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Traffic Cases and Criminal Cases

Lincoln County District Court handles infraction and misdemeanors.  Misdemeanors are crimes that can be punishable with a fine, probation and /or jail.  Infractions are not crimes, and a judge cannot sentence you to jail for an infraction.  However, you may have to pay a fine if you committed an infraction.  

If you have a ticket, you can look at the top of of ticket to see what kind it is. It will say Infraction or it will say Criminal.  There is also a number at the top right that is called your citation number or your infraction number.  See an example (insert pic of Ticket) here.  This number identifies your case and is usually needed to look up your court date or make a payment. 

What happens if I have an infraction traffic ticket?

Read the instructions on your ticket.  You have a few options for how to respond:

  • Pay the ticket.  You agree that you committed the infraction and pay the amount identified on your ticket.   You can make the payment by mailing a check to the court along with your ticket or you can pay online with a credit card or debit card through nCourt You can also set up a payment plan.  This infraction will go on your driving record.
  • Request a reduction:  You agree that you committed the infraction, but you want to explain what happened to a judge and ask for a smaller fine, you do this in what’s called a “Mitigation Hearing”.  The court will send you a court date for this hearing or you can provide the information electronically through our “Mitigation or Contested Hearing Form.  the infraction will go on your driving record.
  • Challenge the ticket.  You do not agree that you committed the infraction and want to convince the court that you should not be penalized with a fine and it should not go on your driving record.  You must do this in front of a judge in what’s called a “Contested Hearing”.  The court will send you a court date for this hearing or you can provide the necessary information electronically through our Mitigation or Contested Hearing Form.
  • Request a deferral.  You want to keep the infraction off your driving record and will drive safely for at least on year.  Deferrals are only available for certain circumstances.  Call the Clerk to see if you are eligible for a deferral or read through the requirements on this page (insert link).  It will cost $180.00 to request a deferral.  You must mail in a completed deferral form to the court and pay the $180.00 via  mail, in person, over the phone or online.  You may split this fee into two payments for an additional $10.00 processing fee, the first half of the fee plus the processing ($100.00) is due with your form.

Once you decide what to do, check the appropriate box on our ticket and then mail it with your payment or bring it in person.  If you pay online or over the phone there is nothing further you will need to do.  No matter what you decide to do you must do it within 30 days of getting your ticket.  If you don’t the court will decide you committed the infraction and you owe the fine and an additional late fee of $52.00.  The fine may be turned over to a collection agency and you may loose your driver’s license if you do not pay the fine. 

What happens if I have a misdemeanor ticket?

If you have a criminal ticket, the court will mail you notice of when your hearing will be.  This notice is called a Summons.  It is very important that the court has your up-to-date address or you will not receive your summons. 

Send the court your address and phone number by filling out this form.

You must attend a court hearing if you have a criminal ticket or complaint,  If you do not come to court, the Judge may issue a warrant for our arrest.

You can show up to court in person on the date and time of your summons or you can ask to have a virtual hearing, if your case qualifies.  You are only able to appear virtually if you hearing is an arraignment.

For more information about virtual hearings and how to request one, go to “Have a virtual or remote hearing” 

If you think there may be a warrant out for your arrest, you can come to court on Warrant Resolution Days to clear your warrant and most likely resolve your case. Warrant Resolution Days are held every Tuesday at the District Court at 11:30 am.  People with driving under the influence or domestic violence cases should not come to Warrant Resolution Days.  Instead, they should contact the clerk to identify a new court date.

Still have Questions?

Please reach out to the Clerk with any additional questions about our case.  Below is our contact information:

Phone: 509-725-2281


Monday        9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday       9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 – 4:00 pm
Thursday      9:00 – 4:00 pm
Friday           9:00 – 12:00 pm