Traffic summonses are issued by a police officer. Your copy may have a blue colored bar on the bottom of the handwritten summons or the e-citation summons. The middle section of both forms contains a time and place where an appearance has been scheduled in court. To see a copy of the front or back of the traffic summons, visit:
On the summons is the section code under which you have been charged. If you wish to read that law, you may review the City Code of the City of Colorado Springs. Enter the section number as it is shown on your summons. (For example, 10.5.104A)
Most traffic violations carry a payable fine amount. This is a fine decided by the court. Sometimes this fine may be paid before the court date so that you do not have to appear. If the violation is payable, the officer will have indicated the fine amount next to the violation on your copy of the summons.
If you choose to pay the fine amount shown on your ticket, the payment legally establishes a guilty plea to the charge. The points that are associated with that charge will be reported to the Colorado Department of Revenue - Motor Vehicle Division. If your driver's license has been issued by another state and that state has an agreement with Colorado, they will also receive notification of the penalty points. If you receive too many penalty points, it will result in the loss of your driver's license.
If the officer wrote "court" where the fine amount should be, you have been directed to appear on your designated court date and time. Certain violations carry a mandatory minimum fine that cannot be reduced. Even though the points may be reduced on the original charge through a plea agreement with the City Prosecutor, the fine cannot be changed by the court.
Examples of violations that carry a mandatory minimum fine include stop sign and red light violations and driving without insurance. Fines for speeding violations in school zones and construction zones are doubled and require a mandatory appearance in court.
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The Court Appearance
The first time you appear in this court, you are typically offered an opportunity to speak with a prosecuting attorney prior to appearing before the judge at a Traffic Arraignment.
In order to resolve the matter without a trial, the prosecutor may offer a plea agreement —a negotiated sentence in return for a plea of guilty. If this offer is made, you are not required to accept it. If you want to exercise your right to stand trial and require the Prosecution Division to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, the court will schedule a trial at a mutually agreeable later date.
Click here to view an advisement of your rights:
Trials are generally scheduled six weeks after the initial court appearance. You may enter a plea of not guilty and ask for a trial even if you think you might have committed the offense charged. The phrase "not guilty" is a legal term for saying "I want to exercise my constitutional rights and require the Prosecution Division to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt."
If you have been charged with failure to provide proof of the legally required insurance, you should bring proof of insurance with you to court. As a convenience, if insurance was properly in effect at the time the summons was issued, the compulsory insurance charge may be resolved with the court referee anytime before the scheduled appearance date.
A timely letter from the insurance agent including the agent's contact information is the preferred proof of insurance.
Rescheduling the Court Appearance
If you decide not to pay the summons but still cannot appear in court on the date provided, you should visit the Violations Bureau in Room 108 of the courthouse before the appearance date to obtain a new appearance date. Court scheduling cannot be handled over the telephone because the law requires the court to maintain a signed promise to appear for all individual court appearances.
When you sign a traffic summons in front of the police officer, you have made a promise to appear in court. By law, any change must also be in writing. Failure to either pay a traffic summons in full by the required date or to appear in court when scheduled will result in the issuance of an arrest warrant.
For further information, contact the court at (719) 385-5928, or firstname.lastname@example.org