A Civil Infraction is not a criminal offense.
There is no right to a court appointed attorney or a jury trial. If a judgment is entered against you, you will only be assessed a monetary penalty plus costs:
MAXIMUM $100 fine, $100 court costs, and required $40 state fee.
Points may also be assessed on your drivers license depending on the offense charged. Click here to see current fines. There is no jail sentence for a civil infraction. The Court may also order a program of treatment, education or rehabilitation (Driver Safety School, Alcohol Highway Safety, etc.). If a sanction (Judgment) is entered against you and the fines and costs are not paid:
- Your license may be suspended by the Court for failure to pay the fine and costs assessed
- Civil contempt-burden is on the Defendant to show that non-payment is not due to inability to pay, and if Defendant cannot so show, Defendant can be committed to jail until fines and costs are paid at the rate of $10.00 per day
- Fine and costs might be collected through garnishment, execution, etc.
You have the right to:
Fines and costs will then be assessed.
You will be able to explain the situation fully to the Magistrate. The Magistrate will not be able to change the charge against you; however, he/she can take your explanation into consideration for fines and costs. The fines and costs are then set by the Magistrate and do not always follow the schedule set by the Court. If you choose this option the Deputy Clerk will give you a date to come back and speak with the Magistrate or this can also be done by mail if you wish.
A hearing date will be scheduled for you. Your case will be heard before a Magistrate or Judge depending on what kind of hearing you request. If you request an informal hearing any witnesses you wish to have testify on your behalf should be with you. No attorneys are permitted to be present or represent either you or the police officer at this hearing. If you are not satisfied with the ruling of the Magistrate at the informal hearing you have the right to appeal to a formal hearing before the Judge. This appeal must be filed within seven (7) days of the informal hearing, and the fines and costs must be paid as a bond on the appeal.
If you wish to give up your right to an informal hearing, a formal hearing may be scheduled. At the formal hearing, the police officer will be represented by an attorney and you may be represented by an attorney, if you wish. However, you must employ your own attorney. Before any hearing, you will be given a reasonable period of time to contact witnesses and prepare your case. If you are found responsible, judgment will be entered against you.