Depending on the offense, traffic tickets (including bicycle violations) may either be a traffic infraction or a traffic misdemeanor. Examples of common traffic infractions are speeding, red light, stop sign and following too closely. Examples of common traffic misdemeanors are careless driving, no insurance and reckless driving. If you are unclear as to the nature of the charge(s) against you, please contact the Municipal Court Clerks' office.
Traffic Infraction Procedures#
Traffic infractions are civil, rather than criminal, in nature. Traffic infractions are not eligible for jury trials. The 2023 maximum penalty for traffic infractions filed in the Fort Collins Municipal Court is $3,000.
If you are charged with a "mandatory appearance" violation, you must appear in Court for arraignment. Your arraignment date is listed on the front of your ticket. You will have the opportunity that day to meet with a prosecutor and discuss a possible plea agreement.
If you are given a "penalty assessment", you must pay the citation in full within 20 calendar days from the date of the violation to accept the early settlement and receive the reduction in points (if applicable). Payments (without the added court cost of $35) will be accepted up until the day before your arraignment date but the reduction in points will not apply after the 20 day period has passed. You may instead appear on the arraignment date listed on the front of your ticket. You will have the opportunity that day to meet with a prosecutor and discuss a possible plea agreement.
If you are charged with a traffic infraction and you fail to appear or fail to pay the fine by the Court date and time, a default judgment will be entered against you. That means you will be found guilty by default and the fine, $35 Court Cost, $35 Traffic Calming Surcharge, and any other applicable costs will be assessed. If the judgment is not set aside or the amount due is not paid within 7 days, an additional $30 Default Judgment Fee will be added to the total amount due. The default judgment will be mailed to the State Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). The points will be assessed against your driver's license. MVD will then send notice to you of possible cancellation and denial of your license if proof of payment or other resolution is not received. If you have an out-of-state driver's license, the issuing state may suspend your privilege to drive until the total amount due is paid.