The process of paying a bail bond, forfeiting bail, and paying traffic
tickets can be a complicated process. Normally, you cannot pay your fine
or forfeit bail until your ticket or citation has been processed by the
court. If you have not received a reminder from the court within 10 days
of the court date, which is usually 45 to 60 days after the ticket was
issued, but noted on your ticket, check the Traffic Case Info on the County
Note: Bail is not always required if you want to fight your ticket, but if you
want to use a Trial by Declaration (TBD) or you want a trial date that
is different than your arraignment date, you might need to post a bail bond.
Posting Bail Bond for Traffic Tickets
If you want to forfeit your bail or pay your fine, which is the same thing
when you just pay your fine you are pleading guilty, you can Google the
County Court, such as Kern or Kings County Traffic Court or Superior Court
and then choose traffic division. You can then pay your fine online, by
phone, or in person at the Clerk’s Office with a personal check,
a cashier’s check, money order, credit/debit card, or cash (in person only).
You cannot pay online if you have a mandatory court appearance, which is
usually the case with major infractions, such as speeding 100+ mph or
reckless driving, or for misdemeanors and felonies, but if you cannot
pay online you can ask at the County Clerk’s office.
If you wish to make monthly payments, you must appear in person at the
county clerk’s office for the first payment and pay at least 10%
of the fine. You can also ask the judge at the time they set the fine
amount to consider your income, to make payments, or both. When you make
monthly payments there is a $35 administration fee added to the total
amount and if you pay by credit/debit card, a $6.45 fee will be added,
likewise for an Electronic Fund Transfer an additional $1.95 per transaction
will be added, so the longer it takes you to pay the more you will pay,
but it’s convenient right?
Getting Your Day in Court
So, you decided to plead not guilty, which of course is the wisest decision
almost every time, but it is even wiser to consult a traffic ticket attorney
before you make that choice because there are times it is wiser to just
pay the fine and go to traffic school, but ask a traffic ticket lawyer.
When you have questions about a TBD, you can go to the Bigger & Harman
webpage for an explanation or just call Bigger & Harman and ask if this is
a good course of action for your ticket. If you choose a TBD, remember
you will need to pay a bail bond, which will be refunded if you are not guilty.
Another choice is to go to arraignment or have a traffic ticket attorney
go for you and request a separate date for trial. When you request a separate
date for trial, you must pay the bail bond amount, which will be refunded
when you are found not guilty, but if you FTA, you will forfeit your bail
and additional fees will be added, which will nearly double your fine,
your license could be suspended, and a $300 civil fee could be added.
When your attorney goes to court to represent you and you are found not
guilty, your bail will be refunded to you if you were the name on the
check or money order, normally within 30 days. If you have a change of
address between the time you posted the bail bond and the not guilty finding,
you should go to the county clerk’s office and make sure they have
the right address.
Bail Bond, the Judicial Council of CA and Each County
The Judicial Council of California publishes the statewide
Uniform Bail & Penalty Schedule; however, each county normally publishes their own schedule and has the
discretion to change the bail amount depending on county surcharges and
penalties. Additionally, an individual judge can order bail for major
infractions, misdemeanors, and felony traffic violations that is higher
than those published depending on the number of previous offenses and
the individual’s record of payment or Failure to Appear (FTA).
Traffic Ticket Defenders
When you need answers to questions about bail for a traffic ticket or need
legal assistance for In Kings, Fresno, or Kern County, call Bigger &
Harman, 661-349-9300 for a FREE phone consultation. When you have a court
date or an arraignment Visalia, Bakersfield, Tulare, Fresno, or any of
the Central Valley traffic courts or an arraignment in a SoCal court in
LA, San Bernardino, or Riverside email:
email@example.com to arrange an office visit.
You can even contact them now on their
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.