What is a Courtesy Notice for Traffic Ticket?
A courtesy notice is usually a computer-generated notice that is sent for traffic violations. However, a courtesy notice can also be sent to you for other offenses as well. In general, this notice reminds the offender of their court date and charges. These notices often state whether or not a person who has committed the violation is eligible for traffic school to keep it off their record, and whether it may merely be paid prior to the scheduled court date without an appearance.
More about courtesy notices
In traffic offense cases, a courtesy notice is generally mailed to the address listed on the citation within 60 days of the date the citation was issued. The notice typically includes information about the numerous options available to resolve the traffic ticket. It also can include:
- Information regarding proof of correction requirements for tickets due to mechanical violations
- Your bail amount
- Mandatory court appearance requirements
- Requirements for traffic school eligibility
Your courtesy notice should have a due date. You must choose and execute one of your options by that date. Your courtesy notice usually says whether you can pay for the violation or if you have to show proof of correction. This is explained in your citation as well. If you show proof of correction and pay the dismissal fee, courts typically dismiss the charges. You or your lawyer should review courtesy notices carefully for details and discrepancies.
Failure to resolve the citation or appear in court before the due date may result in a hold being placed on your driver’s license, or even a warrant being issued for your arrest. You will have your driving privileges restricted and/or be unable to register a vehicle. The citation may also go to a collection agency for the collection of outstanding monies.
About appearing in court
A failure to appear in court or have an attorney appear in court for you can result in a warrant for your arrest, a failure to appear charge, a civil assessment, a hold on your license, or a combination of these. It is not an excuse or a valid defense that you did not receive a courtesy notice to appear. Forgetting to appear is also not a valid excuse. Many other excuses are typically not recognized, including being on a trip or out of town.
Usually, a failure to appear involves a valid reason why your appearance per your signature is not possible, like incarceration, military deployment, hospitalization, or other reasons. If you are unable to appear, an attorney can appear for you and may be able to help resolve the quickly and favorably. Plus, an attorney can work to lift the hold on your license, reduce or eliminate your failure to appear or civil assessment, and establish a case strategy for trial.
You would be well-advised to heed the courtesy notice and comply with its requirements. Things can go in an unfavorable direction quickly if details and court dates are missed. A traffic ticket lawyer is a powerful ally to help with this. Contact a traffic ticket lawyer in your local area for an initial consultation and to get help understanding your options.