Should I just pay my traffic ticket and avoid the hassle of a court visit?
You may have a fleeting impulse to just pay a traffic ticket, whether or not you are guilty of the offense, but this can result in a high fine or even a suspension of your license, if not immediately, at some point in the future. Since ticket points add up and none of us knows what’s coming, this is a very risky option.
I received a traffic ticket months ago and never took care of it, should I be worried?
This inaction, known as “Failure to Appear” (FTA) may be due to forgetfulness, irresponsibility, illness or a family emergency. Whatever its cause, however, unless you address the issue the FTA will eventually lead to increased penalties, license suspension, and possibly a warrant for your arrest. If you are in this situation, it is urgent that you contact a qualified traffic attorney to protect yourself.
When is getting a traffic ticket most problematic?
Even a minor traffic infraction can be very damaging if:
- You already have points on your driver’s license
- Your insurance costs are already too high
- You have a commercial license and another traffic infraction may cost you your job
- You can’t afford to miss work to appear in court and have no more sick or vacation days
- You have an FTA on your record from a previous offense
In any of the above situations, it is essential to have an experienced traffic attorney handling your case.
Aren’t penalties for traffic offenses minimal?
While some traffic offenses are considered infractions and not terribly serious, others are misdemeanors and even a few are felonies. While infractions can only result be punished with fines (and sometimes Community Labor for littering), penalties for traffic offenses in California are getting higher and higher. Going through a red-light camera, for example, can now result in a fine of $500! We often see traffic tickets with 2 or 3 violations listed with a total fine amount of $1,000 to $2,000.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Misdemeanors, such as driving without a license or driving on a suspended license can result in a punishment of up to one year in jail and/or probation. Felonies are more serious crimes and typically involve repeat offenses or actions that result in injury to persons or property. The penalties for traffic felonies are higher fines and imprisonment for over a year. Some penalties may also include traffic school and/or community service.
What are “wobblers” in California traffic law?
In California, there is also a category known as “wobblers,” which can be considered either an Infraction or Misdemeanor offense, such as Driving Without a Valid License (12500a CVC) and Driving on a Suspended License (14601.1 CVC). Usually, the Police Officer will circle either the pre-printed “I” or “M” next to the offense level indicating that the offense is considered an infraction or misdemeanor.
How can I protect myself from a nervous cop who thinks I’m a criminal?
Pull over as soon as it’s safe and wait for the cop to come to you. Be polite. If you have to search for your registration or insurance card, explain what you’re doing so the cop doesn’t think you’re going for a weapon. Move slowly and deliberately. Follow instructions. You are not required to admit wrongdoing, remember you are probably on video and audio at that point and anything you admit to is going to be used in Court. But don’t argue with the police officer, that is not the time and the place.
What are the most common traffic violations?
Some of the most common traffic violations are speeding, going through a red light, failing to signal, not using a seat belt, drunk driving, driving alone in a carpool lane, not stopping for a school bus, reckless driving, tailgating, texting while driving, making an illegal turn, crossing the median, crossing over double carpool lane lines and driving without license or registration.
Can I plea bargain a traffic ticket?
Yes, in many cases and depending on the jurisdiction the court will allow you to plead guilty to only one of two charges you were ticketed for. Also, the court may permit you to plead guilty to a lesser traffic offense than the one you have been charged with. Though the lesser charge may cost you the same fine, it may prevent you from adding points to your license. You are much more likely to be given a plea bargain that is favorable to you if you are represented by an Attorney in traffic court and you are not present in Court.
How can Cheap Traffic Attorneys help?
Most of us who have been driving for a while have received a few traffic tickets. Always annoying and time-consuming, some tickets may threaten your legal permission to drive or even your freedom. If you are faced with a traffic ticket in Southern California, CheapTrafficAttorneys.com can be your salvation.
At Cheap Traffic Attorneys we are dedicated to saving you as much money and time as possible, and can often lessen the consequences of your traffic ticket or get it dismissed entirely. We will go to court in your place and fight vigorously to have the charges against you reduced, changed to a non-moving violation or dismissed. In the meantime, you will not have to take time off from work and you will have an experienced professional negotiator working on your case. Even if you have failed to appear in court, Cheap Traffic Attorneys can take up the slack and resolve your case with minimal upheaval. We can be reached through a form on our website, by phone or through email.