Anybody else had to go to one ever before? I have to go on Thursday and I'm a little worried
I have never been to traffic court...but I have been to traffic school 4 times (have a bit of a speed issue)...
I heard that I could do traffic school instead to avoid getting points taken off. But I have no idea how it works. My DL is still from PA since I just moved here to SF and I don't really own a car yet so I'm too lazy to get a CA DL, hence I have absolutely no idea how it is here in CA.
I've been to traffic court with my ex-boyfriend, for a speeding ticket. The officer didn't show up, so the ticket was thrown out. I've got a few speeding tickets under my belt :shame: But I either paid them or went to school if it was an option.
Husband is a cop. I don't know much about traffic court but calm your nerves they are just people doing their job (hope they treat you fairly). Let us know how you make out!
That's what I did. In OC, you have to go to traffic school for an 8-hour day (or 2 4-hour days). In LA, you can go to traffic school in person or complete via the web. You will get your ticket in the mail...there is a number to call (or internet address to complete process through) on the ticket...you process a request to attend traffic school on a specific date. You go to "school" (in OC it is at the court house...in LA it might be at the court house, in a hotel, etc.). You must get there on time for your school to count. You "put in your time" and receive a certificate of completion. A copy of the certificate is mailed to the agency you received your ticket from.
You sit through "briefings" on traffic issues, watch a few videos, etc. You can't sleep, read a book, etc. (at least in OC).
I received an "unofficial" warning today for going up a hill too fast...so glad I don't have to go back to traffic school. It is a convenient alternative to paying a fine, but it is a pain in the ass for a day.
my brother has had like 5 miscellaneous tickets ( speeding, DUI, accident, minor in possesion) and has been to court but always had a lawyer and although he still pays those tickets and tha lawyer , he got away without points. As much as I know , it's better to hire a lawyer to deal with them
Oh gawd, this thread made me remember my trip to the traffic court. It was actually a mandatory court appearance for getting caught driving in excess of 90 mph. I passed a highway patrol! Anyway, you can take care of your ticket without going to court by paying the bail AND going to traffic school. Some counties allow you to go to online traffic school and it should say on your ticket. When you to go to court, the first thing you do is to check in and wait till you're told to go in the this one big room. The bailiff will instruct you what you need to do. You will be called one by one and asked to plea either guilty or not guilty. You usually just plead guilty unless you want to contest your ticket. After that, you go in another room to pay for your ticket. It's a little intimidating but there's nothing to it. I think it's more embarrassing than anything. But hey, you won't be the only one to plead guilty.
The traffic school is to avoid getting those points. But you can only go to traffic school once every 18 months (I think).
Ooooo SoCal thanks for the info. Unfortunately they probably sent my ticket to my old Philadelphia address, and I don't think usps forwarded it to me So all I have is that ticket with "infraction" on it that I got from the cop.
Cristina: I'm hoping he didn't show up either! I would've just pay for it but I didn't do anything wrong :cry: The officer was also sooooo rude and the first thing he said (actually, yelled) to me after I was pulled over was whether I can tell between postal truck, ice cream truck, and CHP car. I was in shock I didn't know what to do :cry:
traffic school is soooooooooooooooooooo incredibly BORING. but if you get a fun class (aka: a loud and rambuncious crowd) then it's fun. I've done it twice (once boring, and once fun) and both are still way better than getting points on your record.
I went to court recently and hope what I've been through helps you.
It all depends on your offense. An infraction is not a serious offense, so take it easy. The traffic court is a friendly place, it is not a criminal court afterall.
At the court, you will be briefed by a court officer on what to do prior to the court proceedings. He/She will explain to you on what you will have to do and how you can plead to your charge.
In summary, you have 3 choices. (1) Guilty (2) Not Guilty (3) No Contest. If you take 1, the judge will let you know on the spot what your penalty is. 3 is the same as 1 as far as I understand except that you are not waiving all rights to the charge (you gotta find out details on that).
2 means that you want to contest the charge and that is normally what you should do. You will then be given the option to do a Trial by Declaration (for California only) ...meaning you write in to defend your case with all supporting documents etc. and the cop does the same. The judge will then make a decision based on the supporting facts (not sick grandma story). As far as I know, some people get lucky at this point when a cop doesn't submit his side of the story. In that case, you win.
The good thing about TBD is that if you lose, you still have another chance to go to court to defend your case. At that time, do hire a lawyer to defend you (you don't need to show up in court, that's what you pay the lawyer for), otherwise you will simply be wasting your time if you try to come up with some story. Hopefully, you don't have to go through all these.
Here's some info that may arm you with more knowledge before appearing in court: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/traffic/info.htm
hmm...on the other hand...since you don't even have a CA license, does it mean all you have to do is pay the fine and no points? hmm...
I've been to court once for a speeding ticket. Even though the cop showed up I won and beat the ticket.
Witlessz, so that means that even if I show up, if I plead not guilty, I'd still have to come home and provide all that stuff for TBD (it won't be resolved in one day?). Also, how long does it take for you? I'm supposed to be there at 8.30am and I'm hoping I can still make it to work later that day *fingers crossed*
Another thing, the first thing I think of when someone says "hire a lawyer" is $$$$. Is this the case? I'm just wondering if it's worth it.
Kat, did you have anybody with you at the time (at court and when you got pulled over)?
BTW thank you SO MUCH for all the information! I'm starting to calm down a little...
I was down at a court in SoCal and they went by last name...and my last name is near the end so I really got 'entertained' by all kinds of stories....entire session of about 50people took under 2hrs. I think your case should be easy... although I'm still not sure what you got pulled over for...