Court Appearances

You do not need to appear in court unless you want to contest your citation or your appearance is required. However, you must resolve your case ON OR BEFORE the court date / due date listed at the bottom of your citation.

To pay your citation online and resolve your case, use the Court's public case access site to search for your citation. Alternatively, you may call (916) 669-5712. Phone assistance is available Monday – Friday 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., reduced hours on some holidays. To appear in court, report to the Carol Miller Justice Center Traffic Self-Service Kiosk in Room 100 or click HERE to check in for court with a clerk at the Traffic Virtual Public Counter. Assistance is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding court holidays.

You may check in for court during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. (morning session) and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (afternoon sessions).

Please note that check-in is available between 11:16 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., but the courtroom is closed until the afternoon session begins at 1:00 p.m.

You will need a picture identification card and any documents that support your case. Your case will be called in the order that you checked in for Court. It can take two or more hours before your case is reviewed in Court.


An arraignment is an initial appearance in Court. At the arraignment, the charges are presented. The opportunity to enter a plea is given. In certain cases, a determination is made whether the party has or needs an attorney. The bail amount may be set and a future appearance may be scheduled. The citing officer(s) will not be present.

At the arraignment you may enter one of the following pleas:

  • Guilty: You may admit to the violation(s). This will result in a conviction once you enter your plea.
  • Not Guilty: You deny the violation(s) and want to appear with the citing officer present.
  • No Contest: You neither admit nor deny the violation(s). This plea is treated the same as a guilty plea.

Mandatory Appearances

You may have been cited for a violation which requires you to appear in court. You have the option to appear in person or by video conference via Zoom ON OR BEFORE the date noted on your citation. Arraignment hearings are held Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. or between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. To appear in person, report to the Carol Miller Justice Center Traffic Self-Service Kiosk in Room 100 to check in for court. To appear by video conference, click HERE to check-in for court with a clerk at the Traffic Virtual Public Counter. Assistance is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding court holidays.

Please have your case number and picture identification available.

If proof is also required, you must have your proof available during your hearing. If you fail to appear a warrant may be issued for your arrest. Mandatory appearance citations cannot be paid without first appearing in Court.


The process for pleading not guilty and setting your case for a trial usually requires two appearances. You may avoid the first appearance on traffic infractions only by submitting a written not guilty plea along with a request for a court trial. You must send the full bail amount plus any required proof of correction. You will receive written verification of your court trial date. For more information, see Contesting a Citation.

Continuances Out of Court

If a Commissioner or Judge in Court continued your case, you MUST appear as ordered.

Resetting a Court Date

The law enforcement agency will give you a court date at the time the citation is issued. You must appear ON OR BEFORE the date listed at the bottom of your citation. No continuance of this date will be granted at the public counter or through the mail.

If the judicial officer has given you a continuance, no further continuances will be granted. For more information, see Paying Fines.

WARNING: Failure to pay or appear may result in your bail increased, a Civil Assessment being imposed, a hold being placed on your driver's license, and/or a warrant being issued for your arrest. In addition, the Court will deem your failure to appear as an election to proceed with the case by trial by written declaration pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40903 - external link.


You may be ordered to pay a fine. You may be given the option to pay in full or make monthly payments.

Sheriff's Work Project / Home Detention

You may be sentenced to jail and referred to the Sheriff's Work Project - external link or Home Detention - external link. You must report to 700 North 5th Street no later than 5 Court days after sentencing. The Sheriff's Department will interview you to determine your eligibility for this program. If you fail to qualify or you are not accepted, you will be ordered to begin serving your sentence straight time in the county jail or at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center.

If you fail to report for your interview within 5 days or fail to complete the court-ordered sentence, a warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest, and you will serve your sentence as straight jail time.


You may be sentenced to jail for straight time. You must report to the County Jail or to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center - external link on or before the court-ordered date.

Failure to comply with the court order will result in a warrant issued for your immediate arrest.

Alcohol and Drug Program

You may be ordered to complete the Alcohol and Drug Program if you have been convicted of an alcohol or drug-related offense and are between 18 and 21 at the time of your sentence. You can choose one of several programs to attend. You must contact the program within 72 hours of your sentencing date for a registration appointment.

Failure to enroll in the program within 72 hours and/or failure to complete the program may result in a revocation of probation and a warrant issued for your immediate arrest.

Ignition Interlock Device

The installation of an ignition interlock device will be required if you are convicted of driving on a suspended license due to a DUI conviction. You must select an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) program and contact the vendor/installer within 48 hours of your sentencing date for a registration appointment. Installation and program fees will apply and be paid to the program agency. A court-ordered IID installation will be reported to the DMV - external link. Both your vehicle registration and driver's record will reflect the installation of a IID.

DMV Release (abstract)

After your case has been heard and/or you have complied with court orders and the necessary paperwork is completed, an abstract will be sent to DMV electronically.