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General Information

Violations are offenses that are punishable by a fine, but are not punishable by a term of imprisonment. The most common types of violations include Traffic, Boating, and Fish & Wildlife. The court will not appoint or pay for you to have an attorney for violation cases, but if you wish, you may hire an attorney at your own expense. Please contact the Oregon State Bar if you need help finding an attorney.

It is important to read your summons (citation), front and back, as it contains important information such as:

  • Whether you have been charged with a CRIME or a VIOLATION;
  • Where you must appear: Municipal, Juvenile, Justice, or Circuit Court;
  • The type of offense(s) committed;
  • The presumptive fine amount imposed for each offense; and
  • Your court appearance Date, Time and Location.

If you are charged with a CRIME or a violation requiring a mandatory personal court appearance, you MUST COME TO COURT at the time and place indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation) and/or in the Notice of Scheduled Appearance sent by the Court. If you are cited to appear in a Municipal or Justice Court, contact that court directly, as information on this page does not apply.

If you do not appear (in person, on-line, in writing, or by phone) on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation), or if you initially appear, but later fail to appear for trial or fail to submit your Declaration by the date allowed, the violations clerk or judge will enter a default judgment, and will initiate suspension of your driving privileges. The entire presumptive fine will be assessed, and additional fees will be added as applicable without further notice.

All fines and fees imposed on violation judgments are due immediately unless deferred payment arrangements are made with the court. Additional fees will be imposed as allowed by rule and statute without further notification. Additionally, the court may request suspension of your driving privileges for failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to comply with a court order. Please see our Payments page for information regarding payment options and certain additional fees.

When you appear at the courthouse for your trial, you will need to be prepared to present your case at the time listed on your trial notice. Normally violation trials are scheduled to last 15 minutes, so each side only has a few minutes to present their case - Have your information and comments organized.

  • Shirts and shoes are required;
  • Caps and hats must be removed before entering the courtroom;
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the courtroom;
  • Weapons are not allowed in any area of the courthouse;
  • PDA's, Pagers, cell phones and all other electronic devices which may disrupt the proceeding must be turned OFF (not only vibrate), as these items cause interference on audio recordings of proceedings;
  • Cameras and audio recording equipment are not permitted unless specifically authorized in advance by the Trial Court Administrator.

Please contact the court during business hours to see if your appearance may be moved or extended. Many violation matters can be handled by phone or in writing at any time after the court receives the citation as long as you contact us on or before your appearance date.

If you wish to change the date (continue) of a trial or mandatory appearance matter, you must request this in writing (use the court's Motion and Order to Continue Violation Hearing form) at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the appearance date and have it approved BEFORE the court date.

If you wish to appear by phone for a trial or mandatory appearance matter, you must request this in writing (use the court's Motion for Phone Appearance form) and have it approved BEFORE the court date.

The 6th Judicial District requires mandatory personal court appearances for some violations:

  • Careless Driving - ORS 811.135(3) and ORS 153.061(2) (vulnerable user of a public way suffered serious physical injury or death);
  • A violation where a presumptive fine is not included or not legible on the citation.
  • A misdemeanor treated as a violation under ORS 161.566 or 161.568. This is when the prosecutor indicates the crime charged is a misdemeanor, but is willing to treat it as a violation, with no potential jail sentence, only a fine and possible suspension of driving privileges.
  • Truancy (Failure to Maintain a Child in School)
  • Violation of County Ordinances

If the charge is a VIOLATION that does not require a mandatory court appearance, you must DO ONE (only one) of the following:

OPTION 1 – Enter a plea by phone or in person.

You do not have to wait until the court date. You may come to the court or call during business hours any day on or before your appearance date as long as the court has received the citation.

If you do not contact us by the appearance date at the bottom of your summons (citation), the Court may convict you and impose further penalties, including suspension of your driving privileges.

OPTION 2 – Enter a plea of No Contest in writing.

This means you do not wish to fight the charges. If you do this, you will be convicted of the offense(s). To choose this option, do all of the following (Step 3 is optional) on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation).

  • Check and initial which plea you want to enter (NO CONTEST) AND sign and date line 1 of Option 2 on your summons.
  • Send or take to the court your citation and the full amount of the presumptive fine shown on the summons. Please write the case/citation number on your check or money order.
  • If you wish, attach a written statement (letter) explaining what happened when you received the citation and any information you think the court should consider.

IMPORTANT: Choosing Option 2 waives (gives up) your right to trial. The Court may consider your written statement when establishing the amount of the fine. If the Court finds you GUILTY, the Court may keep all or part of the money you pay, but will return any amount left over after taking out the sanction amount.

OPTION 3 – Enter a plea of Not Guilty in Writing.

To choose this option do all of the following on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation).

  • Sign and date the back of your summons under Option 3; AND
  • Send or take to the court the summons by itself or with a written request for trial. You MUST make sure the summons is at the Court on or before the appearance date. A postmark will not be accepted as an appearance date. Make sure the court has your current address so the trial notice can be mailed to you.

IMPORTANT: Option 3 is a written request for a hearing (trial). The Court will mail you notice of the time and place when you MUST appear for trial - be sure your name and address are correct. The Court may convict you and impose further penalties if you do not appear for trial at the time given in the notice.

OPTION 4 – Contact the court to Request Trial by Declaration.

  • Contact the Court before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation) to determine if you qualify for a Trial by Declaration (written statement). If so, the trial will be based upon your written statements made under penalty of perjury. Future court appearances may not be necessary.
    NOTE: If you do not qualify, you must comply with one of the other options listed above.
  • If you qualify, you will be given a date by which your declaration must be received at the Court. File your original, signed declaration explaining the circumstances about the violations with which you were charged. This is your only chance to present your side of the case to the judge. The law enforcement officer who issued the citation will also have the opportunity to file a declaration in support of the charges. The Court will make a decision based upon the written statements.
  • Send or take your original, signed declaration to the Court. If you wish, you may also submit the base fine indicated on your citation - please write the case/citation number on your check or money order if you include one.

IMPORTANT: If you submit the base fine with your declaration under Option 4 and you are found NOT GUILTY, the Court will apply the amount to any fines owed to the court in other matters, and then return the remainder of your payment. If you are found GUILTY, the Court will return any amount remaining after taking out the fines and fees ordered by the judge. Please write the case/citation number on your check or money order.

OPTION 5 – Pay your citation on-line.

(Generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

If you know your citation number, you can use your Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card to pay your fine using our OJD Courts ePay site on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation). If there are any letters near your citation number, they may be part of the number (e.g., weigh master citations normally begin with WM followed by the 6-digit number).

Paying on-line means you are entering a NO CONTEST plea and waiving (giving up) your right to a trial. There is a fee of $1.50 per transaction for using this feature.

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