Traffic Violations

Civil Traffic  |  Criminal Traffic  |  Your Rights  |  Appeals
Defensive Driving School |  Arizona Motor Vehicle Division
Payment Plan
Have you been approved by the Court to pay your fines and fees through a payment plan?
If so, you may be able to make your payment online.

Civil Traffic Violations

If you have received a civil traffic citation, you can respond in one of the following ways:

Attend defensive driving school.

  • If you choose to attend defensive driving school, and you are eligible to attend, you will not have to make a court appearance if you attend before your scheduled court date. Otherwise, you must appear on your scheduled court date and request permission to attend driving school. The court clerk will be able to process your request.
  • You can register over the phone and make arrangements to attend class at one of the schools listed below or at any State certified school listed at: http://www.azcourts.gov/driveschoolinfo/home.aspx .

Deny responsibility and request a hearing.

The officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear at the hearing. Click here for information on your legal rights in contesting a civil traffic violation.

  1. You may request a hearing by mail or by appearing on your scheduled court date.
  2. If you request a hearing you give up any option of attending a defensive driving school diversion program.
  3. You may voluntarily post a deposit in the amount of the civil penalty to ensure your license is not suspended should you fail to appear for the hearing. Do not send cash through the mail.

Admit responsibility and pay the civil penalty.

  1. You may pay the amount listed on the bond envelope and mail in your payment. Do not send cash through the mail. Click here to view fees (BOND SCHEDULE).
  2. You may also pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover by mail or phone.
  3. You may appear on your scheduled court date and pay the civil penalty. The clerk will take your payment and issue a receipt.
  4. You may appear on your scheduled court date to admit the violation with an explanation to the judge. The court will consider the explanation in determining the civil penalty.

All civil penalties are due in full on or before the scheduled appearance date.

The Justice Courts accept personal checks, money orders, cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover as payment.

If you do not pay your penalty in full on or before the scheduled court date, you must request a time payment plan and prove you are unable to pay in full. The Court will review your financial information to determine your eligibility for an installment plan. There is a $20.00 time payment fee added to all fines and penalties not paid in full on the same day they are imposed.

FAILURE TO APPEAR OR PAY WILL RESULT IN SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES

Failure to appear will result in an admission of responsibility and judgment will be entered for the State. The court will report the failure to appear to MVD and direct that your license be suspended and remain suspended until the civil penalty is paid in full. A $20.00 time payment fee and a $30.00 default fee will be added to the total due.

IF YOU HAVE CRIMINAL TRAFFIC or MISDEMEANOR VIOLATIONS included on your citation, you must appear before the judge on your scheduled appearance date.

Criminal Traffic Violations

If the offense on your citation/ticket is listed as a criminal violation, you must appear at the Justice Court listed on your ticket at the date and time specified.

DO NOT IGNORE YOUR CITATION. YOUR LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED OR A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST COULD BE ISSUED IF YOU FAIL TO PROPERLY RESPOND TO YOUR CITATION.

* When you do appear before the judge, you have three options:

  1. Plead guilty
    If you choose to plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed the infraction for which you were ticketed.

    Possible penalties include:
    • Points on your driving record
    • A fine
    • Suspension or restriction of your driving privileges
    • Jail (for some violations)
    • Community service
    • Court-ordered education classes

    **You must be prepared to pay all fines in full on the date of your hearing.

    If you do not pay a fine the day of your hearing, the court will add a $20 time payment fee. The courts accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, checks and cash for payment. If you do not pay your fine in full, you must complete an application for a time payment order and show proof that you can not make payment.

  2. Plead not guilty
    This means that you are denying you committed the charge(s) against you. The Court will give you a trial or pre-trial date. If you choose this route, you have rights as a defendant. Click here for a list of your rights as criminal traffic defendant.


  3. Plead no contest
    Under this plea, you are neither admitting nor denying the charges against you and are telling the court that you do not intend to contest the charges. The penalty may be the same as a guilty plea. The judge may consider an explanation before imposing a fine or penalty.

