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A traffic law overview for North Dakota residents

There are two options that motorists have when they receive a traffic citation in North Dakota. First, they may send the bond in a bond envelope to the Clerk of District Court, leaving the citation unsigned within 14 days. The other option is to send the bond to the same address after signing and dating the citation. Signing the citation indicates that the driver is requesting a court hearing. Citations may be also be paid online with a credit card in lieu of sending a check through the mail.

If a judge declares that the driver is innocent, the bond will be returned to that person. In some cases, a driver may receive a written warning instead of a citation during a traffic stop. If a citation is issued, the driver must comply with the warning and may need to send documentation that the issues leading to the warning have been addressed.

In North Dakota, the speed limit is 55 unless otherwise posted. Authorities may enforce a lower speed limit during inclement weather, and speed is enforced by radar, aircraft or pacing methods. For most offenders, their driving record is not made public. However, the state may share information with a driver's home state if his or her home state is part of the Non-Resident Violator Compact.

After receiving a traffic violation, it may be worthwhile to hire a criminal defense attorney to help with the case. It may be worthwhile to do so to avoid potentially large fines or to possibly keep any record of the incident from being put into the public domain. An attorney may be able to argue in court that any tools used to record a driver's speed were used incorrectly or were not calibrated properly.

Source: North Dakota Highway Patrol, "Frequently Asked Questions - Traffic Citations / Warnings", December 08, 2014

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