QUICK REFERENCE INFORMATION REGARDING VIOLATION NOTICES
A standard violation notice (or "citation" or "ticket") is issued to an individual, the defendant, by federal law enforcement officers for violations of certain federal laws and, if occurring on federal property, certain state laws. Violations charged include improper parking, illegal camping, speeding, civil disturbances, fish and wildlife infractions, and other minor offenses.
After a violation notice has been issued to a defendant, the original violation notice is mailed by the federal law enforcement agency to the national Central Violations Bureau (or "CVB") for processing. CVB receives all original violation notices from the issuing agency for entry into a database. CVB mails a notice to appear in court to the defendant four (4) weeks prior to his/her court date. If a defendant pays the CVB the citation amount as indicated on the violation notice before the court date, the case is then closed.
Defendants have 21 days from the date the violation notice is issued by the law enforcement agency to either pay the citation amount, request a hearing before a U. S. Magistrate Judge, or appear as mandated by the Court.
If the ticket is marked "optional appearance" by the issuing law enforcement officer and if the defendant pays the CVB the amount of the citation before the court date, the defendant need not appear at the court or before a U. S. Magistrate Judge. If the defendant does not timely pay the citation amount, the CVB will automatically forward all materials relating to that defendant to the appropriate U. S. Magistrate Judge for further follow-up action, including issuance of a warrant of arrest.
Citations designated as "mandatory appearance" by the issuing officer require that the defendant appear before a U. S. Magistrate Judge at the date, time and place indicated in the notice to appear. If a defendant does not appear, a warrant of arrest may be issued by the U. S. Magistrate Judge.
CVB tracks the status of all violation notices, including history of payment of citation amounts. The CVB has an automated voice case information system which, by the use of a touch tone telephone, allows interested parties to query citation information. The toll-free number is 1-800-827-2982.