Call the court and see if you can request a Trial by Written Declaration - it basically allows you to provide a statement of facts and the officer has a specified amount of time after you submit yours to provide his/her statement. If they fail to do so, your citation is dismissed. But in the event that you are found guilty through this, you can request a Trial De Novo, which is basically a retrial in which you appear in court. It's worth a shot, because it allows you to not have to appear in court and can do things via paperwork/forms. You have to submit a non-guilty plea first and pay the fine first - if you win, the bail amount will be refunded to you.
A couple of catches here specifically, though - you mentioned that you had "discovered" that you had an unpaid violation - did you simply forget about it? And as it is a year past due, I'm not sure what the possibilities/protocols are. I would try to give the court a call and speak with someone to advise you on what your options are, and ask if Trial by Written Declaration is an option for you in this case. Best of luck.