pay the amount shown on the citation without appearance. If you choose this option, the transaction must be completed on or before your appearance date to avoid license sanctions. If you enter a not guilty plea in writing the court will set a future date for you and the officer/deputy to appear for a violation trial. You will receive a notice of court appearance from the court.
The law enforcement officer shall have the burden of proving the alleged violation by a preponderance of the evidence. At trial, you are not required to be a witness. These matters are not recorded unless requested in writing at least one business day in advance of trial. There can be no appeal from the judge’s decision if the matter is not recorded. There is a $10 charge to be paid in advance for a copy on CD of the audio record.
You may request in writing a Trial by Affidavit. If Trial by Affidavit is allowed, the court will send you notice of the date by which your affidavit must be received and will notify the citing officer/deputy of the same due date for his/her affidavit. Affidavits must be notarized. Once the court has reviewed both affidavits and made a decision, you will be notified by mail.
One of the options available for responding to traffic violations is entry of a Not Guilty Plea and Request for Trial. It is preferred that you complete the form including all of the requested information and get it to the Court on or before your appearance date. If you call on or before your appearance date and provide the necessary information to the clerk, they will then complete the form. From this information the court will determine the length of time needed for and date of trial.