What to Know About Stop Sign Tickets in California

A stop sign in front of a city background.
  • Jan 15 2020

Stop signs are extremely important so as not to drive into any oncoming traffic. They provide drivers with a necessary opportunity to be aware of any other cars within the vicinity in order to avoid an accident. Per the requirements of California Vehicle Code 22450a, the driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop at a limit line, if marked, otherwise before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. 

In a situation in which there is no crosswalk, the driver will stop at the entrance to an intersecting roadway. The driver should first stop at the painted line that protrudes out from the area of the stop sign. However, if there is no painted line, he or she should stop at the first line of the crosswalk. If there is no painted line or crosswalk, the driver should stop before the area where the two roads intersect. 

One widely held misconception is that the driver must stop for three seconds at a stop sign, but this is not correct. The only thing that truly matters is that you come to a complete stop and not a “rolling stop.” In other words, a complete stop is the cessation of any vehicle movement (i.e. the wheels have stopped turning). It doesn’t matter how many seconds your vehicle remains stopped. Even police officers sometimes misunderstand and perpetuate the fake three-second rule. 

Defenses to a Stop Sign Ticket

  1. Challenge the officer’s observation
  2. Challenge the officer’s subjective conclusion
  3. Prove that your conduct was justified
  4. Claim that there has been a mistake of fact
  5. Argue that the sign was only recently installed

Under California state law, the fine for failing to stop at a stop sign is $238 plus any other costs and fees. If you fail to pay the ticket or to show up in court, you will be subjected to additional fines and a potential suspension of your license. 

Those who are given a stop sign ticket must act prior to the “Notice to Appear” date as listed on the citation. You can choose to pay for the ticket, which would admit your guilt. In such a situation, when the payment is received the case will be closed and the court will send it to the DMV so that the point on your license can be visible. 

Contact the Cheap Traffic Attorneys Today

When arguing your case it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California traffic ticket attorney who has helped other clients who have received a ticket for allegedly failing to come to a complete stop. 

The Cheap Traffic Attorneys have your best interest at heart and will work hard in an effort to get your ticket dismissed. To learn more about how we can help or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

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