If you have been issued a traffic citation this information is important to you.
Whether you received a civil or criminal citation, you must respond to the court on or before the “Notice to Appear” date shown on the front of the citation. Failure to do so may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and/or suspension of your driver’s license, a monetary default judgment (could be sent to collections or be subject to a tax interception), and a late payment fee.
It is recommended that you bring the following items with you if you appear in person at the counter or in court for a hearing or trial.
- Citation you were issued
- Arizona drivers license
- Proof of insurance
Your citation has a notation that indicates it is either civil or criminal. If you received a criminal citation, you must contact the court by phone concerning fines prior to your court date.
There are three different options for responding to a civil traffic citation. The date on the citation is the date you must notify the court of which option you are choosing, not the date you will see the judge.
- OPTION ONE: Diversion of Charge
Please see our Defensive Driving School page for information on this option.
- OPTION TWO: Trial / Hearing
You may request a trial/hearing by mailing the completed form that was provided to you with your citation by selecting the second option where it says,
“I request a trial/hearing to contest the charges indicated below. I enter my plea of not guilty/responsible. Indicate charge # A B D C E to be heard.”
You will be notified by mail of your assigned trial/hearing date.
You must appear on that date and be ready to present evidence and examine witnesses.
If the defendant fails to appear, a judgment of responsible will be entered.
- OPTION THREE: Pay the Fine
If you are over the age of 18 and have received a civil citation, you may pay your obligation by mail. No court appearance is required.
Select the first option on the form that was provided to you with your citation (“I waive my right to a trial/hearing and enter a plea of guilty/responsible.”).
You may pay in person using cash, cashier’s check, money order, VISA or MASTERCARD credit card. You may send a cashier’s check or money order by mail. You may pay with a credit card by phone.
All in full payments after the original court date must include a $20.00 late fee.
Payment plans can be arranged by contacting the court either in person or in writing and a $20.00 payment plan fee will be added to your fine at the time of the first payment.
If you do not pay as agreed and do not obtain a written extension, your driver’s license may be suspended. You may be sent to a collection agency, which will add fees and may impact your registration and tax refunds. A warrant may be issued, you may be arrested and put in jail, and you may be required to pay an additional penalty. Notwithstanding these remedies available to the court, your taxes may be intercepted to the extent fines or other money matters are delinquent.
- Criminal speed – You may contact the court by phone prior to your court date concerning fines.
- Trucking violations – You may contact the court by phone prior to your court date concerning fines.
- With all other criminal matters, you must appear on the court date on your ticket.