Nebraska Court Records
What Are Nebraska Traffic Court Records?
Nebraska traffic court records can be defined as all the legal documents including case-files, evidence notes and traffic court proceedings, created from all the processes involved in the hearing of violations of the traffic laws and statutes in the state of Nebraska.
Are Nebraska Traffic Court Records Public Records?
Nebraska traffic court records are classified as public records, as they are created in traffic courts which are deemed “courts of public record”. As with all such courts, records created here are covered under the public access to information law and are available to be accessed by members of the general public. Only records that have been restricted by a judge or by law are exempted from this designation.
Getting a Traffic Ticket in Nebraska.
A Nebraska traffic ticket, or Uniform Citation and Complaint, is a legal document issued by a law enforcement officer for violations of Nebraska state traffic laws and municipal ordinances. It represents an attestation by the officer regarding the violation, as observed by the officer. The officer will complete the ticket by filling in the date of the incident and record the time it approximately occurred, along with the location. The officer will take down the defendant’s full name, current address, and other pertinent bio-data including date of birth, sex, race, etc. The officer will include the defendant’s driver’s license information and details about the vehicle involved in the incident. The offense the defendant is accused of committing will be checked on the ticket, along with the requisite statutes or ordinances sections. The location of the court which has jurisdiction to hear the case will be included on the ticket, along with the date and time for the defendant to appear. The officer will sign the ticket and note his agency and badge ID. The defendant will be required to sign the ticket, as a promise to appear, before receiving a copy of the citation. If the “Waiver Allowed” checkbox is marked, then the offense does not require a mandatory appearance in court and can be settled without appearing before a judge. If the checkbox is not marked, then the offense cannot be settled without a court appearance and the defendant must appear on the scheduled court date.
Traffic ticket fines are uniform throughout Nebraska, but court fees will vary from county to county. Most traffic violations are either petty infractions, punishable only by fine, or misdemeanors that come with fines and the possibility of jail time. Instructions for paying the ticket are included on the reverse of the citation.
Convictions for moving traffic violations result in demerit points being assessed to the defendant’s driving record and this can also lead to a loss of driving privileges. Nebraska operates a points-based system for driving records and convictions will be reported to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Accumulating 12 or more points, on a driving record, within 24 months will result in a 6 month license suspension the first time. A second occurrence will result in a 3-year suspension if it occurs within 5 years of the first incident. Points will remain on a driver’s record for 2-years from the date it was awarded.
Traffic violations are categorized as Moving or Non-Moving violations. Moving violations occur when the vehicle in question is in motion, such as speeding or reckless driving. Non-moving violations occur as a result of faulty vehicle equipment or when a vehicle is parked such as parking violations or damaged lights. Convictions for Non-moving violations do not add demerit points to a driver’s record as these types of violations are not reported to the Nebraska DMV.
What to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket in Nebraska?
The course of action upon receiving a traffic ticket in Nebraska will depend on whether the offense cited on the ticket allows for Waivers. A ticket marked “Waiver Allowed” is a citation that can be settled by “waiving of rights to a trial”. This simply implies that the offense can be settled without having to make a court appearance if the defendant chooses to do so.
If the ticket allows for a waiver and the defendant chooses to pay the traffic ticket, this will be noted as an admission of guilt by the court and all accruable penalties will hold. The officer will have marked the Waiver Allowed checkbox if this is the case. The ticket can be paid;
- Online- Using the Nebraska Citation Payment System, and this will require the citation number and the use of a major credit card. There will be transactional charges for using the service. This option is only available if the “Waiver Allowed” checkbox on the citation was marked.
- Mail- Sign the appropriate section on the back of the ticket (indicating this is a Guilty plea) and send it, with full payment, to the Office of the Clerk of the County Court listed on the citation. Payment should be in a money order or check. Do not mail cash.
- In-Person- Payment can be made in person at the Office of the County Court listed on the citation. A copy of the citation and the full amount in money order, cash or check will be required.
Payment must be received on or before the date listed for the court appearance on the citation. Failure to do so will result in additional penalties.
If the citation does not allow for a waiver, then the defendant must appear on the scheduled court date for arraignment, where the Guilty plea can be entered. The defendant can then pay off the fine and any additional charges which might accrue. Points will be added to the defendant’s driving record as this will be marked as a conviction and reported to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If the citation allows for a waiver or not but the defendant chooses to contest the charges, then the defendant must appear in court on the scheduled court date for arraignment. The defendant will enter the “Not Guilty” plea at this point and a trial date will be set. The defendant must return to the court on this date for the trial. It is advisable to retain the services of a traffic attorney to assist, at this point. At trial the judge will hear arguments from both sides and, on the conclusion of the trial, rendering a ruling. If the court rules the defendant to be guilty, then the defendant will be liable for all fines and court fees including additional costs that might accrue from the trial. The conviction will be reported to the Nebraska DMV and points will be added to the defendant’s driving record. If the court rules the defendant to be Not Guilty, then all charges will be dismissed and the defendant will not be liable for any of the ticket costs or have demerit points added to their driving record. There will still be applicable court costs as a result of the trial.
Depending on the nature of the violation the judge might allow completion of a state-approved defensive driving course. This will allow 2 demerit points to be removed from the defendant’s driving record or in some cases facilitate a ticket dismissal and no points will be added to the driving record. This is generally only available for minor violations.
How Do I find Nebraska Traffic Court Records?
Nebraska traffic court records can be accessed online using the state of Nebraska official website. Traffic records can also be obtained by contacting the specific Nebraska county court where the records are stored and requesting for the particular record. Contact can be made by email or phone or by physically visiting the courthouse.
What information is required to obtain Nebraska Traffic Court Records?
Whether searching online or requesting from the specific Nebraska county court, to obtain information about a Nebraska traffic court record, the requestor will need to provide information about the record which must include the full name of the person of the record. It is possible to narrow the search by including other information such as date of birth, case number, case type and year. There may be applicable fees (especially if searching online) and if the requestor requires copies of the record, a fee will also be accruable.
Are all Traffic Violations handled the same way, in Nebraska?
Traffic violations in the state of Nebraska are typically handled in the same manner. The processes for responding to a citation for a traffic violation will be similar, despite the nature of the violation. Total fine amounts for similar violations may vary due to individual county court fees.
Can Nebraska Traffic Records be sealed or expunged?
In the state of Nebraska, the only cases which are eligible for expungement (“Set Aside”) are cases that did not result in a conviction. While it is possible to get the record of an arrest expunged, this is only possible if it did not lead to a conviction. The only way to restrict public access to cases that resulted in a conviction is by receiving a pardon from the Nebraska Board of Pardons.
How does one end up in a Nebraska Traffic court?
In Nebraska one ends up in traffic court if cited for a traffic violation and the officer does not mark the “waiver allowed” checkbox. This implies that the offense requires a court appearance to answer. One can also end up in traffic court when cited for a traffic violation if one chooses to contest the charge.
Which Courts in Nebraska have jurisdiction to hear traffic violation matters?
In Nebraska cases involving misdemeanors, traffic and city ordinance violations are heard in County Courts. Nebraska traffic violations and infractions are heard in the county court with jurisdiction over the location where the violation was alleged to have occurred. Additionally, publicly available records are accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Note: Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.