    * Certain courts do allow defendants in some criminal traffic cases to enter pleas by mail or videophone link. If you want or need to use this option, you must call or write to the Justice Court as soon as possible after receiving your ticket.
  4. Click Here for Criminal Traffic Appeals

Your Rights

Civil Traffic Defendants

You also have the following rights:

  • The right to have a civil traffic hearing before a justice of the peace or a civil traffic hearing officer.
  • The right to be represented by counsel at the hearing. If you choose to be represented by counsel you must notify the court in writing at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing date, otherwise you waive your right to be represented by an attorney. The court does not appoint attorneys for civil traffic violations.
  • The right to question witnesses testifying against you and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
  • The right to present evidence on your behalf and the right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
  • The right to appeal the outcome of the civil traffic hearing. There is however, no right to appeal a judgment entered by default as a result of your failure to appear.
  • Click here for more information on Civil Traffic violation cases.

Defendants with Misdemeanor or Criminal Traffic violations

You also have the following rights:

  • The right to a trial before a justice of the peace, and in some cases, before a jury.
  • The right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of the case. In some cases, if you are unable to pay for an attorney, the court may appoint an attorney for you. You will have to provide evidence that you are indigent or are unable to afford an attorney. The court may require that you contribute a reasonable amount towards attorney fees.
  • The right to confront witnesses and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
  • The right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
  • The right to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • The right to appeal. There is no right to appeal a guilty plea.
  • Click here for more information on Misdemeanor or Criminal Traffic violation cases.

Traffic Violation Appeals

Defensive Driving School Information

Advantages of attending defensive driving school

  • If you choose to attend defensive driving school and you are eligible you will not have to make a court appearance if you attend before your scheduled court date.
  • You can register over the phone and make arrangements to attend class at any State certified school listed at: http://www.azcourts.gov/drive/ListofCertifiedSchools.aspx, or State certified school listed in the Yellow Pages.
  • The violation will be dismissed after successfully completing the class.
  • The violation will not be reported to MVD or recorded on your driving record.

Who can attend defensive driving school?

You may be eligible if:

  • You were cited for a civil traffic moving that did not result in the serious injury or death of any person. Violations marked by an * on the bond envelope are all eligible violations.
  • You have not attended a defensive driving diversion class in Arizona in the past two years for a violation that occurred within the 24-month period before your current violation.

    Some justice courts will allow defensive driving school for criminal traffic speed violations of (ARS 28-701.02A1, A2, A3). Call the court to determine if this violation is eligible.

Other Important Points:

  • Do NOT ignore your citation. Your license will be suspended or a warrant could be issued if you fail to properly respond to your citation.
  • Important to consider before opting for driving school: violations of (ARS 28-702.01A) carries no points and is not reportable to MVD. The civil penalty is $47.00.
  • If you were cited for more than one violation you can only go to school for one eligible violations. For all other violations you will be required to choose one of the other options listed in the TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS > CIVIL TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS section.
  • When you request a hearing (trial) you give up the option of attending defensive driving school.
  • Residents of other states must register for out-of-state attendance through a State certified school listed at http://www.azcourts.gov/drive/ListofCertifiedSchools.aspx.
  • Register here for Defensive Driving School.


Traffic Violation Fees

If you do not pay your penalty in full on or before the scheduled court date, you must request a time payment plan and prove you are unable to pay in full. The fines manager will review your financial information and run a credit report to determine your eligibility for an installment plan. There is a $20.00 time payment fee added to all fines and penalties not paid in full on the same day they are imposed.

Time Payment Fee $20.00
Default Fee - imposed if you fail to appear at your court date $30.00
Filing any paper or performing any act for which a fee is not specifically prescribed $25.00
Certification of any documents $25.00
Notice of Appeal Filing Fee (Certification, transmittal, audio record) $75.00
Copies of documents $0.50 per page

Click Here to see all Justice Court Fees.

Traffic Violation Forms

Click Here to see all Justice Court Forms.

Traffic Violations How-To

Click Here to see all Justice Court How-To Packets.