The Bureau of Land Management controls over
11 million acres of California land, much of it in the Bakersfield/Ridgecrest District
in Central California. This total does not include military bases, government
buildings and other facilities. To find out if you received a federal
traffic ticket, because sometimes it is hard to tell where private land
ends and government land begins, look at the top of your citation.
There are some very important differences between a state and federal traffic
ticket, and it's very important that you partner with an attorney
who practices in federal traffic ticket court. The judges have a number
of special rules, many of which are unwritten, that they expect you to
know and follow.
Most state tickets require you to go to a local courthouse, but a
federal ticket requires a trip to Bakersfield. That means that almost everyone can expect
to spend a full day dealing with the matter, and since court is typically
in the morning, you may be staying overnight in Bakersfield as well.
In a similar vein, the court staff very rarely reschedules the appearance
date for anything other than an emergency illness or death in the family.
That may be because most federal judges only hear traffic cases once or
twice a month. In many situations, a lawyer can appear for you, saving
you a trip to Bakersfield and keeping your schedule intact.
Traffic court is typically not an option in federal cases. Prosecutors
and judges usually do not like dealing with these matters, so they may
be somewhat impatient. Ironically, these rules can help you. Experienced
attorneys with good reputations can often work out a plea agreement quickly,
so both you, and they, can be on their way.