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Your first court appearance date will be an arraignment which is an opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You will not have an opportunity to explain any defenses, extenuating circumstances, or other mitigating factors before entering a plea. The prosecutor will not be present for arraignments.
If you have a non-court required citation, you may opt to plead guilty and pay your citation prior to the court date at the court's payment window. If you have any questions about whether your case is court required or non-court required, speak with court staff.
The court office cannot provide legal advice. If you have a question concerning a legal aspect of your case, you must contact an attorney. If you are unsure about how to acquire an attorney, you may contact the Birmingham Bar Association at (205) 251-8006.
Cashiers' check and money orders are the only accepted payment by mail. Payments must be received at least 24 hours in advance of your court date; we will not honor postmark dates. Late payments will not be accepted. The cashiers' checks/money orders should be made out to "Hoover Municipal Court" and addressed to 2020 Valleydale Road Hoover, AL 35244.
Non-court required tickets can be paid at www.hoovertickets.com prior to a court session. Determine your fine and associated court costs . Fines may be paid by mail or in person at the court office, provided a guilty plea is entered and payment is received in full prior to your court appearance date. No partial payments will be accepted. Minor traffic violations (accident involved) are Court Required.
If you entered a plea of not guilty, you will be set for a trial court date. During your trial date, you will speak with the prosecutor.
The judge will allow you to request one court date change prior to your court session. Email the court at email@example.com to request a continuance.
If you have an attorney, your attorney can file a notice of appearance and a motion requesting a continuance on your case. If you have any questions or wish to receive more specific information pertaining to your case, please contact the Hoover Magistrate's Office at 205-444-7526.
A case may be continued without the defendant's request for several reasons. For example, the court may have received a request from the prosecutor or a witness. Or the court may have continued the case for administrative reasons, such as the cancellation of a docket. When we change a court date, we send a mailed notice to the address we have for you on record. It is your responsibility to make sure the court has your correct address at all times.
Missing your court date may result in the issuance of a failure to appear warrant and can carry severe consequences. Contact the court at (205) 444-7526 for more information.
If you currently have a failure to appear warrant for your arrest, you may be eligible for a warrant recall authorized by Alabama Legislative ACT 2005-188. Under this enactment defendants are able to pay a $100 administrative fee to have their failure to appear arrest warrants recalled. You must contact the court to determine if you are eligible.
If you have an outstanding warrant, you must turn yourself in on the warrant and post the appropriate bond. If you have any questions concerning a warrant, you may contact the Hoover Municipal Court office at (205) 444-7526.
If you wish to obtain a warrant, you must first file a police report.
Convictions of certain offenses such as DUI, and minor in possession of alcohol, among others, carry a mandatory suspension of the driver's license under Alabama law. Hoover Municipal Court does not suspend driver licenses, the Alabama Department of Public Safety does. For questions regarding your driver’s license status, suspension, reinstatements, or points assessed against your license, please visit the Alabama Department of Public Safety website.
Criminal defendants have an absolute right to be represented by counsel. For defendants who can afford their own counsel, the city is not obligated to provide an attorney. If the defendant is not financially able to employ counsel (indigent), the municipal judge must appoint counsel to represent any defendant who is charged with an offense punishable by a jail sentence. The judge must determine if a defendant is indigent. In order for the judge to make this determination, the defendant must complete a sworn Affidavit of Indigency. This affidavit contains various questions regarding the defendant’s income, expenses, and financial resources. As a sworn statement, all information on the form must be truthful. It is a felony to falsify a sworn statement. If the judge decides the defendant is indigent, the court will appoint an attorney for the defendant. For non-indigent defendants, the court cannot recommend attorneys. The state bar website may serve as a useful resource.
Most tickets are not eligible for dismissal. Specifically, expired tag tickets are not dismissible, even if you can show you have since renewed the tag. Regardless of ownership of the vehicle, if you are issued the ticket the ticket is your responsibility. Certain tickets may be dismissed if various criteria are met, prior to the court appearance date: -No License in Possession
If you are issued a citation for driving with no license in possession, a judge or magistrate may dismiss your citation if you can show that you had a license, which was valid at the time you received your ticket. -No Insurance
If you are issued a citation for driving a vehicle without insurance, the judge may dismiss your citation upon payment of court costs if you present insurance on that vehicle, which was valid at the time of your citation. This proof must show, at a minimum, the vehicle covered, the policy number, the starting date of coverage, and the end date of coverage. Court staff may contact your insurance company to determine if the insurance was valid. Presentation of false insurance is a crime. If you did not have insurance at the time of your citation, but have since purchased it, the ticket will not be dismissed. A ticket for no insurance requires your appearance in court if there was an accident involved. -Child Restraint Violations
If you have received a citation for a child restraint violation, state law grants the judge the discretion to dismiss the ticket upon proof that you have purchased an appropriate child restraint. The judge is not obligated to dismiss the ticket, however.
