Traffic Court

What Can I Expect When I Get a Traffic Ticket?

You see the dreaded flashing lights behind you and your heart sinks into your stomach. You’ve just been pulled over for a traffic violation and now you have a traffic ticket. While it may feel like your day has officially been ruined, there are ways that you can deal with the process as quickly and painfully as possible. You may even be able to keep points off of your license.

Getting Pulled Over

When you get pulled over in California for speeding or another traffic violation, you can expect a few things to occur. The officer will first ask for your license, insurance, and registration. You should be sure to always have these three documents with you whenever you drive, as you can also face additional tickets for not having them.

Types of Traffic Tickets

There are two different types of traffic tickets to be aware of when you are pulled over:

  1. Infraction. All basic California traffic violations are considered to be infractions. This includes everything from speeding, to not stopping at a stop sign, to running a red light.
  2. Misdemeanor. If you have committed a more serious driving offense you are likely to receive a misdemeanor. This includes offenses such as DUI, excessive speeding, or driving on a suspended license.

You will sign and date the ticket and receive a copy. You are not admitting to any guilt, just that you agree appear in court on or before the date indicated on the bottom of the ticket. Hold onto it in a safe place because you will need it later on. Your “Notice to Appear” (ticket) will have important information on it such as your court deadline date to appear and citation number.

However, for crimes such as DUI, you could possibly be arrested then and your car may be impounded.

Plea Options

You can submit one of three plea options in response to your ticket: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Should you plead guilty or no contest, you are then required to send in the required fine and copy of your citation to the court. Once received, the case will be closed and any points as well as your citation will make their way onto your driving record, where they will remain for 3 to 7 years. It is possible to take a traffic school class to hide your ticket from your public record if the Clerk of the Court or Judge has allowed that option.

If you plead not guilty, you must go in front of a judge to plead your case or you must submit a written “trial by declaration” to the court. You may obtain counsel or represent yourself. If you do a “trial by declaration” you must pay your fine up front. When the case is finished, you may receive a reduced fine or refund if the court finds in your favor.

Points

Speeding, running a red light, at-fault accidents, and unsafe lane changes are one point, while reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, hit and run, and DUI are two.

Your license can be suspended or revoked if you accumulate:

  • 4 or more points in 12 months
  • 6 or more points in 24 months
  • 8 or more points in 36 months

Any points can enable your auto insurance premiums to increase.

What Can You Do?

Finding an attorney to help is in your best interest. At Cheap Traffic Attorneys, we understand the impact that even one traffic violation can have on your driving record and work to help secure you the best outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, visit us online or call us at 310-495-5655 today!

California Department of Motor Vehicles Announces New Traffic Laws

At cheaptrafficattorneys.com, we are committed to helping our clients fight traffic tickets, avoid or minimize penalties, and reduce points on their driving record. With the new year upon us, it is important to be aware of new traffic laws going into effect as of Jan. 1, 2019.

The California DMV recently issued a memorandum reminding drivers of pending changes to the state’s traffic laws. These include:

  • Temporary License Plates (AB 516) — Authorized dealers of new and used vehicles are required to attach temporary paper license plates on every vehicle sold that does not display previously issued DMV plates. The temporary plates are designed to reduce the number of toll violations and improve road safety.
  • Gender Identity (SB 179) — Applicants for a drivers license or identity card have the option to select their own gender, female, male or non-binary. Those who select “nonbinary” will receive a card with an “X” gender category.
  • Driving Under the Influence/Ignition Interlock Device (SB 1046) — Repeat offenders for driving under the influence or first DUI offenders whose violation results in an injury must  install an ignition interlock device for a period of 12 to 48 months. The requirement applies to DUI violations for alcohol use or combined alcohol and drug use, but does not apply to drug only violations.
  • Smog Check Changes and New Abatement Fees (AB 1274) — The smog check exemption for new vehicles is being raised to eight model years from the current exemption of six model years. During the additional two years of exemption, vehicle owners will pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee, but the current annual $20 fee for the first six years  remains the same.
  • Driving Privileges for Minors (AB 2685) Juvenile courts will no longer be able to suspend, restrict, or delay the issuance of a minor’s driver’s license for one year for habitual truancy or for being a ward of the state. Suspensions or delays reported prior to Jan. 1, 2019  remain in effect, however.
  • Motorized Scooters (AB 2989) — Motorized scooter riders who are 18 or older will no longer be required to use a bicycle helmet. In addition, individuals are prohibted from operating a motorized scooter on a highway with a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour, unless it is on both a Class IV and Class II bikeway.
  • Unsafe/Unsecured Loads on Vehicles (AB 1925) — The DMV must include at least one question in at least 20 percent of knowledge tests (written exams) about the state’s unsecured load code. In sum, all vehicle loads (e.g.  ladders, buckets and other loose items) must be covered or secured.
  • Passing Waste Service Vehicles (AB 2115) — Drivers approaching a waste collection truck with its amber lights flashing must move into an adjacent lane, if possible, and pass at a safe distance, or slow to a safe and reasonable speed if moving is not possible.

