Terms Used In Louisiana Revised Statutes 32:398.2

  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Motor vehicle: means every vehicle which is self-propelled, and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, but excluding a motorized bicycle and an electric-assisted bicycle. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 32:1
  • person: includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 1:10
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Traffic: means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, and other conveyances either singly or together while using any highway for purposes of travel. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 32:1
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

A.  Each traffic enforcement officer upon issuing a traffic citation to an alleged violator of any provision of the motor vehicle laws of this state or of any traffic ordinance of any city or town shall deposit the original citation or a copy of such traffic citation with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or with the appropriate traffic violations bureau.  However, a citation for a violation of R.S. 32:80(A) shall be deposited only with a court and not with a traffic violations bureau.

B.  Upon the deposit of the original citation or a copy of the traffic citation with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or with the traffic violations bureau as set forth herein, the original citation or copy of such traffic citation shall be disposed of only by trial in the court of proper jurisdiction or any other official action by a judge of the court, including forfeiture of the bail, or by the deposit of sufficient bail with the traffic violations bureau or payment of a fine to said bureau by the person to whom such traffic citation has been issued.  However, a citation or its copy alleging a violation of R.S. 32:80(A) shall be disposed of only by trial or acceptance of a plea in open court.

C.  It shall be unlawful for any traffic enforcement officer or any other officer or public employee to dispose of a traffic citation or copies thereof or of the record of the issuance of the citation in a manner other than as required herein.

D.  The chief administrative officer of each traffic enforcement agency in the state shall require all traffic officers under his supervision to return to him a copy of every traffic citation which was issued by the officer for the violation of a traffic law or ordinance, and in addition shall require the return of all copies of every traffic citation which has been spoiled or upon which an entry has been made without having issued the citation to the alleged violator.

E.  The chief administrative officer shall also maintain or cause to be maintained in connection with every traffic citation issued by an officer under his supervision a record of the disposition of the charge by the court or its traffic violations bureau in which the original or a copy of the traffic citation was deposited.

F.  Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting or interfering with the authority of a district attorney or other prosecuting attorney to dismiss a traffic citation or charge by entry of a nolle prosequi.

Added by Acts 1968, No. 273, §5.  Acts 1984, No. 626, §1.