Many equipment violations may be dismissible if, within 72 hours (excluding Sundays and legal holidays) of when you receive the ticket, you have the defect repaired and inspected by a City of Hoover police officer. If your repaired vehicle conforms with state law, the officer will sign off on the back of your ticket. You must deliver this ticket to the court offices on or before your court appearance date. -Window Tint
If you are issued a citation for improper window tint, you may be eligible to have the citation dismissed if you have the tint removed, drive the vehicle to court on your court date, and make such request to the judge. Before the judge grants such a request he will have a Hoover Police Officer inspect the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle conforms to the state window tint law.
National Safety Council approved 4 hours classes (Level I / Alive at 25) and 8 hours class (Level II) are held at Hoover Municipal Court. Driving school may be offered to defendants charged with moving violations before entering a plea on your citation. If you plead guilty and pay, it will be too late to take driving school.
Any defendant wishing to take driving school must register in person with a cash payment. If your ticket is with Hoover ($125.00) for the 4 hour classes and ($150.00) for the 8 hour class due in full at the time of registration. Upon completion of the class, the defendant’s charge will be dismissed. If your ticket was issued by an agency other than the City of Hoover, and you have been approved by the court to attend Defensive Driving School, you must register for class in person and you must pay for the defensive driving class at the time of registration. The costs for referral cases are ($25.00) for the Level I 4 hour class and Alive at 25, and ($50.00) for the Level II 8 hour class. If you have a Commercial Driver’s License or a prior conviction of D.U.I. you do not qualify for Defensive Driving School Defendants are required to reschedule in person, at least 48 hours prior to the class. If a defendant is charged with Passing a School Bus or Reckless Driving, he or she might be eligible to complete the 8 hour class. A court appearance is required before registration.
Record requests are processed in person or via mail upon payment of records. Print and bring the request form to the magistrate's office for processing.
Request for Records Form
If you used a bonding company, you entered into a private contract to pay them a fee. That company in turn posted your bond. That fee is usually non-refundable; check with your bonding company for details.
If you posted a cash bond directly to Hoover Municipal Court, once your fines and court costs (if any) have been satisfied, that bond will be returned to you. Checks are mailed out to the last address we have on record, so please make sure we have an updated address. The Court is allowed 30 days to return the bond.
If you post a bond for someone and want to come off the bond, you must obtain a bondsman's process or certified copy of the bond ("CCB") from the Hoover Municipal Court and return that person to jail.
You can apply for an expungement in the county court of which you received your charged. Below is a link that will give you further information.
When a defendant commits a crime while under the age of 21, the Alabama Code provides that the judge may, in lieu of trying a defendant as an adult, instead adjudicate the defendant as a youthful offender. Youthful offender adjudications are not criminal convictions, and records regarding youthful offender adjudications are sealed. In some circumstances, the judge is obliged to inform the defendant of his right to apply for youthful offender status. In other circumstances, the burden is on the defendant to request youthful offender status. The decision to grant youthful offender rests solely upon the judge.
A defendant found guilty in municipal court may appeal the decision. The judge will advise a convicted person of the right to appeal and that written notice must be filed with the municipal court within 14 days of the conviction date. A mere oral statement of a desire to appeal is insufficient; the notice must be in writing and an appeal bond must be filed within the 14 day period. The judge will set the appeal bond amount, which by law cannot exceed two times the total fines and costs or the $1,000 if no fine and court costs are assessed. Once a case is appealed, the case is then transferred to circuit court for the county in which the offense occurred and the entire case is heard anew (de novo). As Hoover rests in more than one county, the specific circuit court will vary.
Alabama law requires that all trials in municipal court be handled by a judge, not a jury. However, if you are found guilty and wish to appeal the decision you may request a jury trial in circuit court.
Municipalities such as Hoover have the authority to create their own criminal offenses.
-A municipality can adopt a state offense as a municipal ordinance.
-A municipality can also define its own offenses. For example, the City of Hoover has created a Animal Running At-large Ordinance (§4-20) that does not appear in the state criminal code.
In either circumstances, the city can fully prosecute violations of the municipal code as offenses against the city.
Hoover Municipal Court neither tows nor impounds vehicles. If your vehicle was towed by the Hoover Police Department, please contact the police department for information on how to retrieve your vehicle.
Municipal Courts do not have the authority to issue restraining orders. Restraining Orders are a civil matter, please contact District Court-Civil Division within the county where the act occurred.