What are my options to respond to a criminal traffic citation?

Typically, when you receive a traffic citation, you have multiple options for taking care of it. You can pay the fine, request a hearing or attend driving school. 

In the case of a criminal traffic citation, according to the Maricopa County Justice Courts, you have only one option, which is to go to court. 

Identifying a criminal citation

If you are unsure whether you have a criminal citation, you can look on your ticket. It should list the type of citation. You will also see a court time and date along with the court where your hearing will take place. 

Going to court

When you go to court, you will appear before a judge. At that time, you do have options for replying to the charge. You can plead not guilty and go to trial. 

If you do not want to admit guilt but do not want to go to trial, then you can plead no contest. This means you do not admit guilt or innocence, and the court will enter it as a guilty plea. The court will then sentence you. 

You can also plead guilty and face sentencing. Potential sentences include jail time, education classes, points on your record, fines, community service and license suspension. 

If you have a fine, you need to pay it the day of your hearing. You also must show up to court. If you do not, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest and suspend your driver’s license. 

A criminal traffic citation is not something you can ignore. You should prepare to go to court and enter your plea. 

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