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Staff in room 135 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 in which court your appearance has been set. Citations for the Yamhill Circuit Court will be cited for Monday or Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Yamhill County Courthouse located at 535 NE 5th Street in McMinnville, Oregon. Occasionally a citation will be issued for a 1:30 p.m. appearance on a Wednesday or Friday 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 135. Based on your plea of 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 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 Declaration. If Trial by Declaration 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. Once the court has reviewed and made a decision, you will be notified by mail.
No Contest Plea: When you enter a plea of no contest, you waive your right to trial. Your fine will be assessed at the time you enter your no contest plea.
Not Guilty Plea: If you plead not guilty, the case will be set for trial and you will receive notice of the trial date in the mail. At the trial you may present evidence and call witnesses.
Trial by Declaration: You may choose to have your trial by declaration. You must submit a Violation Election Form with your declaration to the court. The court can provide you with this form. If you choose not to testify you do not have to submit a declaration, however, the court will consider the officer’s declaration in reaching a decision.
If you do not appear on or before your first appearance date by telephone, mail or in person, the clerk will enter a default judgment. The entire presumptive fine will be charged along with any additional fees or assessments.
When you appear at the courthouse for your trial, please be prepared to present your case at the time listed on your trial notice. You do not have to testify if you do not want to. If you choose not to testify, the judge will not hold that against you and will base his or her decision on the evidence that is presented. If you fail to appear for trial after a plea of not guilty, the court will take testimony from the officer and make a ruling from the evidence presented.
If you received a ticket for certain violations AND fixed or corrected the violation you can show proof to a violations clerk, prior to your court appearance. Your citation may be eligible to be dismissed.
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