The Nogales Justice Court is part of the Judicial Branch of Santa Cruz County and is also a part of the State of Arizona Judicial System.
Civil Traffic & Infractions: Your Rights
Receipt of Complaint
Upon receiving your Civil Traffic or Civil Infraction Complaint:
The Civil complaint received includes a court date and time. You must decide how you want to plead to the violation(s) you have been cited for by the time of your court date. You may enter 2 possible pleas:
This plea means that you committed the violations stated on the complaint.
The word “responsible” is used with civil traffic and civil infractions while the word “guilty” is used with criminal violations.
This plea means that you believe you did not commit the violation stated on the complaint and that the state must prove its charges against you at the hearing.
If you received a complaint with more than 1 charge, you will need to enter a plea for each charge.
You are not required to enter the same plea for all charges.
After Plea Decision
Once you decide upon your plea, you have the following options:
If your plea is Responsible you may:
Pay the amount of the sanction / fine by mail or in person on or before your court date, unless otherwise stated on the information given to you by the Law Enforcement Officer.
Have the option of attending a Defensive Driving Program and receive a dismissal for 1 moving violation. Not all violations are eligible for this program, there are also certain requirements. For instance, if you have attended a Defensive Driving Program for an Arizona violation that occurred within the 24 months prior to this violation, you are not eligible. If you have been cited for more than one violation on your complaint, only one can be dismissed by attending the Defensive Driving Program. You will have to choose another option for the other violation(s).
If you attend a Defensive Driving Program, you waive your right to a hearing on that violation.
Upon successful completion of the Defensive Driving Program, that violation will be dismissed.
If your plea is Not Responsible you may:
Request by mail that the complaint be set for a hearing. Appear in court on your assigned date to have your complaint set for a hearing.
If you request a hearing it will be scheduled about 3 weeks from the date your request was received.
You may be represented by an attorney or you may present your own case at your hearing. If you decide to have an attorney represent you, the attorney must file a Notice of Appearance at least 10 days prior to your hearing. You cannot be represented by someone who is not an attorney.
A hearing is similar to a trial, but there will be no prosecutor present for the state. Any witness you need must be requested by you. The state’s witnesses will testify first. After each witness has testified you will have the opportunity to ask the witness questions. After the state’s witnesses have testified you may present your case.
You may call other witnesses who know something about the incident to testify for you. You may testify on your behalf. In addition, you may present other evidence such as documents, photographs, etc.
The Hearing Officer or Judge may also question you, the Police Officer, and other witnesses to find out what happened. The burden of proof required for a Hearing Officer or Judge to make a finding of responsible is preponderance of evidence. The Hearing Officer or Judge will listen to the facts presented at your hearing and decide if it is more probable than not that you committed the civil violation alleged on your complaint.
If you are found “responsible” the Hearing Officer or Judge will indicate what your penalty will be. This penalty may be different from the amount listed on the fine schedule given to you by the Officer. If the Hearing Officer or Judge’s sentence includes a fine, payment in full is expected on the day of sentencing.
Payment may be made by cash, check, or money order. If you meet certain financial requirements, you may be allowed some time to pay however, a time payment fee will be added to the amount you owe.