As a rule of thumb, I typically tell my non-Arizona clients that they can ignore the mailed ticket -- the court does not have jurisdiction to enter a judgment until the ticket has been served.
For out-of-state defendants, that does not happen much (though it can). If one is served, that adds about $35 or so to the total fine, if there is a finding of responsible.
Keep in mind that each court and prosecutor's office do things a bit differently, and that mistakes may happen, so check up on the ticket status from time to time, online at:
If you are actually served, you should seek out the services of a competent and experienced attorney to help you in this matter.
-- Michael Kielsky
Counselor & Attorney at Law
Kielsky Rike PLLC
2919 N. 73rd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
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I defer to my colleague on matters of AZ law. In addition to what he said you should be aware that there are some scam operations emanating from AZ which send collection letters that look like they come from a court. The way to be sure is to look for the return address on the envelope and the identity of the Court on the ticket as well as a telephone number for the clerk's office. If all these items are not there, don't pay; you are being scammed.
For extensive information on the subject see www.highwayrobbery.net.