Entering a Plea

Please be advised all court ordered fines, fees and penalties must be paid in full on the day of court. This includes defensive driving, deferral, and dismissal fees. Failure to pay on the day of court may result in a warrant for your arrest.

Your decision on what plea to enter is the most important decision you will have to make. The named defendant on the citation must sign his/her name and enter a plea to each charge; either in person or by mail. Failure to enter a plea for each charge in person or by mail within 12 days may result in a warrant being issued and could result in the denial of driver's license renewal, with additional fees assessed. We suggest you read the following explanations of the different types of pleas prior to making your decision.

You must decide upon and enter a plea to the charge against you on or before the appearance date on your citation. If you signed a citation in front of an officer, you did not plead guilty, but only signed a promise to appear in court. There are three possible pleas to a complaint:

  • Guilty
  • Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
  • Not Guilty

Adults (17 and over)

  1. Guilty states you are waiving your right to a jury trial and are guilty of the charges as filed. The fine and costs on a plea of guilty are the same as a plea of no contest. A guilty plea may adversely affect you in the event a civil action is brought against you (example: an accident; assault, etc.).
  2. Nolo Contendere (No Contest) states you are waiving your right to a jury trial and are not contesting the charges filed. If you plead no contest, a finding of guilty will be entered by the Court and your fine will be assessed. A No Contest plea is not an admission of guilt.
  3. Not Guilty states you are not guilty of the charge as filed. If you plead not guilty, after a pre-trial hearing, your case will be set for a trial. Should you be found not guilty, you would be released at that time from the charge against you. Should you be found guilty, your fine would be in an amount not to exceed the legal limits provided by law plus Court costs per violation.

Juveniles (16 and under)

You are required to appear for a trial along with a parent or guardian, even if you are represented by an attorney.

A court date will be mailed to the parents or legal guardian. If you do not receive a court date from the court within 30 days, contact the court. Failure to appear may result in a revoked driver's license or denial of driver's license reinstatement or renewal. The juvenile and parent must notify the court in writing of a change in the juvenile's residence address within 7 days of the change. A violation is a Class C misdemeanor. This obligation does not end when the juvenile reaches age 17. The obligation terminates only upon discharge and satisfaction of the judgment.