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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 110423
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I committed a traffic violation (didnt stop at a stop sign

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I committed a traffic violation (didn't stop at a stop sign and couldn't provide the prove of insurance) almost a month ago. I'm scheduled to appear in the court in 3 days. The situation is complicated. The car is registered under my brother-in-law's name, so basically he got a ticket and so did I. I don't want to contest the violation and would like to pay the fine instead, but neither have us received a courtesy notice yet. Things get more complicated when I called the court asking for an extension on both due dates. The person said that both of the cases haven't been entered into the system. And she told me to call back in 7-10 days. I said to her that I had to appear in the court in 3 days, she said that was fine. My question is, what should I do? I need that extension because I'll be out of town in 2 days. Also I just want to pay the fine. Second question: Does my brother in law needs to appear as well? Since I'm the violators, can it be just me? (the car is registered to him)
You need to physically appear on the scheduled date, because when the case is called if you are not present the court will issue a warrant for you and will submit a suspension of your license. The best thing to do is appear in person at the clerk of court's office (do not call) and provide them proof you must be out of town on the date called and ask for it to be set for your return. If they refuse, then you will have to hire an attorney to appear and represent you, which is the only way the court will excuse your appearance. Your brother in law must also appear. The fact that you never received a courtesy notice does not matter since you are aware of the date. Sometimes the judge will allow a non-attorney to represent you in the first appearance to plead not guilty (which you can always change later) but this varies by judge's preference.

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