(1) When a person is arrested for a class 2 petty offense, the arresting officer may either give the person a penalty assessment notice and release him upon its terms or take him before a judge of the county court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. The choice of procedures shall be based upon circumstances which reasonably persuade the officer that the alleged offender is likely or unlikely to comply with the terms of the penalty assessment notice. Such circumstances may include the officer accompanying the offender to a post office or mailbox and witnessing the deposit in the mail of the notice with payment of the fine attached.
(1.5) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section notwithstanding, when an officer comes upon an unattended vehicle which is parked in apparent violation of any county parking ordinance, the officer may place upon the vehicle a penalty assessment notice as specified in subsection (2) of this section; except that said notice shall contain the license plate number and state of registration of the vehicle and need not contain the identification of the alleged offender.
(2) The penalty assessment notice shall be a summons and complaint containing identification of the alleged offender, specification of the offense and applicable fine, a requirement that the alleged offender pay the fine or appear to answer the charge at a specified time and place, and any other matter reasonably adapted to effectuating the purposes of this section. A duplicate copy shall be sent to the clerk of the county court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. The provisions of this section shall not apply to penalties assessed pursuant to authority of law outside this code unless this section is specifically referred to in such other law.
(3) If the person given a penalty assessment notice chooses to acknowledge his guilt, he may pay the specified fine in person or by mail at the place and within the time specified in the notice. If he chooses not to acknowledge his guilt, he shall appear as required in the notice. Upon trial, if the alleged offender is found guilty, the fine imposed shall be that specified in the notice for the offense of which he was found guilty, but customary court costs may be assessed against him in addition to the fine.
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