More serious charges, such as DUI, or other instances wherein the person in question may be responsible for injuries to another, may require the person to appear in court regardless of their plea. Some municipalities process guilty pleas of this nature outside of the presence of an actual judge, whereas others may require them to appear in court. Often these charges are handled by the larger criminal court.
Each state handles traffic matters in its own way. In most of New York State, for example, traffic matters are heard in the court for the city, town, or village where the alleged violation happened. The town and village courts are known as Justice Courts. Each municipality has its own way of doing things. New York City traffic matters (and a few other locations) are heard in a special court called Traffic Violations Bureau, with a very different process. New Jersey handles traffic matters in the Municipal Court System, with the most serious cases heard in Superior Court. In Washington, D.C. traffic tickets are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles. In California tickets are handled in Superior Court. Massachusetts tickets are heard in District Courts. In the City of Chicago, traffic tickets issued by Chicago Police Officers with no possibility of jail time are handled by the City's Law Department, frequently by law students. All other traffic violations (including those issued by state police) are dealt with by the Cook County State's Attorney.