Non-Criminal Procedures (including traffic tickets)

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Any person cited for a traffic violation under municipal ordinance which is classified as a non-criminal offense carries only a monetary penalty.  The person may forfeit bond by paying the established penalty for the offense set by city ordinance.  Non-criminal offenses include violations such as speeding, disregarding a stop sign, many other traffic-related offenses, and dog or cat at large, etc.  See the bond schedule for a detailed list of non-criminal offenses and their penalties.

Receiving a citation

If you are issued a citation for a non-criminal offense you will be given a court date to either appear in court or post the required bond.  Your citation will have the bond amount listed.  If you do not post the bond, you must appear on or before the 14th day from the offense date or the date given on your citation (whichever is indicated) and make an appearance before the Judge.

Posting bond (paying your traffic ticket)

If you post the required bond by the due date given on the citation, there is no further action required on your part.  The bond amount for a non-criminal offense must be paid in full.  Partial payments are not accepted.  After hours, on weekends and holidays you may deposit your bond in the drop box located in the entryway of the court building.  If the person cited follows the foregoing procedures, the person shall be deemed to have admitted the violation and to have waived the right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the violation.

If you wish to plead guilty and request an extension to pay the fine you must appear on or before the date given on the citation.  Click here for court times.

If you wish to plead not guilty you must post the required bond indicated on the citation. This will be returned to you if you are found to be not guilty. The Clerk will give you a date for a trial in this court. At that time you can bring any witnesses or evidence and the City will do the same. The prosecutor and defendant have the opportunity to cross-examine anyone who testifies. In non-criminal cases, including traffic, the City of Grand Forks must establish each element of the offense by a preponderance of the evidence. You do not have a right to a jury trial in a non-criminal matter except for non-criminal traffic offenses with a fine of $20.00 or more. You must appear on the date and time scheduled for the trial, or bond will be forfeited and the case will be closed. If you fail to post the bond a warrant for your arrest will be issued.

If you do not follow the procedures as outlined, your driving privileges may be suspended by North Dakota Drivers License and Traffic Safety Division or by the licensing authority in the state where you are licensed or where you live. The court may also issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear.

Burden of proof: In non-criminal cases the burden of proof required is the preponderance of the evidence, which means they must only show that it is more likely than not to have occurred.

To appeal a guilty finding in Municipal Court

In a non-criminal case, you may appeal your case to the District Court. A written notice of appeal must be filed with the Municipal Court Clerk within 30 days after the entry of the judgment or order being appealed. The conviction is reported to the state licensing authority even if an appeal is filed.

The clerk will forward the court file to the Clerk of District Court within five days after the appeal is filed. The Clerk of District Court will notify the defendant of future court appearances.

For information on getting points reduced on your driving record by attending a Defensive Driving Course, contact the North Dakota Drivers License Division at 701-328-2604.

The North Dakota Safety Council’s certified instructors teach this class and have a set schedule posted each year.