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Traffic Violation Options
Traffic Violation Options
If you are cited to appear in the West Linn Municipal Court for a traffic violation, you have the following options:
• Send Letter With Payment
• Violations Bureau, if you want to just pay
• Not Guilty Plea, to set a trial
• Seatbelt Diversion Class, if eligible
• Deferred Program
• Appear Before the Judge
Please wait one week after receiving your citation before you contact the court regarding any of these options. The court will not be able to assist you until the original citation has been filed by the police officer. IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR OR TAKE OTHER ACTION ON THE CITATION, a default judgment can be entered and a fine will be assessed. The fine will be increased if you fail to appear. The court will order a suspension of your right to drive in Oregon if the fines are not paid.
OPTION 1: SEND LETTER WITH PAYMENT
If you wish to send a letter of explanation to the judge, you must mark the No Contest plea on the back of your citation and send it with your letter and payment in the amount of the Presumptive Fine indicated for the violation. Please include your current address and phone number. The judge will read your letter and review any information enclosed. If there is an additional fine, you will be notified by phone. If the fine is reduced, a refund will be mailed to you.
OPTION 2: VIOLATIONS BUREAU
Under Oregon law, the clerks of the Violations Bureau have the authority to reduce your fine based on your driving record. You must plead "no contest" to exercise this option. If you would rather see a judge, you may appear in court at the time scheduled for your arraignment (as written on your citation). See Option 4 below for more information about this option.
OPTION 3: NOT GUILTY PLEA
You may enter a "not guilty" plea in writing, as described on the back of your citation, or in court at your arraignment. If you plead not guilty, the court will not consider your explanation until the time set for your trial. The officer will be required to appear at your trial, which will typically take place within a two-month time period.
OPTION 4: SEATBELT / CELL PHONE DIVERSION CLASS
If you have no prior seatbelt / cell phone convictions in any jurisdiction and you have not previously attended a seatbelt distracted driving diversion class you would be eligible for this program. The class fee is $20 paid at the time of the class and a court fee of $50 is payable when registering for the class.
In order to enroll in the seatbelt / cell phone diversion class you must come to the court office before your court date, complete the registration and pay the $50 court fee. After you attend the class the citation will be dismissed. If you fail to attend the class you will be required to pay a fine to the court and the conviction will be sent to DMV. Please call the court at 503-656-4263 if you have any questions.
OPTION 5: DEFERRED PROGRAM
If you are an adult driver with no convictions on your record for the previous five years, you could be eligible for a deferred program. There is a fee of $75 payable to the court at the time you register and a fee for the class payable to the class. This option can be done by the court clerk or the judge if you appear in court. Your file is held for six months, and if there are no new violations, the class is completed and the $75 fee is paid, the violation will be dismissed. Please call the court at 503-656-4263 to see if you qualify and for further instructions.
OPTION 6: APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGE
The judge will be available to hear your explanation or concerns when you appear in court for arraignment at the time stated on the front of your citation. Please be aware that the judge cannot reduce the fine more than 20% below the Presumptive Fine on the front of your citation.
You do not need to see the judge for arraignment if you want to plead "not guilty", enter the Seatbelt / Cell Phone Diversion Class, enter a plea to the Violations Bureau or apply for the deferred program. If you want to choose one of those options, tell the clerk at the time you check into court for arraignment. Be sure to check in with the clerks if you decide to talk to the judge, since cases are called in the order of appearance.
If you are a student and wish to ask the judge about Traffic School, you must appear in person on your court date to request this option from the Judge.
When the judge calls your case, you will be asked to enter a plea of "no contest" or "not guilty." If you plead "no contest," the judge will consider your explanation and driving record in determining your fine. The judge's decision is final.
Payments can be made as follows:
• In cash
• By check or money order
• VISA or MasterCard (at the Court counter, by telephone and online)
• Enter into a Payment Agreement. If you cannot pay the fine in full within 60 days of signing the agreement there is an administrative fee of $20 charged in addition to the fine. If you fail to make payments on time, the Court can suspend your license.
Please include the citation/summons number (located in the upper right corner of the citation) on your check or money order and include your phone number on any correspondence to the court. If you want a receipt, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.