The issuance of citations for traffic offenses and misdemeanors are a common experience for some citizens. If it is the first citation that you have ever received, you may not know what to do now. Although the Deputy likely explained the steps to you, it is very easy to forget the details to a process that you are not familiar with.
The first thing to note is that your citation will either list a specific date and time or a range of dates to appear in court. Court is only open on weekdays, excluding holidays. They are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
If you were issued a citation for an infraction (it will be noted on the citation), this is referred to as a civil penalty. If you fail to appear in court during the allotted time, a default judgement will be entered against you by the judge. This means that you will be found guilty by default and must pay the fine that is set by Idaho Code. These fines are set by law and are not reduced by Judges. The State of Idaho will typically suspend your driver's license when you fail to appear for an infraction citation. The State of Idaho will require that you pay a reinstatement fee in order to get a valid driver’s license again.
If you were issued a citation for a misdemeanor, you must appear during the allotted time. Failure to appear during that time will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. The warrant creates an additional charge with additional penalties.
You have the option to plead not guilty to any citations that you receive. This will not increase any potential fines or penalties that you are facing. You have an opportunity to hire your own attorney. In some circumstances you can have a public defender appointed to represent you.
If you plead not guilty, the judge will set a new date for the trial or the next required motion day (depending on the specific charge). It is important to continue to appear on the additional court dates. If you have questions concerning your case, you should always contact the Payette County Court at 208-642-6000.
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