Although the law technically states that traffic school is an option in many different scenarios, some judges in Bishop and Independence aren’t as generous as the law allows.
California Rule of Court 4.104 states that the judge can order traffic school both before and after the defendant’s plea, so drivers who assert their right to a trial are still eligible for traffic school. But the rule is permissive, meaning that the judge has the sole discretion to send drivers to traffic school or make them pay the fines. Additionally, the judge does not have to give a reason for the decision.
Traffic School Rules
There are a few basic eligibility requirements for traffic school:
- Drivers’ License: An expired or suspended license is no good; the license must be valid. Although there haven’t been any cases on the subject, an AB-60 license is probably okay as well.
- Qualifying Infraction: Certain speeding tickets, any alcohol-related infraction, and any non-moving violations cannot be handled through traffic court.
- 18 Month Waiting Period: There must be at least 18 months from your last offense date to your current offense date in order to be eligible for traffic school.
- The speed over the speed limit: Judges are allowed to give traffic school for violations up to 25 MPH over the speed limit. However, they do not have to go that high, because it is at their discretion. Some courts, like Lamont, routinely deny traffic school on cases where the speed is 21 MPH or over.
Traffic school is no means automatic. You must request it, and the judge has basically unfettered discretion to say “no” even if you are technically eligible.
All that being said, traffic school is typically a very good option. Although the driver must typically pay an “administrative fee” in addition to the fine and course tuition, the very expensive fine is still much cheaper than increased insurance rates. Oftentimes, attorneys can convince judges to offer traffic school, even if they initially not inclined to do so.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.