Pay Tickets or Fines
A traffic citation is a notice to appear for a traffic infraction, or other minor violations of the law, up to and including misdemeanor violations. The nature of the violation(s) is noted on the citation. Note that an automated red light camera ticket is exactly the same ticket as if an officer stopped you and wrote the citation. It is also handled exactly the same way as a regular traffic citation.
You are required to sign the citation when requested to do so. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt, but rather, a written promise to at the date and time noted at the bottom of the citation. You may make other arrangements with the court prior to the date noted however. If you fail to appear or make other arrangements with the court, a judge will issue a warrant for your arrest.
The officer that issues the citation does not know the fine associated with each violation of the law. The Murrieta Police Department does not exempt any traffic fees.
Appearing in Court
When you appear in court, the hearing is called an "arraignment," and you will enter a plea. A plea of "not guilty" will result in the judge setting a court trial date. Once a trial is set the officer will be subpoenaed and a trial will be held in the same court room on the date the judge gives you.
A plea of "guilty" or "no contest" will result in the judge arranging for you to pay any fine, do community service in lieu of a fine, and/or offering you traffic school for a traffic infraction if you are eligible.
Administrative Citations are tools used to cite violations of the Murrieta Municipal Code. Administrative Citations ease the case load of the court system, therefore saving the tax payers money and allowing the courtrooms to be used for more serious crimes. The fee schedule for violations are as follows: first offense $100, second offense $200, every subsequent offense for the same violation is $500.
Delinquent Fines Reported
These fines are reported to the National Credit Bureaus if they are not paid. Additionally, the fines may be reported to the State Franchise Tax Board for collection from State Income Tax Returns.
To appeal, you must submit the entire amount of the fine with a written statement to the attention of the Hearing Officer and send it to the address listed on the envelope provided. Your appeal will be denied automatically if the fine is not submitted with the written request. Please write the citation number on your check or money order. Do not send cash.
If you have received an Administrative Citation and wish to pay without contesting the citation, simply follow the instructions listed on the back of your copy of the citation. Use the self addressed envelope and mail the payment. Alternatively, you can now pay online.