You’ve been issued a Traffic Citation, now what?

Options to take care of your traffic citation

  1. Appearing in Court in front of the Judge at the time written on your citation.
  2. US mail only* following the instructions on the reverse side of the citation and by your Court date. Hood River Municipal Court options are 1-3 only.
  3. At the Court Clerk’s desk in Municipal Court before your Court date & time.
  4. Calling 541-386-3942 before your scheduled Court date & time and enter a plea with the Court Clerk over the phone. Note: The Court Clerk or City staff cannot take testimony from you, tell you what to do, give legal advice (ORS 9.160) or speculate how the Judge might decide your case.

The Municipal Court is not mandated to offer Traffic School. However, Traffic School may be an option only if you haven't attended traffic school in 10 years and have entered a plea of No Contest. Please call the Court Clerk to verify if you are eligible for traffic school. The following charges aren't eligible for traffic school: you are involved in a car accident, are cited in a school zone, no insurance, no operator's license, driving while using an electronic device, speed racing, driving while suspended or charged with a misdemeanor. This option only keeps the violation conviction from appearing on your driving record but doesn't forgive the fine; you must pay the fine in addition to the traffic school fees.

*Email correspondence is not accepted or processed by this Court and is not responsible for correspondence submitted via email as the Court Clerk cannot take testimony.


The Judge will read the charges filed against you, maximum fines, penalties and your rights under the law. He will ask how you wish to plead or if you are requesting a continuance to consult an attorney. A court appointed attorney may be available if you qualify on Misdemeanor Charges only.

Plea Options:

You may plead Not Guilty.  If you wish to dispute the charge against you for traffic offenses and/or misdemeanor charges; a Trial will be set at a future date. Note: Traffic school is not an option even if you are eligible; a change of plea is not an option during your Trial.

You may plead No Contest.  A plea of No Contest under Oregon Law results in a finding of guilty by the Court. The benefit to a no contest plea is that you do not have to admit guilt in open court. Your fine or other penalty will be assessed by the Judge. If you are eligible, traffic school may be an option.

If you Fail to Appear on a Traffic Citation:

You will be found Guilty by Default for the full fine amount of your citation and is due immediately.

Mandatory Appearance:

If you are charged with a CRIME, then you or your attorney MUST appear at the time and place indicated on the summons.  There are NO other options.

If You Fail to Appear (CRIME):

Failure to appear in Court at the scheduled time will result in a WARRANT for your arrest and a new charge of FAIL TO APPEAR (ORS 153.992) FOR A SCHEDULED COURT APPEARANCE will be filed against you.  If bail has been posted; it would be automatically forfeited.