Appearance by defendant
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a defendant who has been issued a violation citation must either:
(a) Make a first appearance by personally appearing in court at the time indicated in the summons; or
(b) Make a first appearance in the manner provided in subsection (3) of this section before the time indicated in the summons.
(2) If a defendant has been issued a violation citation for careless driving under ORS 811.135 (Careless driving) on which a police officer noted that a vulnerable user of a public way suffered serious physical injury or death, the defendant must make a first appearance by personally appearing in court at the time indicated in the summons.
(3) A defendant who has been issued a violation citation may make a first appearance in the matter before the time indicated in the summons by one of the following means:
(a) The defendant may submit to the court a written or oral request for a trial.
(b) The defendant may enter a plea of no contest by delivering to the court the summons, a check or money order in the amount of the base fine set forth in the summons, and a statement of matters in explanation or mitigation of the violation charged. The delivery of a statement of matters in explanation or mitigation under the provisions of this paragraph constitutes a waiver of trial and consent to the entry of a judgment forfeiting the base fine based on the statement and any other testimony or written statements that may be presented to the court by the citing officer or other witnesses.
(c) The defendant may execute the appearance, waiver of trial and plea of guilty that appears on the summons and deliver the summons and a check or money order in the amount of the base fine set forth in the summons to the court. The defendant may attach a statement of matters in explanation or mitigation of the violation.
(4) The court may require that a defendant requesting a trial under subsection (3)(a) of this section deposit the base fine specified under ORS 153.125 (Base fine amounts generally) to 153.145 (Rounding off) or such other amount as the court determines appropriate if the defendant has failed to appear in any court on one or more other charges in the past. If the defendant does not deposit the amount specified by the court, the defendant must personally appear in court at the time indicated in the summons. The amount deposited by the defendant may be applied against any fine imposed by the court, and any amount not so applied shall be refunded to the defendant at the conclusion of the proceedings.
(5) If the defendant personally appears in court at the time indicated in the summons and enters a plea of guilty, the judge shall consider any statement in explanation or mitigation made by the defendant.
(6) The court may require a defendant to appear personally in any case, or may require that all defendants appear in specified categories of cases.
(7) If a defendant has entered a no contest plea or guilty plea in the manner provided in subsection (3)(b) or (c) of this section, and the court determines that the base fine amount is not adequate by reason of previous convictions of the defendant, the nature of the offense charged or other circumstances, the court may require that a trial be held unless an additional fine amount is paid by the defendant before a specified date. Notice of an additional fine amount under this subsection may be given to the defendant by mail. In no event may the court require a total fine amount in excess of the maximum fine established for the violation by statute.
(8) If a defendant fails to make a first appearance on a citation for a traffic violation, as defined by ORS 801.557 ("Traffic violation"), fails to make a first appearance on a citation for a violation of ORS 471.430 (Purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages by person under 21), or fails to appear at any other subsequent time set for trial or other appearance, the driving privileges of the defendant are subject to suspension under ORS 809.220 (Failure to appear). [1999 c.1051 §17; 2001 c.817 §2; 2007 c.784 §5]
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