What Is a Trial by Declaration?
A Trial by Declaration ("trial by written declaration" is the
legal term) is a method of fighting a traffic ticket that will
not require you to appear in court but gives you an opportunity to present
evidence and legal arguments to the court.
You can request a trial by declaration if you were issued a citation for
a traffic violation, unless drugs or alcohol were involved, the offense
requires a compulsory appearance in court or you missed your court date.
You can request a “Trial by Written Declaration” either in-person
at the court clerk’s office or by mail, including the
Form TR205, available in .pdf. Along with the request, you should include your check
or money order for the bail amount, a statement of facts, any physical
information or items you believe support your case and you can provide
the court, such as:
· Medical records
· Vehicle inspection certificates
· Repair receipts
· Insurance documents
Only include scanned copies of the documents and be sure to link each document
in your statement of facts with an explanation of why you believe that
supports your claim.
You will have to waive a court trial, give evidence in person, or subpoena
witnesses on your behalf, though the police officer will likely be asked
by the court for a statement.
Although it is not required, you should get a traffic ticket lawyer to
give you a written legal explanation of the circumstances of the ticket.
Judges want to hear your side of the event; however, they want a legal
basis to find you not guilty.
After you have mailed all this to the court, they will respond within 60-90
days with their decision.
Trial de Novo or New Trial
The beauty of the trial by declaration option is that no matter what happens
or how the court rules, you can always ask for a new trial. Trial de Novo
is only available to people that used the trial by declaration initially
to clear their traffic ticket.
If the court rules in your favor and finds you not guilty, they will return
your bail and it is over. However, if you disagree with any portion of
the court ruling, you can get a new trial as if nothing happened. In fact,
that is akin to a two-headed coin, in that if you liked any portion of
the court’s ruling you cannot keep it for the new trial.
Say the judge said you were guilty but with circumstances beyond your control
and authorized traffic school and a reduced fine. You must weigh those
benefits against a new trial. Some people get too wrapped up in “I
didn’t do it.” To realize when they are well off and should
just leave it alone.
Bakersfield Courthouse, Kern County
Bakersfield is a traffic court in Kern County, CA that is known for being
a speed trap in the desert. Though Bakersfield is not the only court that
allows trial by declaration, all California courts do, we mention this
because it is an excellent option in some cases here in Bakersfield.
The Bigger & Harman Traffic Ticket Defense Team
If you were ticketed with a California Vehicle Code (CVC) violation and
traffic school has been denied or is not an option, the next thing to
do is contact Bigger & Harman. In Kern County, as well as LA, Riverside,
SLO and other California
counties, count on sound legal advice from the defense team that only has one “area
of expertise” traffic tickets.
We do not do divorces, family court, or personal injuries, we help our
clients in traffic court.
Contact us today for a legal consultation surrounding the circumstances
of your traffic ticket. When you would like legal advice about a Trial
by Declaration, simply send us an email including a scanned copy of the
citation and an explanation of exactly what happened,
email@example.com. We will set up an appointment, email you the details, or call you. Or,
you can call us during business hours, 661-349-9300.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.