QUICK REFERENCE INFORMATION REGARDING VIOLATION NOTICES ISSUED
If you have received a ticket ("notice of violation") from an officer on a federal installation, you may have a mandatory or optional court appearance. This will be designated in the lower portion of your ticket.
If you are designated for a mandatory appearance (the "A" box is checked), you must appear in court at the date and time designated on the ticket.. Usually, a ticket for driving on a suspended or revoked license, driving under the influence of alcohol, assault, minor consuming or possessing alcohol or theft will be designated for mandatory appearance.
If you are designated for an optional appearance (the "B" box is checked), you may pay the collateral (fine) specified on the ticket or appear in court to contest the fine. If you elect to pay the fine rather than appear in court, you must make the payment within 21 days of the issuance of the ticket. All fine payments should include violation number and location code of ticket. Fine payments may be mailed to:
Central Violations Bureau
P. O. Box 71363
Philadelphia, PA 19176-1363
You may also pay online at http://www.cvb.uscourts.gov The site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you wish to protest your optional appearance ticket and appear before a Magistrate Judge, your initial court date will be set within 4 to 6 weeks of issuance of your ticket. You will receive a mailed notice informing you of the court date.
Failure to appear: If you fail to appear at the scheduled court date and, in the case of an optional appearance, have not paid the fine, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
Request for Continuance: If you cannot appear for your scheduled court date you must submit a written request to reschedule your court date. Your request should be submitted at least three weeks before the court date and include the (1) violation number, (2) location code from your ticket, (3) current mailing address, (4) a daytime telephone number, and (5) reason for the requested rescheduling. Your request should be sent to "Clerk of Court, Attn: CVB Courtroom Deputy" at the courthouse address to which you were summoned to appear. Until the request is granted, you are required to appear.
What to expect in court: When you appear in court, many other cases will be set at the same time. The judge will explain your rights, and will then call cases in order. You should plan on being in court for the entire morning or afternoon you are scheduled to appear. If you plead guilty, you may address the court as to the amount of the fine. If you plead not guilty, the case will be set for trial at a future date when all the witnesses will be present. You may also try to work out or settle your case with the prosecutor or agency representative.
CVB Calendar: The calendar for all CVB court dates will appear on the court's web site a day before the hearing date. The names of those holding optional appearance tickets will not appear on the web site.
Time payment: A payment plan (which allows payment of the citation amount over time) may be approved by the Court. However, you must appear on your court date to request consideration for a payment plan.
Questions: You should telephone the Central Violations Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-827-2982 for general information regarding your ticket. 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.