For misdemeanor traffic offenses, the defendant is normally required to appear in court at the county where the offense is alleged to have occurred. The location for Jerome County Court appearances is the:
Jerome County Annex
233 W Main
Jerome, ID 83338
Citations are filed by the issuing officer with the court indicated on the summons. If the defendant fails to appear in court on the date indicated on the citation, the magistrate judge can issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. The charge is for failure to appear. When served, this warrant results in the arrest of the defendant and may lead to incarceration if the defendant is unable to post the bond set by the magistrate judge on the warrant.
The amount of bail for misdemeanor traffic offenses is set forth in the Idaho Misdemeanor Criminal Rules. A defendant entering a plea of not guilty to a misdemeanor traffic citation charge may have a trial before a judge or jury. A trial before the judge is a relatively informal procedure if the defendant is not represented by an attorney. The prosecuting attorney is representing the law enforcement agency that issued the citation.
Trial by jury always involves a prosecutor for the state, and the defendant is advised, although not required, to be represented by an attorney. Once a penalty is imposed, the defendant remains in the custody of the court until fines and court costs have been paid. If a defendant is able to pay the fine but refuses to pay, the defendant can be incarcerated in the county jail until fines and costs are satisfied at the rate of $5 per day. Many courts offer defendants the opportunity to perform community service work in lieu of payment of fines.