Alabama traffic laws are defined in Title 32 of the Alabama Code. Most traffic laws relate to the operation of motor vehicles upon public roads.
All violations of Alabama traffic laws are charged on a uniform traffic citation form (ticket). By signing the ticket you are promising to appear in court. You are not admitting guilt.
Traffic citations are divided into two categories as described below:
“Court Appearance Not Required” Citations – If you have a “court appearance not required” citation and would like to take care of it without appearing in court, you may do so by appearing in-person at the court office and entering a plea of guilt to the traffic offense. At that time you will pay for the citation. This must be done at least 24 hours in advance of your court date.
You may also remit your plea and payment by mail. We must receive such plea and payment within our Municipal Court office at least 24 hours before your prescribed court date – postmark dates will not be honored as meeting the deadline! You may mail your plea and payment to:
JEMISON MUNICIPAL COURT
14 PADGETT LANE
JEMISON, ALABAMA 35085
“Court Appearance Required” Citations – If your citation requires a court appearance, you must appear in court on the court date listed on the citation. You will appear before the municipal judge and enter a plea on the charge. If you plead guilty, the judge will determine your fine amount and court cost (set by State of Alabama) and you will be able to pay at that time. If you plead not guilty, your case will be continued to a trail court date.
If you do not know whether or not your citation requires a court appearance, you may contact the Jemison Municipal Court at (205) 688-4492 ext 302.
Most tickets are not eligible for dismissal. Certain tickets may be dismissed if various criteria are met, prior to the court appearance date:
No license in possession:
If you are issued a citation for driving with no license in possession, a judge or magistrate may dismiss your citation if you can who that you had a license which was valid at the time you received your ticket.
If you are issued a citation for driving a vehicle without insurance, the judge may dismiss your citation upon payment of court costs if you present a policy for insurance on that vehicle which was valid at the time of your citation. A policy of the vehicle insurance and/or your policy on your vehicle (not a piece of paper showing minimum coverage with the vehicle covered, the policy number, the starting date of coverage, and the end date of coverage). If you did not have insurance at the time of your citation, but have since purchased it this requires your appearance in court.
Many equipment violations may be dismissible if, within 72 hours (excluding Sundays and legal holidays) of when you receive the ticket, you have the defect repaired and inspected by a City of Jemison police officer. If your repaired vehicle conforms with state law, the officer will sign off on the back of your ticket. You must deliver this ticket to the court offices before your court appearance date.
Convictions of certain offenses such as DUI, Possession of Marijuana and Minor in Possession of Alcohol, among others, carry a mandatory suspension of the driver’s license under Alabama law. Jemison Municipal Court does not suspend driver licenses, the Alabama Department of Public Safety does. For questions regarding your drivers license status, suspension, re-instatements, or points assessed against your license, please visit the Alabama Department of Public website: http//www.dps.state.al.us/public/driversliense/reinstatement.asp or call 334-242-4006.
Violations of City Ordinances
Municipalities such as Jemison have the authority to create their own criminal offenses. Municipal ordinance violations come in two general varieties:
- A municipality can adopt a state offense as a municipal ordinance.
- A municipality can also define its own offenses. For example, the City of Jemison has created a Animal Running At-large Ordinance 02-17-06 or Noise Ordinance 08-20-94 that does not appear in the state criminal code.
In either circumstances, the city can fully prosecute violations of the municipal code as offenses against the city.
The Jemison Municipal Court handles city ordinance violations that occur within the city limits. Some violations result in a non-traffic uniform citation that requires payment of fines, which may be settled by entering a guilt plea and paying your fines prior to your court date. You may also choose to plea “not guilty” by notifying the court at least 24 hours before your scheduled court date or by appearing in court on your scheduled date. Other violations will result in you being arrested and taken to jail. If you have been arrested, it is mandatory that you appear in court on your court date.
If you have an outstanding warrant, you must turn yourself in on the warrant and post the appropriate bond. If you have questions concerning a warrant, you may contact the Jemison Municipal Court office at (205) 688-4492.
If you wish to obtain a warrant, you must first file a police report.
The court office can not provide legal advice. If you have a question concerning a legal aspect of your case, you must contact an attorney.
The Jemison Municipal Court handles misdemeanor criminal cases that occur within the city limits. The most common misdemeanor offenses that occur are DUI and Alcohol related offenses and minor drug offenses. If you have been arrested for an offense, you must appear in court on your court date.
Felony cases are heard by the county court in which the offense occurred. Felony cases are investigated and referred by the Jemison Police Department.
The court may require defendants to enroll in educational, corrective, or rehabilitative programs, such as driver improvement classes or alcohol education and treatment facilities. In addition to this discretionary authority, the Alabama Legislature enacted the “Mandatory Treatment Act of 1990” (see Alabama Criminal Code section 12-23-1 to 19).
Bonding and Jail
The municipal court judge or magistrate has the authority to grant bail to anyone charged with a violation of any municipal ordinance violation. To grant bill simply means to release a person under arrest from custody upon posting sufficient bond or security. The purpose of requiring bond for bail is to help insure the appearance of the accused in court at the appointed time. The accused has an absolute right to bail in all municipal court cases. The City of Jemison house their inmates at Chilton County Jail. The Chilton County Jail is located at 301 City Street, Clanton, Alabama 35045 and the telephone number is 205-755-1053.
Warrants and Protection Orders
Municipal court magistrates are not authorized to issue Protection Orders. Municipal court magistrates are authorized to issue arrest warrants upon making a determination of probable cause. The municipal judge may also order the issuance of arrest warrants based on the same criteria.
Jemison Municipal Court’s warrant recall procedure is authorized by Ordinance MC09-22-14. Under this ordinance defendants are able to pay an administrative fee to have their failure to appear arrest warrants recalled:
- The arrest warrant must be for Failure to Appear; no other warrants are eligible for recall.
- The defendant must personally appear and pay $100 per outstanding failure to appear warrant at the time of recall, no other person can pay this fee on your behalf..
- Warrants that have been served are not eligible for recall.
- Upon successfully recalling a failure to appear warrant, the defendant will no longer have to answer to the charge of failure to appear. The defendant may receive a new court date on the underlying charge, or may opt to plead guilty and pay the underlying charge if it is not a court required offense.
- If your driver’s license has been suspended for falling to appear on a traffic ticket, merely recalling the warrant will not clear your license. You must take care of the underlying charge first. At that point, the court will issue a clearance form notifying the state that you have satisfied the traffic offense. It will then be your responsibility to go through the state’s license reinstatement process.
- In order to complete a warrant recall, municipal magistrates must be able to remove the defendants warrant from the state database. In certain circumstances, the state database may not be functioning. As a result, during such times, warrant recalls may not be available.
- There is no guarantee a law enforcement officer will not stop you while driving to court. If you come into contact with law enforcement, they are under orders to arrest you while the warrant is active.