Be Prepared for Traffic Court
Traffic court is totally different than any other courtroom setting. Although
less than five percent of Californians who receive traffic tickets go
to court, it is as busy as the Metro on Monday morning before work. So,
navigating traffic court, particularly in major cities such as Los Angeles
and San Fran, can be a bit confusing, to say the least. You could have
your arraignment and trial on the same day or request a separate court
date. You don’t always need a lawyer, but you should consult with
a traffic ticket attorney prior to your court date to determine how you
should proceed and meticulously prepare like you would for a job interview.
The very first thing you should do is look up the CA Vehicle Code section
you have been charged with violating, it is written right there on the
ticket, CVC 22348 or whichever it is. Type that into Google and look for
the CVC number plus Law Section on
legislature.ca.gov. This will give you the information and the elements of the violation
the state must prove.
Anticipating the questions you might be asked and rehearsing short, to-the-point
answers will help tremendously. You can request “discovery”
or any evidence the state intends to use against you in court, such as
radar and calibration data, notices sent by the DMV, court “Notices
to Appear,” etc. Take pictures of the place you were stopped if
it will help, work up diagrams that depict where the law enforcement officer
was in relation to your location if you were ticketed for failure to stop
at a red-light or stop sign or did not use radar but estimated your speed.
A red-light conviction will cost you nearly $500 just for the fine, not
including the increased insurance premiums, so consult a traffic ticket
attorney and fight the ticket.
What to Expect at Your Arraignment
It’s your duty to ensure the justice system honors your rights under
both the State and US Constitution. The state collected $1.9 billion traffic
ticket revenue in 2016, not counting the millions spent on related expenses
to traffic schools, the bail bond industry, and impound services, etc.
We need to make the government earn that revenue or make it more realistic.
Fight the ticket.
On the date of arraignment, be prepared to wait for your name to be called,
then the judicial officer or judge will ask you if you wish to plead not
guilty, guilty, or no contest (no contest is normally pled when there
is a civil matter pending on a matter such as an accident) or if you are
not prepared, request another trial date at the arraignment. Requesting
another trial date is something the state considers a “convenience”
for you and that could require you to post “bail” or the amount
of the fine, which will be returned to you when you are found not guilty.
What to Expect at Trial
Whether you have a combined arraignment and trial, or your trial is on
a separate date, the process of waiting is basically the same. Be prepared
to be in court at least half the day, if not all day. When you are called,
and you chose not to use a traffic ticket attorney, you will be given
an opportunity to present your case, but you won’t have long, and
many judges in traffic court think they’ve heard it all before,
so if you don’t have an attorney, you may not get what you consider
adequate time. Even when found not guilty you may still be required to
pay court costs.
The best possible scenario is to hire a local traffic ticket attorney to
represent you in court. They work within the traffic court system every
day and know the technicalities and law changes that “outsiders”
are not aware of in most cases.
Hire a Local Central Valley Traffic Attorney
Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to inquire about the specifics of
your ticket or email:
Don’t wait for your traffic court date, start preparing right away
and the best way to start preparing is by consulting with a traffic ticket
attorney. They will provide you with straightforward advice about how
to proceed, even if it is to tell you that you can do it on your own,
or that you should accept traffic school and pay the fine.
Read this comment left on
avvo.com, Morgan says, “I do not know much about the court systems but thanks
to this guy, I know a lot more than I did. I recommend him for any traffic
court problems that you may have.”
Bigger & Harman charge a flat rate, which covers all aspects of preparation
for the case, and for representing you in court, so you will always know
exactly what you will have.
Or, you can read Bigger & Harman’s
Nolo.com page, Nolo is one of the top internet digests for legal experts. Or,
Yelp, read the 80 or more reviews left by some of the thousands of clients,
mostly positive, with some negative comments, we can’t win every
time. But, you can count on them to put up the best possible legal defense
on your ticket.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.