FAQ Topic: Justice Court FAQ

What is mitigation?

Mitigation may take the form of a reduction in the presumptive fine, the ability to make incremental payments, or any other requests a defendant may have of the Court.

Can I get a court-appointed lawyer?

No. Tickets in Justice Court are violations and not crimes. As there is no possible penalty of jail time, you will not get a court-appointed lawyer and you are not entitled to a jury trial.

How do I get legal advice or help with a trial?

The court cannot give legal advice. You may wish to consult your own attorney. If you have questions or need legal advice, you may need to consult with legal counsel of your own choice. If you do not have an attorney, you may contact the Oregon State Bar Referral Service at 1 (800) 452-7636.

What if I don’t pay a traffic ticket or show up in Justice Court?

If you do not make a first appearance, the court will find you guilty by default and the presumptive fine will be imposed. If you do not pay that fine, the Court has the authority to initiate the suspension of your driving privilege; therefore, it is important that you work with the Court to maintain … Continued

Will a Justice Court citation appear on my driving record?

If you are convicted of a traffic violation, the court is required to inform the Oregon DMV, and the DMV will put the conviction on your driving record. If you live outside of Oregon, the Oregon DMV will send the information to your home state. If you enroll in and successfully complete the Traffic Diversion … Continued

Can I change my court date?

If you contact the court before your court date, the Court will typically allow a one-time, two-week continuance for entry of plea.  Instructions for rescheduling a trial are included in the Order Setting Hearing.  Please see the Covid-19 update.

Is there another option besides in court for a trial?

You can request a trial by affidavit or declaration. You and the officer would be required to submit written sworn testimony in the form of an affidavit. Witnesses may also submit affidavits. The judge reads the affidavits and makes a decision. To request a trial by affidavit, enter a not guilty plea and ask for … Continued

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