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Confusing, Isn't It?

gavelIn many ways, Central California is a geographic mosaic, with a mixture of state, federal, and Indian-owned lands.

Most notably, there’s a rather large swath of territory in Tulare County that belongs to the Tule River tribe. Other tribes are dotted all along the mountains of Mono and Inyo County. As a rule of thumb, only tribal police can enforce traffic laws on tribal lands. It’s actually quite rare to get a ticket on an Indian reservation, but it has happened before, especially for serious violations, like 100+ mph speeding and reckless driving.

The tribes also conduct their own trials and plea bargains.

Federal Traffic Ticket

The feds are much less lenient on traffic offenders, which will surprise no one. But people are often surprised at the stark difference between a state and federal traffic ticket.

For starters, there are no local courts in the federal system. If you receive a traffic ticket anywhere in Central California, the legal proceedings are conducted at the federal courthouse in Bakersfield, Fresno, or Yosemite. Furthermore, instead of court personnel and judges who routinely handle traffic tickets, you’ll find a court staff and judges that only hear tickets at specific times and with considerably less flexibility than you find in state court. Most traffic violations in federal court are considered petty misdemeanors, which makes them more difficult to deal with than infractions.

The first court date in federal court is an arraignment date. Many people who go to federal court think that if the officer does not show, the case is dismissed. But in order for that to be possible, the case would have to go to a full trial. So, in addition to wasting a day in Bakersfield, you may have to come back for a full court trial with an attorney on the other side of the aisle helping the police officer.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger and Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.