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What's The Difference?

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.