Additional Information: Traffic Cases in Nebraska

Additional Information: Traffic Cases in Nebraska

Traffic offenses in Nebraska are heard in the county courts.  These may include violations of city ordinances and traffic infractions and misdemeanors and are handled under the criminal procedures outlined in Nebraska Revised Statute.

For specific County Court contact information please click here.

Flowcharts

The flowchart below for Traffic Offenses may help you understand what happens in court.   

Court Appearances

In most cases, a court appearance begins with a citation issued to the defendant, but you may get notice by mail or personal service by a sheriff that you are charged with an offense and have a court date.

If the offense with which you are charged qualifies for a waiver of your court appearance, please scroll down and read the “Waivers Section”

If the offense with which you are charged does not qualify for a waiver of your court appearance, or if you go to court to contest or explain the charges, the citation will include a court date for your appearance.  At that court appearance, the judge will give you your rights (Your Rights in Nebraska's County Courts) explain the charge(s) and possible penalties.

Most trials are argued to a judge. 

If found guilty, the judge will determine a sentence following the guidelines set in the Nebraska Revised Statutes, Chapter 28. The sentence may include a fine, jail, payment of damages to a victim, or a period of supervision by a probation officer. Go to About Probation in Nebraska for more information.          

Under Nebraska law, committing motor vehicle-related violations will add points to your driving record. Accumulating too many points will result in the loss of your driving privileges.  (Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle's Point System

Court Costs

Anyone who has charges filed in court must pay court costs as required under Nebraska law and set out on the fee schedule, which can be viewed here. 

Waivers

For less serious offenses, you may have the option of waiving your rights (Your Rights in Nebraska's County Courts) and your court appearance and paying the fines and costs without going to court. 

If you received a citation and the "waiver allowed" box at the bottom of the ticket has been marked, you are allowed to waive your rights, plead guilty, and pay the established fine and costs for this offense without appearing in court. You may, if you wish, appear in court and contest this matter.

Nebraska Supreme Court Rule § 6-1455 establishes a statewide Waiver/Fine Schedule which sets the fines for many offenses.  Local judges may approve waiver amounts for offenses in their courts. 

To waive your rights and pay your citation:

ELECTRONICALLY, go to the  Nebraska Judicial Branch Internet Payment System.

BY MAIL, download the Waiver and Plea of Guilty form and mail it with your payment to the appropriate county court. For specific County Court contact information please click here.

WAIVER IS NOT ALLOWED
If a waiver is not allowed or if you were cited for multiple offenses, and one of the offenses requires a court appearance, you will need to appear in court at the time and date specified on the citation to answer to all the offenses.

 

Diversion

For minor traffic citations, you may be eligible to have your citation dismissed by taking a Safety Training Option Program (S.T.O.P) class. There would be no fine, no court appearance, and no points assessed on your driver’s license. For more information or to determine your eligibility, contact law enforcement or the prosecuting attorney’s office. Another resource is the Nebraska Safety Council at 402-483-2511.

Notice of Suspension

If a notice of suspension has been received from the Department of Motor Vehicles, payment online will not prevent suspension of the license if the payment has not been posted to the court before the suspension date. To reinstate a driver's license, check a driver’s history or points assessed prior to payment of a citation, go to the Department of Motor Vehicles' website: www.clickdmv.ne.gov

Warrants

If paying a ticket for which a warrant has been issued, be aware that the warrant will remain active until it is recalled by the court. To avoid arrest, payment should be made in cash to the court during office hours or the county sheriff's office during hours when the court is not open.

Additional statutory background