It turns out there's an app for that.
recent press release, a Westlake Village lawyer announced his new "GetDismissed"
app that "enables California drivers to effortlessly fight traffic
tickets." The app sends the paperwork for requesting a trial by written
declaration to an e-mail account. It's free to download, but the email
service costs $49. Steve Miller, the attorney behind GetDismissed, claims
the "straight forward and painless" service will "completely
reinventthe category by offering a cheaper, more efficient, on-the-go
GetDismissed is heartily endorsed by a retired CHP officer, who admitted
that he'd "like to arrest the guy who invented this thing."
Mr. Miller failed to mention that
anyone can request a Trial by Written Declaration, app or no app. Thousands of drivers choose the TWD avenue each year,
typically with mixed results.
Not everyone qualifies for a TWD. The due date must not have passed, your
ticket cannot say that your appearance is mandatory and the alleged violation
can be no more than an infraction. You then make a written statement giving
your side of the story and include copies of photographs and other evidence.
If anything is not formatted properly, the judge will not even consider
them. The judge then compares your written statement to the police officer's
written statement. Who do you think the judge will believe, especially
if you have no advocate?
A TWD is better than rolling over and playing dead by pleading guilty to
the violation and paying the fine "just to get it over with."
In some instances, if the state's case is exceedingly weak or if it
was a clear case of mistaken identity, a TWD may be the best option. But
it takes an attorney regularly practicing in Kern County traffic courts
to make that call.
A piece of paper cannot bring out legal precedents in your favor, cross-examine
the witnesses against you and make
legal arguments on your behalf. Only a flesh-and-blood attorney in Lamont or Shafter can
do these things.