Traffic Citations Information
A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal violation which usually can be disposed of by payment of a civil penalty or election to attend a defensive driving course. A court appearance is not required, except in cases where the violation involves an accident with serious bodily injury, a fatality or certain other violations.
Your options for a Traffic Citation
In Washington County, you have 30 days from the date of issuance to elect one of the following:
- Option 1: Plead guilty, accept points on your driver license and pay the ticket
- Option 2: Pay the ticket and Elect Traffic School to withhold adjudication off your driving record
- Option 3: Contest the ticket and request a court hearing
Option 1 - Pay the Ticket
By paying the Traffic Civil Penalty, you are admitting guilt and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will assess points on your driving record for moving violations.
Pay Online, by mail or in person.
Option 2 - Go To Traffic School
If you choose the school option, notify the Clerk of Court with a signed Traffic School Affidavit Form when you pay the ticket and make the traffic school election. Upon receipt of your payment and the completed school affidavit, you will have sixty (60) days from the date the affidavit is filed with our office to complete the traffic school and submit the proof of completion to any of the Clerk's offices.
If the driver improvement course is completed and the completion certificate timely filed, no points will be assessed against your driver license and the fine may be reduced, depending on the type of violation.
Remember, you may only elect the traffic school option five (5) times in your life and the election can only be made once every twelve (12) months. Failure to complete the school course or timely submit your completion certificate or pay the fine will result in removal of the fee reduction, points being assessed, and suspension of your license and/or late fees being assessed.
Option 3 - Contesting Your Ticket
Your request for a court hearing must be in writing and can be delivered in person or by mail. The Clerk’s Office must receive your written request within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. Please visit or send your request to our mailing address.
If you appear in court, you waive your right to paying the civil penalty amount. The judge can fine you up to $1,000.00, as well as order you to attend Driver Improvement School and/or pay a penalty. If you fail to attend a requested hearing, it may result in a driver’s license suspension; or the judge can hear your case without you being present. The Clerk’s Office will notify you of the judge’s decision.
If it is impossible or impractical for you to appear in court in person, you may be eligible to elect a court hearing by affidavit. If eligible, and upon request, the Clerk’s Office can mail you an Affidavit of Defense to complete and instructions for posting a bond in lieu of your appearance. This form must be notarized, and the applicable bond amount must be submitted. The judge will read the affidavit in the courtroom. The officer and any witnesses may testify, and the judge will render a verdict. The Clerk’s Office will notify you by mail of the disposition of your citation.
Washington County Clerk of Court
Mailing AddressTraffic Division
PO Box 647
Chipley, FL 32428
Washington County Courthouse1293 Jackson Avenue, Suite 151
Chipley, FL 32428