Continue reading California Department of Motor Vehicles Announces New Traffic Laws

When Should You Fight a Traffic Ticket in California?

If you have been issued a traffic ticket, you should consider fighting the ticket, and for good reason. In addition to incurring a fine, you may have points added to your driver’s license and also face the potential of an increase in your car insurance premium. Depending on the violation, your driver’s license may also be suspended, which will make it difficult to get to work, go to school or manage day-to-day activities. With so much at stake, you are well advised to enlist the services of cheaptrafficattorneys.com.

Continue reading When Should You Fight a Traffic Ticket in California?

When is an FTA Warrant Issued?

A Failure to Appear, or FTA, warrant may be issued for those who have received traffic tickets or are otherwise required to appear in court but fail to do so. FTA warrants are issued by judges and will remain in effect until the person involved or their attorney appears in court. If you have received an FTA warrant, our traffic ticket lawyer can help. Continue reading When is an FTA Warrant Issued?

Consequences of FTA Warrants

If you have received a traffic ticket, you may have noticed that you have the option to either plead guilty and pay the ticket or appear in court to contest the ticket. The due date or “appear by” date is generally listed directly on the traffic ticket, and you are required to appear or take action on the ticket before that date. If you Fail to Appear or take other action, a FTA warrant may be issued for your arrest. While a FTA warrant can appear frightening or disconcerting at first glance, most of the time, they can be easily resolved with the right representation. Our traffic ticket failure to appear attorney can help. Continue reading Consequences of FTA Warrants

How to Clear an FTA Warrant

According to California law, if you have failed to appear in court when required or failed to comply with a court order, then a failure to appear, or FTA, warrant may be issued for you. FTA warrants can have serious consequences, including arrest. The DMV will soon suspend your driver’s license for most violations. If you have an FTA warrant, our traffic ticket lawyer can help. Continue reading How to Clear an FTA Warrant

Do FTA Warrants Appears on Your Record?

Failing to appear in court when required can result in a judge issuing a failure to appear, or FTA, warrant for your arrest. According to the California penal code, once an FTA warrant has been issued for your arrest, you may be facing additional civil assessment fees, a suspended license and jail time. If you have had an FTA warrant issued for your arrest, our traffic ticket attorney can help. Continue reading Do FTA Warrants Appears on Your Record?

When is a Bench Warrant Issued?

Did you recently receive a traffic ticket? Traffic tickets are a common but often annoying part of life, which may be one of the reasons why it is so easy for them to get shuffled in with other papers and forgotten. Forgetting or ignoring a traffic ticket can result in serious legal issues, however. If you fail to show up for your court date and do not pay the ticket, a judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have received a bench warrant or know that you have unpaid traffic tickets, our traffic ticket attorney can help. Continue reading When is a Bench Warrant Issued?

What are Bench Warrants?

Traffic tickets are common and may be issued for any traffic infraction. Speeding, running red lights and texting while driving are common offenses that can result in a traffic ticket. Unfortunately, tickets are so common that they can be easy to set aside and overlooked. If you have received a traffic ticket and have failed to pay it or appear in court, our traffic ticket lawyer can help. Continue reading What are Bench Warrants?