Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens when you are called to traffic court? Below are a listing of some frequently asked questions. (Note: The information give here is not a substitution for legal advice.)
Do I have to have a Lawyer?
You have the right to an attorney. You have the right to request a court appointed attorney if you cannot afford one. You are not required to have an attorney for your case.
Is there a dress code or any requirements about what I can wear to court?
The court is a formal setting so please dress appropriately and professionally. You should not wear clothes with holes in them, tank tops, halter tops, or revealing clothing. Do not wear any clothing with obscene words or graphics. Make sure you tuck in your shirt and remove any sunglasses or hats.
What will happen when I get to the courthouse?
Please be prepared to wait briefly in a line at the entrance. When you enter the courthouse, you will walk through a metal detector. You will need to empty your pockets and anything you bring with you will be scanned. If you are wearing steel-toed boots, you may be asked to take them off.
What do I do next?
Go into the courtroom and have a seat. You cannot stand against the wall or in the back of the courtroom. The magistrate will give instructions once everyone has entered. The judge will also give instructions and information before he begins calling the docket.
Will my court trial take place right away?
Yes your court date is set for both arraignment and trial. If you feel you need more time to prepare or would like time to hire an attorney, you may request a continuance from the judge.
If I lose my case, is there anything I can do?
You have 14 days from the date of conviction to appeal your case to Baldwin County Circuit Court. You can inform the judge or the magistrate of your intent to appeal and you will be provided with the appropriate paperwork. Once you appeal, your case is sent to circuit court where you will be given a new trial.
Can I go to traffic school?
If you have not had a citation within the last five years, you can request to attend traffic school. This request must be made to the judge on your court date. Upon completion of the course and payment of court cost, your case will be dismissed.
What forms of payment does the court accept?
- Credit Card: A 4.5% service fee applies. We do not take American Express.
- Money order or Certified Check: We cannot give change from a money order. Please make sure the amount is exact.
What happens if I do not pay my fine or I don't come to court at all?
If you do not pay your fine and you do not appear in court, the judge may issue an alias warrant for failing to appear and suspend your driver license.
How will a ticket affect my license?
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is notified upon conviction and points may be assessed to your license. Only your insurance provider can tell you if any changes to your policy will take place.
How long will I be at court?
Court ends when we have called the last case. Times will vary. Cases are called by officer, as they must return to patrolling as soon as possible.
What if I show up late to court?
If your name has already been called, you will have to wait until the end of the docket.
What are the basic rules of courtroom conduct?
- No cell phones are allowed in the courtroom!
- No food, drinks or chewing gum
- No hats or sunglasses
- Be quite while court is in session
- Stand directly before the judge when your name is called
- Do not approach the bench unless you are instructed by the judge, an officer or court personnel!