If I received a minor consumption citation, can I just call and pay a fine ordo I actually have to go to court?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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If I received a minor consumption citation, can I just call and pay a fine ordo I actually have to go to court?

 I’ve heard numerous different answers so was wondering if you could help? I’m 18 so I figured I would not have to appear in court if I’m willing to just pay the fine.

Asked on August 1, 2011 Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The only way to know for sure is to contact the court itself to ask. Call the court's clerk's office; someone there should be able to help you and provide the answer. You want to get the answer straight from the court, because only by following the court's own instructions and guidelines can you make sure that you don't incur any additional liability or penalties, such as for not appearing when you should. Court clerk's tend to be very helpful; if he or she cannot him- or herself answer immediately, he or she can probably direct you to someone else (e.g in the prosecutor's office; the law clerk or secretary for the judge) who can--but by going through the court clerk, you'll make sure you are acting on good information. Good luck.

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