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Traffic / Violations

CONTACT US

The Courthouse is open Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and court furlough day closures, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., however the Traffic Unit will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The "Drop Box", which is located on the "Employees Only" door to Room 104, may be used to submit pleadings, other documents for filing, and payments anytime during regular courthouse hours.  Any filings and payments placed in the "Drop Box" no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and court furlough day closures, will be date stamped and deemed received and filed on that day.

 

Location: Clackamas County Circuit Court
  Violations Bureau
  807 Main Street, Room 200
  Oregon City, OR   97045
Phone: 503.655.8643, Option 1

 

TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS / VIOLATIONS BUREAU

Traffic Violations are offenses that are punishable by a fine, but that are not punishable by a term of imprisonment.   Violations include but are not limited to Traffic, Boating, Fish & Wildlife, State Park, Minor in Possession, and Possession of Less than 1 ounce of Marijuana.

Clackamas County Circuit Court has established a Violations Bureau under ORS 153.800.  Any person who receives a traffic violation will appear before the Violations Bureau.  The Violations Bureau authorizes a violations clerk to accept a plea of no contest or not guilty on violations that do not require a mandatory court appearance.  The clerk will assess a fine based on your driving record. 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS/COMPLAINTS

It is important to read your traffic summons, front and back as it contains important information such as:

  • If you have been charged with a CRIME or VIOLATION
  • Where you MUST appear:  Municipal, Juvenile, or Circuit.
  • The type of offense(s) committed
  • The presumptive fine amount imposed for each offense
  • Your court appearance Date, Time and Location.

If you are charged with a CRIME you must appear at the time and place set by the summons. If the charge is for a VIOLATION you must DO ONE (only one) of the following:

  • Option 1 - Enter a plea of no contest and pay the court the amount of the presumptive fine written on the front of this citation.  If the court accepts your plea, the court may not impose a fine that is more than the amount of the presumptive fine. 
  • Option 2 - Enter a plea of no contest and send a letter of explanation.  You must do all of the following before the day and time the citation requires you to appear in court.  If you respond by mail, the mail must arrive at the court before you are required to appear.

1. Sign and date the back of your summons AND

2. Send or take to the court the citation and the full amount of the presumptive fine; AND

3. Attach a written statement explaining the circumstances of the violation(s) charged.       

 

IMPORTANT:  If you choose this option, you will make a written appearance and waive your right to a trial. The court may consider your written statement when establishing the amount of the fine. The court cannot impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine amount. If the court finds you guilty, the court may keep all or part of the money you pay. The court will not fine you more without giving you notice to come to the court for a hearing. 


  • Option 3 - Enter a Plea of Not Guilty and request a trial by doing one of the following:

A.  Go to the court on or before the day and time written on the front of this citation to plead not guilty and request a trial.

B.  Submit a written request for a trial by doing all of the following before the day and time this citation requires you to appear in court.  If you respond by mail, the mail must arrive at the court before you are required to appear.

                    1.  Sign and date the back of your summons AND

                    2.  Send or take to the court the citation by itself or with a written request for a trial.

 

IMPORTANT:  You have a right to a trial. The court will give you notice of the time and place when you MUST appear in person and may impose penalties if you do not appear. The court may require you to deposit money to assure your appearance if you have failed to appear on any offense charges in the past. If the court finds at trial that you are guilty, the court cannot impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine amount. The court will not impose a fine if it finds you not guilty.


  • Option 4 – Contact the court before the day and time the summons requires you to appear to determine if you qualify for a trial by affidavit.  If so, the trial will be based upon sworn, written statements.  Future court appearances may not be necessary.  If you do not qualify or the court does not offer this option, you must comply with one of the other options listed above. 

FAILURE TO APPEAR

If you fail to appear or fail to follow the instructions found on the back of the summons, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest and/or may suspend your license if you fail to appear on a citation for a traffic offense.

The record of conviction will be sent to the licensing authority of the state where you are licensed to drive to decide if a license suspension is appropriate.

If you do not pay the full presumptive fine amount in advance and do not appear, the court may enter a conviction and a judgment against you for more than the presumptive fine and up to the maximum penalty allowed by law for the charged offense(s) including the maximum fines, restitution, and other costs.

TRAFFIC TRIALS

All trials are being scheduled during day court.   When you appear at the courthouse for your trial, you will need to be prepared to present your case at the time listed on your trial notice. 

    • Shirts and shoes are required
    • Caps and hats must be removed upon entering the courtroom
    • Food and drinks are not allowed in the courtroom
    • Weapons are not allowed in any area of the courthouse
    • Pagers, cell phones and all other electronic devices which may disrupt the proceeding must be turned off
    • Audio and tape recording is not permitted without prior approval of the court

MAILING OF NOTICES 

The court will send you a notice if you have entered a plea of not guilty and submitted a written request for a trial.  If you appear in person, enter a plea of not guilty and request a trial, you will be provided with your notice for trial at the time you appear.

DO YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY? 

For violations, you must notify the court before you are required to appear in court if you are going to have an attorney represent you.

DMV LETTER

If you receive a letter from DMV notifying you that your license is going to be suspended, you will need to contact DMV for details regarding the suspension or restrictions.

EXTENSIONS FOR THE  APPEARANCE DATE

The Clackamas Circuit Court does not allow an extension for the appearance date.  You must appear on or before the appearance date listed on the summons.

TRAFFIC JUDGMENT APPEALS

An appeal from a judgment of this court must be filed with the Oregon Court of Appeals in Salem.  An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date the judgment was entered into the trial court record (OJIN).

Appellate Court Records Section
Office of the State Court Administrator
1163 State Street
Salem, Oregon  97310
503.986.5555

To download forms go to the Court of Appeals website.

CITIZEN COMPLAINT -  Initiation of violation proceeding by private party

A person, other than an enforcement officer, may commence a violation proceeding by filing a complaint with a court that has jurisdiction over the alleged violation.  The filing of the complaint is subject to ORS 153.048.

PAYING THE FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS IMPOSED BY THE COURT

All monies imposed in traffic judgments are due at the time of sentencing unless deferred payment arrangements are made with the Court.  A fee will be imposed whenever a judgment is unpaid in any part beyond 30 days from the date the judgment is entered in the case register, or at such earlier time as the court establishes a payment schedule that runs beyond that 30-day period, whichever is earlier (not less than $50.00 and not more than $200.00).