Nevada City Division
traffic - general information
The Traffic Division handles citations issued to adults and juveniles in Nevada County. Issuing agencies include the Nevada County Sheriff's Department, Grass Valley Police, Truckee Police, Nevada City Police, CHP, California Dept. Parks & Recreation and the California Dept. of Fish & Game. Types of citations include everything from routine traffic violations and offenses to fish & game violations; enforcement of local city and county ordinances; citations for boating and dog/animal offenses. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) violations are handled through the Criminal Division.
Parking citations are not handled by the Court. To make payments or ask questions, contact the issuing agency.
Generally within 6 - 8 weeks after receiving a citation, the Court will mail you a "Courtesy Bail Notice" which will include:
- The bail amount for the citation
- The due date when payment must be made
- Eligibility criteria for Traffic School
- Information on clearing a "fix-it" violation with Proof of Correction
- Where and when to report if you would like to appear in court.
You must take action (i.e.: pay fine, appear in court) on or prior to the due date listed on your citation. Failure to receive a Courtesy Bail Notice does not relieve you of the citation! It is your responsibility to take care of the citation by the due date.
Failure to appear or take action on a citation on or before the due date may result in the following: 1) A hold will be placed on your driver's license thus preventing you the ability to renew your license without clearing up the matter; 2) you will be ineligible to attend traffic school; 3) you will be referred to collections with an additional civil assessment fee added to your fine; 4) you may be charged with an additional misdemeanor.
Please visit our Web Portal introduction page for instructions on how to find your case in our system and pay via credit card. Alternatively, you can pay your citation in-full (partial payments are not accepted unless approved by the judge) by mail or by coming into the Courthouse. Acceptable payment types are check, money order or cashier’s check.
Cash payments are also accepted at the Courthouse only. NEVER mail cash.
Your citation is a formal Notice to Appear before the court. Your signature states that you agree to resolve the charges on the citation on or before the date listed. Your Courtesy Bail Notice will advise you whether or not your appearance is mandatory.
Mandatory Appearances: If your citation is issued for the Nevada City courthouse, you must appear on the date and time noted on the citation. Citations issued for the Truckee courthouse require that you call the court to schedule a court date.
Non-Mandatory Appearances: If your citation does not require a mandatory court appearance, then you may just pay the amount on the citation without appearing before the judge - this is called Bail Forfeiture. The citation is deemed paid, and a resulting conviction for the violation you were cited for will be reported on your DMV record.
Even if your appearance is not required, you have the right to appear in court and plea your case before the judge. In this instance you will be asked to enter a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest. Another purpose for coming to court is to request to attend Traffic School. Traffic School is optional and may be requested as a means to lessen the impact a citation could have on your auto insurance rates. Certain eligibility requirements apply, see the Traffic School page for details.
Your Rights - As a defendant you have the following constitutional and statutory rights:
- To be informed of the charges against you in open court.
- To be represented by a lawyer.
- In infraction matters, you are not entitled to a court appointed lawyer, however you may hire your own lawyer.
- In misdemeanor matters, you may hire your own lawyer or if you cannot afford a lawyer, the court may appoint one for you at no initial cost. (However, the court may order reimbursement of costs according to your ability to pay.)
- To a speedy and public trial within 45 days of arraignment, or a court trial in infraction cases.
- To confront and cross-examine the witnesses against you.
- To put on a defense and as part of that defense to testify in your own behalf and to obtain a document (a subpoena) to compel witnesses to appear without expense to you.
- To remain silent and not to be called as a witness during your own court proceeding.
- To a court or jury trial in misdemeanor cases.
- To appeal if you are found guilty at a trial, provided you file your notice of appeal within 30 days and follow other court rules.
Pleading Not Guilty
If you plead not guilty, you are telling the Court you want to contest the charge(s) against you. A contested trial will be scheduled within 45 days. You may waive your right to a speedy trial and have it scheduled within a reasonable amount of time. You will need to fill out and sign a not guilty plea and promise to appear either in person or by mail.
