You can file for your case to be re-opened, but you will need a legitimate excuse for being unable to respond to your ticket. An application for re-opening must be filed within 15 days or less from the day you became aware of your conviction.
You will have to go to the original courthouse where your conviction was registered to request a re-opening. There you will have to fill out a few forms. You will have to complete a written statement called an affidavit. In this affidavit you must explain why your case should be re-opened. You will also have to swear under oath that what you wrote in the affidavit is true. You must give the affidavit to the courthouse staff in person with your original signature. Copies, emails or faxes will not be accepted.
Here are some legitimate reasons as to why a case should be re-opened that the court may like:
- You did not receive a Notice of Impending Conviction (applies to parking tickets).
- You did not receive a Notice of Trial.
- For reasons beyond your control, you could not file your ticket with the court within the required time limits.
- An unforeseen situation occurred which prevented you from attending your trial. This could be a medical emergency, an accident, or a work issue that threatened your job security.
Here are some excuses that likely won’t work
- I forgot about the trial.
- I had to study for an exam.
- I went on vacation.
- I can’t afford to pay the fine.
- A collection agency is after me.