Court Appearance and Entry of Plea

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APPEARANCE AND ENTRY OF PLEA

You are required to respond to your citation by making an appearance (either in person or in writing) with the Bend Municipal Court. You must appear on or before the Court Date shown on your citation.  Please refer to the citation you were issued for your options.

HOW TO APPEAR:

Appearance in Person:
You may appear in person in Court before the Judge on your Court Date. Contact the Court Clerk on or before your Court Date to sign in. Court arraignments currently begin at 4:00PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. NOTE: Beginning June 1, 2016, Court arraignments will begin at 8:15am or 10:00am on Thursdays only.

Appearance in Writing:
You may enter your appearance in writing. Your written appearance must be received by the Court on or before your Court Date. You may make your written appearance by one of the following methods:

• Mail your written appearance to the Court;
• Speak to the Court Clerk; or
• Use the “ENTRY OF NOT GUILTY PLEA” or "ENTRY OF NO CONTEST PLEA" Form, which are located in the Court's Lobby.

NOTICE: If you enter a written “No Contest” plea, you must submit full payment of the presumption fine written on your citation. If payment of the full presumptive fine(s) is not submitted, the Court may disregard your written correspondence, enter a conviction against you, and impose the full fine as shown on the face of your citation

FAILURE TO APPEAR

If you fail to make your appearance by the Court Date shown on your citation, the Court will enter a conviction against you for the violation(s) on your citation, impose the presumptive fine(s) shown on your citation, impose an additional $50 court fee for failure to appear, and, if appropriate, forward an Order to suspend your driver's license and a notice of the conviction(s) to the Department of Motor Vehicles for inclusion on your driving record. In addition, if your fines are not paid within the time allowed, the Court will impose an additional collection fee of up to 25% of the balance owing and refer your fines to a collection agency.

ENTRY OF PLEA
When you make your appearance in Court, you must enter a plea to each of the charges against you. You may enter a plea of “No Contest” or “Not Guilty”. If you fail to enter a plea, the Court will enter a plea of “No Contest” on your behalf.

Plea of "No Contest"
Entering a plea of "No Contest" can result in a conviction and a fine as a sanction.  You may be eligible to participate in Traffic Safety School to have the violation dismissed.  Please visit our Traffic Safety Program page or contact the court at 541/388/5572 and press option #9 to speak to a Court Clerk.

If you enter a written “No Contest” plea, you must submit full payment of the presumption fine written on your citation. If payment of the full presumptive fine(s) is not submitted, the Court may disregard your written correspondence, enter a conviction against you, and impose the full fine as shown on the face of your citation.

Plea of “Not Guilty”
If you enter a plea of “Not Guilty” to an offense, that offense will be scheduled for a Trial. You may request either an in-person trial or a trial by affidavit (written trial):

In-Person Trial: If you request an in-person trial, the Court will mail notice of your trial date to you. If you will be represented by an attorney at the trial, your attorney must notify the Court in writing and serve the Bend Police Department with a copy of that notice at least 14 days prior to your trial date.

Trial by Affidavit (Written Trial): The Court Clerk will give you an Affidavit form to complete and return to the Court. The Court will also request an Affidavit from the Officer(s) involved in your citation. Your affidavit or written statement must be returned to the Court by the due date listed on the Affidavit form or your Trial will proceed without your statement. After the due date has passed, the Judge will review both Affidavits and you will be notified of the Judge's decision by mail.

NOTICE: By pleading "Not Guilty", you waive your eligibility to participate in traffic school or any other court programs.