At your trial, the officer who issued the citation will testify as a witness. If there are other witnesses, they may also be called to testify. At the trial you may question (cross-examine) the witnesses. You may testify yourself and / or call witnesses to testify. After the evidence is presented the judge may rule immediately whether you are guilty or not guilty or the case may be taken under submission before deciding. If the case is taken under submission, you will be notified of the ruling by mail or you may choose to return to court. If you are found not guilty, that is the end of the case. If you are found guilty, the judge will determine how much the fine will be. The fine may be more or less than the bail originally quoted in your case depending on the facts which were presented. If your driving record shows previous convictions, the fine may increase substantially and your driver's license may be suspended for up to 6 months.
This option requires a court appearance and is available for all violations. At the time you enter your not guilty plea (or you sign a Not Guilty Plea form and Promise to Appear in person or by mail), the court will set your court trial date. If you fail to appear at the time designated for your trial, either a trial in your absence will occur (Trial in Absentia), or a VC40508(a) misdemeanor charge may be added against you along with an additional assessment fee and a driver’s license suspension until resolved.
Notice to Appear Date
The Clerk's Office may give a one-time 30 day due date extension to the date on your citation. Extensions will not be given after your due date. Contact the appropriate court (listed on your citation) either by phone or in-person, also available on the Contact Info at top of page.
Court Trial Date
A Request for Postponement of Traffic Court Trial form must be filed at least 15 days prior to the Court Trial hearing date and a copy must be provided to the opposing party. The request, and any objection, will be submitted to a judicial officer for review, and will be granted only for good cause. You will be notified by mail whether your request is granted or denied. You may also contact the court for status of the request.
Objecting to a Request for Postponement of a Traffic Court Trial
An Objection to Postponement of Traffic Court Trial form must be submitted by the opposing party if you object to the Request for Postponement, within 5 days from the date of delivery of the Request for Postponement.
If you do NOT object to the Request of Postponement but there are certain dates you will not be available for trial, please notify the court by phone or in writing of those dates as soon as possible.
Requests for Continuance of a Traffic Court Trial less than 15 days before the Court Trial:
If you are seeking a continuance of your traffic trial less than 15 days before the trial date, use the form Request for Continuance - Traffic and follow the noticed motion procedures set forth in Penal Code § 1050(b), et seq.
If you have been charged with a vehicle code violation only and are either from out of town (or if it would be difficult for you to make an appearance), you may request a Trial by Written Declaration (basically a "trial by mail") by calling our offices first to verify your eligibility. If you are eligible, you will be required to "post" the entire amount shown on your Courtesy Notice in lieu of your appearance. If you are found not guilty and no other fines/fees are assessed, your posted bail will be refunded. Both the bail posting and the written Trial by Declaration form must be submitted before the due date listed on your Courtesy Notice.
If after the court has ruled on your Trial by Written Declaration, you will have one of three choices: 1- Accept the verdict ; 2- Request to attend Traffic School (must have been stipulated in your original request plus you must meet eligibility requirements); or 3- Request a new trial using a Trial De Novo form.
If you fail to appear or fail to remit the required bail, a civil assessment fee will be added to your bail amount. In addition, a hold will be placed on your driver’s license. Your case may then be referred to GC Services (Collection Agency).You may call GC Services toll free at 800-333-8395 or contact their local representative in the courthouse to discuss your options
If at sometime before your appearance date you feel you will be unable to pay the entire fine, you may request the court to allow you to pay in monthly installments. If your request is granted, an administrative fee (varies in amount depending upon the number of installments you need to make) will be added to your fine.
Installment plans must meet the following requirements:
- Your case must not require a mandatory appearance
- You must complete and sign a payment/ installment agreement
- You must pay 10% of the TOTAL bail amount + administrative fee before the due date
If you wish to arrange for a payment/installment plan you must complete and return an "Agreement to Pay and Forfeit Bail in Installments" form available at the Court. Failure to return the signed agreement to the Court may result in additional penalties including a hold on your driver’s license, a civil assessment fee, and a referral of your case to a collection agency.