Ask A Lawyer

Tell Us Your Case Information for Fastest Lawyer Match!

Please include all relevant details from your case including where, when, and who it involoves.
Case details that can effectively describe the legal situation while also staying concise generally receive the best responses from lawyers.


By submitting this lawyer request, I confirm I have read and agree to the Consent to Receive Email, Phone, Text Messages, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. Information provided may not be privileged or confidential.

HOW TO FIGHT YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET IN CALIFORNIA

by Richard D. Freiman on Aug. 07, 2018

Criminal Criminal  Misdemeanor Motor Vehicle  Traffic 

Summary: HOW TO FIGHT YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET IN CALIFORNIA

You’re driving on the freeway, listening to your favorite music, keeping your eye on the road, when you look in the rearview mirror and suddenly see those dreaded flashing lights.  The CHP officer waves you to the side of the freeway. You pull over. You shut off the engine. The CHP officer walks over to your car.   A few minutes later, you are looking at your traffic ticket (citation) which you have signed in the presence of the officer. It contains the citation number; alleged violation; the level of the alleged offense (infraction or misdemeanor); the issuing law enforcement agency; the date and location of the alleged violation; the location of the court; the date and the time you have to appear in the court; and instructions. Your day is ruined. This article will deal with traffic infractions (generally minor moving and other violations), not misdemeanors (such as reckless driving; DUI; driving with a suspended license). For traffic infractions, in addition to fines and other financial penalties, if you plead or are found guilty, generally one point will be placed against your driving record.  The DMV keeps a record of points and the DMV has the right to suspend or revoke your driver’s license if you get four points within a twelve-month period; six points within a twenty-four month period; or eight points within a thirty-six month period. The number of points on your driving record can lead to an increase your automobile insurance premium.  Approximately 21 days after you get your traffic ticket, you will receive a notice which will provide general information and your options for taking care of the situation.  It will contain the amount of the fine and other important information such as any mandatory court appearance requirements, traffic school eligibility requirements, and the due date. Now you have to make a decision.  How are you going to deal with your traffic ticket?   At this point, call me at (310)917-1021, and we can discuss your options. I can represent you in traffic court in Los Angeles; Ventura; Orange; and Santa Barbara Counties.  I can make all your appearances in traffic court and you will not have to take off any time from work.   I will fight for you against all alleged infractions including Speeding; Red Light (including Photo Tickets); Stop Sign, U-Turn; and all alleged misdemeanors including: Reckless Driving; Driving With A Suspended License; Speed Contest; Exhibition of Speed; Other Offenses; and DUI.  So what are your options? You can pay the fine and request traffic school. If you meet the eligibility requirements for attending traffic school and you complete your attendance, the violation will not appear on your record. You can pay the fine and not fight the ticket and not go to traffic school (either by choice or because you didn’t meet the requirements).  The violation will appear on your record (increasing the risk of the future suspension or revocation of your driver’s license) and your automobile insurance premium may rise. You can plead “not guilty” and have a trial. You are entitled to a speedy and public trial. Both you and the officer who issued the traffic ticket are required to appear at the trial. You can have an attorney appear for you (so that your attendance is not required) and represent you at the trial.  If the officer does not appear, the court can dismiss your case.  At the trial, the officer is required to testify. You or your attorney can cross-examine the officer. You do not have to testify unless you choose to do so.  You can present witnesses as can the prosecution. After the witnesses have testified, there will be closing arguments by the prosecutor (if one is present) and by you or your attorney (arguing that the prosecution has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt).  Then the court will render its decision.  Depending on the court and the circumstances, even if you are found guilty, you may still be able to attend traffic school (providing you meet the eligibility requirements). Another option is the “Trial By Written Declaration.”  Using this procedure, you plead “not guilty” and submit your written statement (declaration) in which you explain the facts of your case and why you are not guilty of the alleged offense.  The officer who issued the traffic ticket will be given the chance to submit a written statement as well.  Then the court will read both the statements and you will be notified of the court’s decision. If you are not satisfied with the court’s decision, you can ask for a new trial in court, by filing a “Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo)” within twenty days after the date the court’s decision was mailed to you. Most importantly, you must appear in the case by any of the methods stated above or on your traffic ticket.  If you don’t, you can be charged with a “Failure To Appear” which is a misdemeanor. This will be an additional charge to the infraction you were originally charged with. The information in this article does not constitute nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.

 

For a free consultation call:

Richard D. Freiman, Attorney at Law, (310) 917-1021

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.