When you receive a citation, you must enter a plea on or before 12 business days from the citation issue date. Only the person whose name appears on the citation can enter a plea. Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. Please consider each plea carefully before making a decision. If you plead "Guilty" or "Nolo Contendere" in open court, you should be prepared to pay the fine and court costs immediately.

No Contest Plea (Nolo Contendere)

A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the charges against you. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in the event of a subsequent civil suit for damages (i.e., traffic accident for which you are subsequently sued). When you enter a “No Contest” plea, you must pay the fine and court costs specified for the violation.

Guilty Plea

By entering a plea of guilty you admit that the act is prohibited by law, that you committed the act charged, and that you have no defense. When you plead guilty to a violation, you must pay the fine and court costs ordered by the court. Before entering your plea of guilty, however, you should understand the following:

  •    The State has the burden of proving you violated the law.
  •    You have the right to hear the State’s evidence and require the State to prove you violated the law.
  •    A plea of guilty may be used against you in a civil suit if there was a traffic accident.

Not Guilty Plea

A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the court that you deny guilt or that you have a good defense for your case. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether you want a trial before a jury or before a judge. You will need to decide whether to represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you. You or your attorney must be present at the trial.