Connecticut Court’s Online System allows individuals to plead “not guilty” online

The Connecticut Superior Court’s Online Adjudication System enables individuals who plead “not guilty” to a traffic infraction to participate in the court process electronically, rather than be required to physically appear in court.

Prior to the implementation of Electronic Citation (E-Citation) Processing, Connecticut’s traffic violation citation disposition system was completely manual, making it vulnerable to human error at many points throughout the process. In addition to creating opportunities for inaccurate and conflicting data, reliance upon a system based on paper and multiple points of data entry often results in processing delays, among other issues. The timeliness and uniformity of the Connecticut Superior Court’s Online Adjudication System eliminates the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in adjudication and conviction information posted to driver history files.

Through this system, Connecticut has successfully created collaboration between police services, courts and prosecuting authorities, ensuring accurate information and access to justice leading to meaningful adjudications. Currently available throughout the state, the system has reduced costs, improved the quality and timeliness of hearings and improved the convenience and efficiency of the process for both the court and the individual who receives the infraction. The online system now makes it possible for Connecticut residents to pay fines online or plead “not guilty” online.

What happens when Connecticut citizens plead not guilty to an e-ticket?Here is an explanation of what happens from the Connecticut Court Traffic Violation web site:

  • When the Not Guilty plea is received, the Centralized Infractions Bureau will transfer your case to a Superior Court location for the geographical area where your ticket was issued.
  • You may have to go to court.
  • If your ticket was issued in certain locations of the state where there are Regional Motor Vehicle courts, you may be able to provide a written response to a prosecutor who may or may not nolle your case. If your case is nolled, the charges are dropped. If it is not nolled you will have to appear at the court.
  • The local court will send you a notice giving you a court hearing date.
  • The prosecutor may transfer your case to court, where it will be scheduled for a trial before a judicial authority.
  • The prosecutor may make an offer to you which could include reduced fines or fees and/or an option to accept different charges.If you accept the offer, a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) will enter and you will pay the agreed upon fines/fees. You will not need to come to court.

The use of e-ticket systems may make it easier for courts in more states to adopt online processing of traffic fines and to handle “not guilty” pleas.