If you hire an attorney to handle your ticket it is likely that they can get the ticket taken care of without you appearing at all. Your likely options would be either a diversion or an amendment to a nonmoving violation so it won't affect your insurance. If you did choose to take the case to trial would would have to appear. Best of luck.
I would tend to agree with Attorney Lewis, it is likely they will know about your prior, and if you were to get in trouble for this again you would be facing a felony. I would recommend you find a local attorney to assist you with your case.