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Definitions

Certifiable:  This term refers to whether a conviction on a violation or an offense is sent to the MN Driver & Vehicle Services agency to be included in the defendant’s driving record.

Collection:  This is a process we use to collect unpaid fines. Learn more on Late Fees & Collections.

Collection Agency: This is a company the District Court has contracted to collect unpaid fines for parking and many other violations. The company uses all of the normal collection methods of a professional collection agency.

Continuance for Dismissal (CFD): This is a program that offers the possibility of future "dismissal" of a charge. There is a fee for prosecution costs and there are conditions which requires you not to get the same or similar charges for one year. This program is usually used with citations that are not certified to the driving record. 

DAS | DAR | DAC:  These stand for Driving After Suspension | Revocation | or Cancellation, which means that your license was not valid when you were stopped while driving. It is illegal to drive in Minnesota unless your driver’s license is valid. The charge is a misdemeanor and could result in your license being suspended again.

Driver’s License SuspensionMN Driver & Vehicle Services has suspended the privilege to drive until certain conditions are met. One kind of suspension is because you have failed to appear or pay fines on citations. When the citations are settled, the driver’s license can be reinstated. Another kind of suspension is because a "Driving After Suspension" is certified to your record or because you have too many traffic violations on your driving record. This kind of suspension is for a specific number of days and requires you to pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back.

Driver’s License RevocationMN Driver & Vehicle Services has revoked your driver’s license for a certain period of time because a Driving While Intoxicated violation, Insurance violation, or a Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle violation has been certified to your driving record. You will be required to: take a driver’s test; prove that you have insurance; and pay a reinstatement fee before your driver’s license can be reinstated.

DVS/DPS:  DVS is the MN Driver & Vehicle Services division within the MN Dept. of Public Safety (DPS). This is the agency which controls your driver’s license and driving record.

Equipment violation:  A violation which means there is something wrong with your vehicle such as a cracked windshield, faulty brakes, faulty muffler, etc. A license plate violation is also an equipment violation. Some equipment violations, such as driving without headlights, are certified to your driving record.

Fine:  The money you pay as a penalty (or sentence) for a violation.

Moving violation:  A violation which has to do with the way you may drive a vehicle in an illegal manner, such as speeding or running a red light.

MNCIS:  Minnesota Court Information System is an online database of Minnesota Court Records. including the criminal and traffic courts. "MPA Remote" is the name of the public version of MNCIS available on the interet. MPA Remote is subject to restrictions listed in the MN Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch. Online records do NOT include street addresses for parties, or information on pre-conviction criminal, traffic, and petty misdemeanor cases. Pre-conviction criminal information is only available on-site at the courthouse public-access records terminals or by calling (612)348-2040NOTE: "Driving Records" are maintained by the MN Dept. of Public Safety and their phone number is (651)296-2940.

Scofflaw:  A term used to refer to a person who ignores citations on a regular basis and has received a number of unpaid citations. The person “scoffs” at the law. A vehicle with 5 or more unpaid citations will be put on the scofflaw list and may be towed and impounded until all of the citations are paid.

Sentence:  The penalty given for a violation of the law. A sentence may include a money fine and, for misdemeanors and higher, may include jail time.

STS: Sentencing to Service is a program of the Hennepin County Probation Department that is kind of like a “work squad.”  Each day of STS is an 8-hour work day, and a person may be ordered to serve a number of days of STS instead of spending time in jail or paying a money fine. Sometimes STS is also an option to settle a ticket with a Hearing Officer.

Surcharge and law library fee:  Under Minnesota law, surcharges and law library fees may be added to the amount of a fine. Currently, surcharges and law library fees are as follows:

  • Surcharge on parking violation = $12.00  MN Statute § 357.021, subd. 6.
  • Surcharge on criminal/traffic violation = $75.00  MN Statute § 357.021, subd. 6.
  • Law Library Fee = $3.00 MN Statute § 134A.09.
  • When a defendant is charged with more than one offense in a case, the appropriate surcharge ($12 parking surcharge or $75 criminal/traffic surcharge) is assessed only once in that case.
  • If a citation includes multiple offenses, one of which is a parking offense, the $75 criminal/traffic surcharge is assessed in that case.  MN Statute § 357.021, subd. 6.
  • When a defendant is charged with more than one offense in a case, the appropriate law library fee shall be assessed only once in that case.
  • If a citation includes multiple offenses with different law library fees, the highest applicable law library fee is assessed. MN Statute § 134A.09, subd. 2a and § 134A.10, subd. 3.    

Traffic Violation:  A violation of the law that involves the operation of a vehicle.

ViBES:  Violations Bureau Electronic System is the system used in the Hennepin County District Court for processing traffic citations.

 

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