Submit Your Declaration
Before submitting your declaration you should read the Form TR-200, INSTRUCTIONS TO DEFENDANT: (Trial by Written Declaration).
- You do not need to say anything under "STATEMENT OF FACTS" other than, "I stand by my plea of not guilty." This is not being dishonest; you are innocent until you are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the officer fails to submit his/her paperwork, the judge will have to dismiss your case and refund your bail.
- If you know that you are guilty, and want to request a reduction in the fine, you may try offering the judge an explanation, but this gives the judge the evidence he needs to find you guilty even if the officer fails to submit his/her statement against you. I would advise saving any attempt at an explanation for the new trial if you lose the decision in this one.
- If you have studied the rest of this tutorial and feel that you have a case, you should write it up and include any evidence (e.g., photos, the engineering and traffic survey, affidavit(s) from witness(es) (notarized if possible), etc.)
- Do not put anything in your stament regarding traffic school if you lose. If you do that you have just wasted your time. You might as well have just asked for traffic school to begin with. You have plenty of opportunity to ask for traffic school without doing it in the declaration.
The most important thing about submitting a declaration is that you do it by the due date. You may do this in person or by mail. If you choose to mail the declaration, you should send it via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. Ideally you should mail it at least three days prior to the due date.
After submitting your declaration, you will need to wait for the court's decision (the clerk must mail the decision in your case within 90 days of the due date). The judge may dismiss the case, or find you guilty and charge you all or part of the bail you have already posted.
If the judge dismisses the case, you have beaten the ticket. Congratulations!
If the judge lowered the fine, you may decide to accept the decision (remember though, the point stays on your record).
If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you are by law entitled to a new trial. You will need to request it.